AP Language and Composition
Dates of note:
- Semester II Project Blog Post due by 6 am Friday (1/30)
- Saturday Study Session 8-2.30 (1/31) @ ERHS
1.26: We are going to do an intensive review of the open argument question this week. The open argument is the final question on open response portion of the exam. The purpose of the question is to develop an argument on a given topic with your own background knowledge and experience. CHELPS will help you identify potential evidence.
I will bring a sample prompt to class, ask students to respond to it by briefly, then we will discuss the challenges of identifying evidence and structuring the argument. At the end of the period, I will give everyone a new sample prompt to take home and write by the beginning of class on Tuesday. Ideally, you will take what you learned from writing the first prompt in class and apply it to the take home prompt.
1.27: Tuesday we will look at the student samples, discuss their evidence and structure, then compare the samples to your own responses, after which you will score your own essay. At this point, we will take another moment to reflect on what needs to be done to improve. We’ll make a common list of needed improvements, then everyone will chose a partner or small group to begin revising the argument collectively, using the best features from each writer’s response in the group to write a final draft to share with the class.
1.28-29: Argument revision and writing days in groups–bring your own technology if needed; the computer labs are booked.
*After school tutorial on 1/29 will be held in a computer lab in support of your first semester project blog post.
1.30: Each group will bring 3 copies of their final, revised argument to share with the class. Instead of reading them aloud, we will place them around the room, ask everyone to rotate through the essays, and give them a score and positive feedback. By the end of the period everyone should have benefitted from reading other students’ work and gathering ideas for improving their own writing in the future.
*To cap off this sequence, it is likely that we will write a final open argument prompt in class on Monday, this time independently, under time pressure, with no chance for revision–the same conditions you’ll face on exam day.
A Note on the Reading: One thing you should notice about the chapters outlined below is that they are shorter than the chapters that opened the book. This is, in part, because the author is undergoing a quick change, from getting expelled from college to entering a foreign world: the North and NYC. Dr. Bledsoe’s talk with the narrator and Homer Barbee’s speech about the Founder of the university represent the expectations the narrator was trying to meet, but failed to, in the first part of the book. This failure provides the needed tension to force him into a new journey. Just like leaving campus with Norton was crossing a threshold into the unknown, so is leaving college and arriving in New York City. This time he won’t be in trouble for disobeying the rules, but he will face some of the same discomfort he faced when he encountered Trueblood and visited the Golden Day. On his way to NY, the vet from the Golden Day reappears once more to serve as a mentor before the narrator must go on alone. In short, arriving in New York City starts the same cycle the narrator underwent at college, where he believed that education would gain him respect from his surrounding community, but found out that his understanding of reality was limited. Likewise, he has a lot to learn once he arrives in the North. The first step is finding a job, and navigating a whole new set of expectations. When reading these chapters you will need to start to rely on your historical research into the American Communist Party, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Eugene Debs, and other more radical Civil Rights figures. See details on each chapter below:
1.26: Your handwritten essay on chapters 2-3 will be DUE at the beginning of the period. Then, we will discuss Chapter 4, in which the narrator and Mr. Norton return to campus and the narrator must face Dr. Bledsoe.
Read Chapter 5 (109-135): Narrator attends church; Homer Barbee’s Speech about the Founder
1.27: Discussion will focus on the narrator’s reaction to Barbee’s speech. Please continue to write questions in your notebook and to take any additional plot notes.
Read Chapter 6 (136-150):Dr. Bledsoe punishes the narrator for Norton’s trip
1.28: Discussion will focus on what we learn about Dr. Bledsoe’s leadership philosophy and what the narrator learns by listening to him talk about how he runs the college from which the narrator is now being expelled.
Read Chapter 7 (151-161): The bus ride to New York City; the vet from the Golden Day reappears
1.29: Chapter 7 is a transition chapter between the two major settings of the book, the South, and New York City. Understandably, the author undergoes some culture shock. We’ll focus on the vet’s advice to the narrator and how he initially reacts when he reaches the streets of NYC.
Read Chapter 8 (162-171): First Impression New York City
1.30: Our discussion of Chapter 8 will focus on how the author reacts to NYC and how his uncertainty is represented in the chapter. The expectations and culture are much different than the college in the opening chapters, and this is his first chance to move beyond some of the limitations he experienced on campus.