AP English 11 Summer Reading Assignments
Glenvar High School 2012
Instructor: Mrs. Kellie Pry
Dear Students and Parents:
Roanoke County teachers believe that students should develop a love of reading and assume the
responsibility to pursue reading in order to become life-long learners. Therefore, we encourage
our students to continue to read during the summer. All students who are enrolled in AP English
courses are required to read at least two books during the summer. Below are the guidelines and
reading list for AP English 11: Language and Composition. We hope that students will use the
list as a starting point and choose other selections to read during the summer as well. Reading is
the single most important factor attributed to school success.
Required summer reading and assignments must be completed before the first day of school.
Late work will result in a 10% penalty per day it is late. As a matter of academic integrity,
students are expected to generate their own ideas and reflections; use of Sparknotes and other
study aids is strictly prohibited. All work is expected to be the student’s independent and
original work. Assignments that reflect shared or borrowed content will be subject to the GHS
REQUIRED READING SELECTION #1:
All students must read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Before you begin, read
background information posted on the National Endowment of the Arts THE BIG READ
project website – www.neabigread.org/books/greatgatsby. Two interesting articles on the
historical context are found under “Teacher’s Guide” -handouts one and three- called
“Prohibition” and “Harlem in the Jazz Age.”
While reading the novel, each student must keep a dialectical journal. See directions
Dialectical Journal Directions: The dialectical journal is a type of double-entry note-taking
which students use while reading literature. In the two columns students write notes that dialogue
with one another, thereby developing critical reading and reflective questioning. You should
have a minimum of two journal entries per chapter of The Great Gatsby.
The left column of your journal will contain quotations or paraphrase specific moments in the
text for analysis. The right side will contain critical commentary about the significance of each
quotation/paraphrase as well as general reflections, observations, and questions. In addition to
analysis and commentary, each entry should include one or more of the following as it pertains
to the selected quotation or moment:
*the rhetorical strategy or literary element used and its effect on the reader
*analysis and effect of diction and style
*questions that come to mind
*unfamiliar vocabulary words from the quote and their definitions
*evidence of character or theme development
*any recurring motifs or symbols
See the attached sample dialectical journal page and rubric for further clarification regarding
expectations for this assignment.
**Students are also required to complete the discussion questions listed on the National
Endowment for the Arts THE BIG READ project website (located under Reader’s Guide, then
on the right side toolbar under discussion questions). Both the dialectical journal and the
discussion questions for The Great Gatsby are due the first day of class.
REQUIRED READING SELECTION #2
All students enrolled in AP English 11 are also required to read Arthur Miller’s famous
play, Death of a Salesman. After reading the play, students will complete an essay in
response to the following:
America has long been known as a land of opportunity. Out of that thinking comes the
“American Dream,” an idea that anyone can ultimately achieve success, even if he or
she began with nothing. In Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, we follow Willy Loman
as he reviews a life in desperate pursuit of a dream of success. The playwright suggests
to his audience both what is truthful and what is illusory in the American Dream and,
hence, in the lives of millions of Americans. Write an argumentative essay in which you
explore the notion of the American Dream and argue whether this dream is an illusion or
a reality (or a combination of both) based on your own opinions and your understanding
of the play and what it suggests.
Your paper should be two to three pages typed, double-spaced, with 12 point font. You will be
graded on the development and support of your ideas, your organization, adherence to standard
rules of writing (grammar and mechanics), and the extent to which you incorporate evidence
from the play into your argument.
Essays are due the first day of class. Students will take an objective/discussion test on the
play during the second week of school.
Each assignment is worth 100 points for a total of 400 points:
Dialectical Journal on The Great Gatsby 100 points
In class essay on Gatsby the first week 100 points
Argumentative Essay on Death of a Salesman 100 points
Test on Death of a Salesman the second week of school 100 points
Books will be distributed through English classes the last week of school and are available
for check-out in Mrs. Pry’s room, 101, before June 8.