District Home


2015-2016 Summer Assignment 

Why a Summer Assignment?

To prepare you for the intense AP English environment, you need to know some vocabulary and you need to have some practice critically reading. There are two assignments: vocabulary and analysis. At the beginning of the year, we will be discussing and writing on the two works you will read. I will be available over summer via email (sstrasser@sandi.net) to help you with any questions you might have.
What you don’t practice you lose, so it is imperative that you keep your mind sharp with activities during the summer, so read! Read magazines, short stories, essays, non-fictionbooks, novels, plays, and poems! And while you read, THINK about what you read:What is the author aiming to convey? How does the author communicate it? Do you agree or not with the position, why? Do you like the writing, why? Does the character/plot move you, why? I highly suggest reading two or three essays from an author that mimics works found on the exam: Oscar Wilde, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Annie Dillard,Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Jonathan Swift, Maureen Dowd, David Sedaris. Try to look at works from diarist, journalists, political writers, science/nature writers, historical writers, essayists from a variety of time periods and from around the world.

Summer Assignment Tasks 

Part I: Academic Skills 

1. Vocabulary Study
You will need to know a number of literary terms (see additional handout), allusions (see additional handout),and words used in writing (see additional handouts). Find the definitions and examples to these terms and words. Study them over the summer. Within the first three weeks of school, you will have a test on these terms. The following are resources for literary term definitions.
  • Harris,Robert A. “A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices.” A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices. Virtual Salt, 22 Nov. 2011. Web.11 May 2012. .
  • Harris,Robert A. “A Glossary of Literary Terms.” AGlossary of Literary Terms. Virtual Salt, 25 Feb. 2012. Web. 11 May 2012..
  • Literary-Devices.2015. Web. 30 May 2015. .
  • LiteraryDevices. 2015. Web. 30 May 2015.
2. Argument Analysis
Select a Ted talk (ted.com) There are talks about a variety of subjects: science, philosophy, art, education, politics, civil rights., you name it. It doesn’t matter which talk you select, but you will need to completet he following for the talk you do select. Label and type out your responses.These don’t have to be formal sentences, but can be “notes.”
Annotate for Content
  • List Speaker, Title, date, and location of presentation
  • (before watching) TITLE: What do you think it means? What impressions do you have?
  • PARAPHRASE the major actions/ideas/arguments presented? What do words mean that you don’t know or what do allusions refer to?
  • SPEAKER of the work: What qualities or characteristics does the speaker have? Who is the speaker?
  • OCCASION of the work: What is the reason for this talk? What influences the writer to present these ideas?
  • AUDIENCE of the work: who is the predominant recipient of this work (not just the audience at the talk)? Who is the presenter speaking for?
  • PURPOSE of the work: what goal or goals does the speaker have for the work? What does he hope to accomplish by conveying the ideas he does? Where in the text is the purpose suggested?
  • SUBJECTs of the work: what topics does the speaker present? (list a few subjects)
  • TONEs ofthe work: what is the attitude the speaker has regarding these subjects? (list a few tone words)
  • Write at least a one page, typed response to the talk. Identify the prevailing arguments/ideas the speaker presents and reflect thoughtfully on them. What is your opinion? What do you think and why do you think it?

Part II: Post-Secondary Preparation

Generally, students plan on one of the following optionsafter graduation
  • Military
  • Workforce
  • 2 year (Community College)
  • 4 year College/University (application)
  • Arts-Focused College, University, or Conservatory (audition/portfolio)
1. Dominant Pathway
Explain your choice for the pathway you are seeking. For example, why do you want to join the military after graduation or why do you want to attend an arts college? What do you hopeto gain from taking this path after high school? (approximately one paragraphtyped)
2. Research
Identify at least three specific institutions/choices. The choices do not have to be all from the same pathway. For example, you may research the Mesa College, UCSD, and Cal Arts. For each choice/institution, identify the following:
  • RATIONALE:Why do you want to apply to this institution/choice? What do you hope to get out of it? What can it provide for you? Why is this a good fit for you?
  • REQUIREMENTS:What are the specific application requirements for this institution. List out all the things you would need to do to be able to attend. Some things to think about (but not limited to):
    • SAT/ACTscores
    • Letters of Recommendation
    • Portfolio
    • Entrance tests
  • FINANCES:What is the financial picture for this institution? What would you have to pay for? What would be paid for? List out all the costs/payments incurred. Some things to think about (but not limited to):
    • Testing fees
    • Application fees
    • Tuition
    • Room and Board
    • Supplies/Books
  • ENVIRONMENT:What is the environment like? What are some things that you should be aware of? Some things to think about (but not limited to):
    • Demographics
    • Location(geography, weather, nearby attractions)
    • Population size (e.g. staff to student ratio)
    • Physical space and design
    • Housing
  • APPEAL:What are some aspects about this institution/choice that make it particularly appealing beyond the learning? Some things to think about (but not limited to):
    • Clubs/Activities
    • Research/Work opportunities
    • Staff/Guests Artists or Speakers
    • Sports