Welcome Back to Teaching Tuesday!
Today is the third edition of “What I Teach,” and I’m sharing my full course outline for 11th Grade: AP Language and Composition/American Literature.
Eleventh grade is different from ninth and tenth grade because it is heavily guided by the College Board/ AP Curriculum and intended to prepare students for the AP Language and Composition Exam in May. (A passing grade on the three-hour exam can earn students a semester’s worth of English credit in college.) Since most students come in to 11th grade with little to no experience with rhetoric (the primary focus of the Language and Composition course), we have to work very hard and squeeze A LOT in. I am lucky enough to have the same group for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade, so I’m trying to change this, but I still think we have to work twice as hard junior year.
In addition, due to the county curriculum and the AP Literature course offered in 12th grade, I still feel an obligation to introduce students to some major works of American Lit in eleventh grade too. However, because of time constraints, they do about 95% of their literature study outside of class. I usually provide optional study guides to help students as they read and then assess their comprehension in no more than two or three class periods through a socratic seminar and in-class essay. It is a big change for most students, but it works well. In fact, most of them tell me at the end of the year that they really prefer this technique.
This will be only my third year teaching this course, and – honestly – it is still a work in progress for me (it always is, really). Here’s my tentative plan for AP English 11 2014 – 2015 (heavily influenced by this teacher’s website):
Any other AP Language and Composition teachers out there?!? I’d love to hear how you structure your class! This is still relatively new to me and I’m tweaking every year…