PRE-AP English

Course Description:

The Pre-AP (Honors) English course is about developing good habits of mind. This is accomplished through engaging students in the careful reading and in critical analysis of literature. Through the close reading of selected poetry, drama, non-fiction, and novels, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students consider a work's structure, a writer’s style, arguments and themes. Smaller-scale elements such as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism and tone are also analyzed. In addition to considering a work's literary artistry, students reflect on the social and historical values it reflects and embodies. Careful attention to both textual detail and historical context provides a foundation for interpretation. Students will demonstrate what they've learned through many (more than 10) challenging writing assignments where they defend, refute, or qualify arguments of theme and meaning through synthesis from various readings we have studied.


Semester Themes: Identity and Equity; Change and Power

Texts: Prentice Hall Literature; Holt Elements of Language; various other poems and essays.

Novels: It is recommended that each student purchase their own copy of these books; however if this is not possible there will be copies available for checkout from the library. Used copies (from a used book store or an ebay type website) are a GREAT option!

Required novels

Choice of one or two of these novels

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (drama )

Animal Farm by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn

 Curriculum Sample:



Student-Generated Narrative




 “Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost,

“Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes,

The Odyssey by Homer

“How It Feels to Be Colored Me” by Hurston,  “The Declaration of Independence,”  “The Declaration of Sentiments” by Mott & Stanton, “A Disappointed Woman” by Stone, “Shooting an Elephant,” “The Most Dangerous Game” by Connell

“American Voices” Research Essay

A first person fiction or non-fiction narrative written with figurative language and elaboration

30 page collection of student’s 9th grade work (all classes) with reflective analysis, and illustrations


Student-Generated Poetry


Extended Metaphor, Clerihew, Limerick, Villanelle, Sonnet, Free Verse, Sestina



Pre-AP Weighted Grading

Assessments: Formal Writing, Quizzes, Exams, formal presentations, and final anthology


Daily Work: Writing Process activities, journal writing, informal writing, informal presentations, and homework


Independent Reading: Monitored using Accelerated Reader (see website for complete list), independent reading logs, and evaluations of reading folder


Independent Reading :Independent Reading (10% of overall grade) is monitored using Accelerated Reader. To earn 100% for independent reading in addition to independent reading assignments, students must earn 70 points each semester (35 points per quarter). Most students will need to read at least 30 min per day.

Looking for a book? Try a free e-book (mostly classics) from Project Gutenberg

Pre-AP AR list by book title       Pre-AP AR list by Author's last name

What is Accelerated Reader? A computerized reading management program. It monitors quantity of reading, and quality of basic comprehension, and book titles.
How does it work? Select a book (from the titles on the Pre-AP AR book lists.)

Read the book.

Take a test on the computer to check comprehension. Tests are multiple choice featuring 10 or 20 questions. The computer shows the students how many questions they answered correctly, indicates the answers they missed, and tracks reading points earned.

How do I choose a book? Don't pick a book based solely on its point value! Pick a book that is interesting to you, is at an appropriate reading level, and is an appropriate length that can be read in a couple of weeks.

You only get one chance at passing a test. If you read a 20-point book that takes you the six weeks to finish and  fail the quiz. You will have no points to show for it!

Independent Reading will likely also be incorporated into other assignments including pieces of formal writing, journal entries, and informal book talks; these assignments will be included in the daily work or assessment categories.  

IN-CLASS NOVELS: Novels that are read for class will only count for independent reading if MOST of the reading is completed independently; i.e. Romeo & Juliet does NOT count towards independent reading because it is read aloud in class.

EXTRA CREDIT: Students may read more for extra credit. Up to 150% can be earned each semester for independent reading. Extra credit will only be entered for the semester grade (not at progress reports, or quarter report cards)

Samples of how students meet independent reading goals:

Student A  (8 books)
Book Title Author Points % correct Points earned
2001: A Space Odyssey Clark, Arthur C. 12 90% 10.8
Animal Farm (class novel read at home) Orwell, George 5 100% 5
War of the Worlds, The Wells, H.G. 11 80% 8.8
Timeline Crichton, Michael 21 90% 18.9
Martian Chronicles, The Bradbury, Ray 9 80% 7.2
Into Thin Air Krakauer, Jon 17 90% 15.3
Frankenstein Shelley, Mary 17 30% 0
Fahrenheit 451 Bradbury, Ray 7 90% 6.3
Total 72.3 (103%)
Student B (6 books)
Book Title Author Points % correct Points earned
Emma Austen, Jane 30 85% 25.5
Angela's Ashes McCourt, Frank 23 90% 20.7
Animal Farm (class novel read at home) Orwell, George 5 100% 5
Golden Compass, The Pullman, Philip 19 50% 0
Girl with a Pearl Earring Chevalier, Tracy 11 100% 11
Good Earth, The Buck, Pearl S.  19 80% 15.2
Total 77.4 (110%)
Student C (3 books)
Book Title Author Points % correct Points earned
Animal Farm (class novel read at home) Orwell, George 5 100% 5
Autobiography of Malcolm X, The  Malcolm/Haley 32 80% 25.6
Clear and Present Danger Clancy, Tom 44 90% 39.6
Total 70.2 (100%)
Student D (6 books)
Book Title Author Points % correct Points earned
Hamlet Shakespeare, William 7 40% 0
Hot Zone Preston, Richard 16 85% 13.6
Animal Farm (class novel read at home) Orwell, George 5 90% 4.5
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Roach, Mary 16 80% 12.8
Snow Falling on Cedars Guterson, David 23 90% 20.7
Perfect Storm, The Junger, Sebastian 13 100% 13
Total 64.6 (92%)