Throughout the course you will be required to complete readings outside of class – there is simply too much of American Literature that you need to be exposed to for us to cover in class together all the time. These readings will be amazingly beneficial to you – the more you read the more your writing will improve (which is vital for this class, AP Lang, and college), the more you read the more you will be prepared for AP Literature, and you NEVER KNOW what kind of questions you will see on the AP Exam – the more texts you read the better chance you have of being able to answer the exam essay questions correctly!
Instead of simply assigning you outside readings and more work, as I know you are all already overwhelmed with school work and extracurriculars at the moment, I am going to instead institute and bi-weekly meeting of “Socrates and Scones”. Every two weeks we will meet in B10 after school for hot tea, scones and Socratic Seminar discussions over the outside reading for that month. This is an opportunity to talk to me and your classmates (and eat delicious baked goods) about the outside readings you will be completing and to practice Socratic Seminar discussion (which will be a HUGE part of AP Lang next semester).
None of these meetings will negatively affect your grade – you will not receive ‘homework’ over the reading, and you will only have to complete a few short reading check quizzes over the outside text within 30 days of the text being assigned.
However, for those of you that come to the meetings and participate in the correct Socratic way, I am offering that all elusive EXTRA CREDIT. We will have four meetings – for students that attend ALL FOUR MEETINGS and participate as outlined below, you will receive TWO POINTS to your FINAL GRADE (if you have an 88, you’ll have a 90).
How should you participate in these Socrates and Scones discussions?
I will also be checking that you ask Literal, Evaluative and Interpretive questions during the discussion – if you’re not sure what those are, click here and look on page 4 for an explanation.
This is a great opportunity to build your analysis and communication skills, bond with your classmates, and prepare for college. I really hope to see you guys at our meetings!
The outside reading for September/October will be The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Our first Socrates and Scones meeting will be September 30th, 2015 at 3:30pm in B10.
IMPORTANT NOTE: After discussion with students, it was determined that the meetings will be placed on Wednesdays because this is the day that the majority of you can meet or do not have ‘required’ practices. I am also only having the meetings every two weeks so that you can prepare by reading the text and securing rides home. This is not a required meeting – it is simply there to help you with the readings and give you some extra preparation for next semester. If you want the extra credit you will have to attend all four meetings – I cannot make an exception for every student who has other obligations, as this is not a required assignment. Though meeting with me one on one will not earn you the extra credit points, you know I am more than happy to meet with any of you for any reason as long as you give me a days notice.