• AP Language and Composition Summer Reading Assignment


    Further instructions can be found at our class blog “Allegory of AP” www.allegoryofap.blogspot.com


    Welcome to AP Language and Composition.  We are embarking on a journey together, and to begin that journey, we will read one of the most famous pieces (and one of the most controversial) of American fiction, Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. This novel will give us such a rich context from which to learn many new things about the power of language and about the construction of an argument.  Please give yourself some time to complete this assignment.  Do not wait until the last minute. The summer reading assignment is due Monday, August 15; it will not be accepted late.

    As you read the novel, I would like you to complete a dialectical journal. 
    Your dialectical journal must contain a minimum of 16 entries spread across the breadth of the book. In other words, do not take all 16 entries from the first 3 chapters or the last 3. I expect to see entries from the beginning, middle and end. Spread them out.


    Entries must deal with the following topics. You should have 16 entries in all, and you should have at least 4 each of the major types (this means 4 Big Idea, 4 Characterization, 4 Style, and 4 Symbol). 


    Big Ideas: Racism/Slavery; Lies and Deceit; Religion; Friendship; Freedom; Death

    Characterization: Huck and Jim only

    Style elements: satire; imagery; tone; irony

    Symbol:  Mississippi River


    You may type your entries (the preferred method!) or hand-write neatly/legibly in black/blue ink.  (No pencil, please) However you choose to submit them, create a chart just like the one below:


    Quote from Text

    Page Number

    Type of entry



    style element, symbol)

    Comment (What is important about this passage? What is revealed? What does it make you wonder about?)

    "…they carried like freight trains; they carried it on their backs and shoulders-and for all the ambiguities of Vietnam, all the mysteries and unknowns, there was at least the single abiding certainty that they would never be at a loss for things to carry.”


    Style Element/Imagery

    O’brien chooses to end the first section of the novel with this sentence. He provides excellent visual details of what each solider in Vietnam would carry for day-to-day fighting. He makes you feel the physical weight of what soldiers have to carry for simple survival. When you combine the emotional weight of loved ones at home, the fear of death, and the responsibility for the men you fight with, with this physical weight, you start to understand what soldiers in Vietnam dealt with every day. This quote sums up the confusion that the men felt about the reasons they were fighting the war, and how they clung to the only certainty - things they had to carry - in a confusing world where normal rules were suspended.


    If you have any trouble with the assignment, please go to our class blog (Allegory of AP, www.allegoryofap.blogspot.com) to find valuable links that will help you with understanding the text and the vocabulary.  Allegory of AP is also where you will communicate with me about this assignment; my email address is rosebooktalk@hotmail.com.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.


    Dialectical journals are due Monday, August 15; they will not be accepted late.


    Prompts to help you start your responses:

    ·         “The imagery reveals…”

    ·          “The setting gives the effect of…”

    ·          “The author seems to feel…”

    ·          “The tone of this part is…”

    ·         “The character(s) feel(s)…”

    ·          “This is ironic (symbolic, metaphorical, satirical, etc.) because…”

    ·          “The detail seems effective/out of place/important because…”

    ·          “An interesting word/phrase/sentence/thought is…”

    ·          “The imagery of this scene focuses on…and reveals…”

    ·          “Something I notice/appreciate/don’t appreciate/wonder about is…”

    ·         Or you may start with something else you feel is appropriate

    ·         Each response should be 3-5 sentences and should include your analysis of the literary techniques present in the quotations, the author’s attitude, purpose or tone, and relation to personal experience.






    Successful-Synthesis and evaluation of the text (90-100)

    ·         Features detailed, meaningful passages and quote selections

    ·         Coverage of text is complete and thorough

    ·         Journal is neat, organized, and professional looking; student has followed directions for organization of the journal

    ·         Uses thoughtful interpretation and commentary; avoids clichés

    ·         Makes insightful personal connections

    ·         Asks thought-provoking and insightful questions

    ·         A strong interest in the material as evidenced through an awareness of levels of meaning

    ·         Judgments are textually and experientially based

    ·         Predications are thoughtful and keenly observed

    ·         Character analysis is consistent with the material presented

    ·         Shows an understanding of character motivation

    ·         Comparisons and connections are found between text and other literary and artistic works

    ·         Recognizes the author’s writing choices and reasons for those choices

    ·         Recognizes the energy and deliberateness of the writing process

    ·         Awareness that their own personal beliefs may differ from those expressed in the text

    ·         Demonstrates an awareness of point of view


    Requires Revision-Some evidence, understanding and appreciation of the text (75-85)

    ·         Uses less-detailed, but good quote selections

    ·         Adequately addresses all parts of the reading assignment

    ·         Journal is neat and readable

    ·         Follows directions for organizing the journal

    ·         Uses some intelligent commentary

    ·         Addresses some thematic connections

    ·         Includes some personal connections

    ·         Does not summarize, but rather reflects upon the narrative

    ·         Predictions are plausible

    ·         Demonstrates some understanding of character motivation

    ·         Shows student’s engagement in the text

    ·         Necessary revisions include: ___________________________________________________


    Unsuccessful-Literal surface encounter with the text (0-70)

    ·         Only a few good details from text; quotes may be incomplete or not used at all

    ·         Most commentary is vague, unsupported, or plot summary

    ·         Journal is relatively neat, but may be difficult to read

    ·         Student has not followed all directions for organizing the journal (no columns, no page numbers, etc.)

    ·         Shows limited personal connection to text

    ·         Asks few or obvious questions

    ·         Address only part of the reading assignment

    ·         Predictions are unrealistic or improbable

    ·         Uses stereotypical responses

    ·         Entries are too short

    ·         Features off-topic responses

    ·         Exhibits confusion about the text and lack of critical interest in literature