English I Pre-AP

English I Pre-AP Course description


English I is a required yearlong course. Composition will emphasize the writing process in developing well-constructed paragraphs and extended compositions. Grammar will focus on a review and reinforcement of basic skills and an introduction of new skills as they are required in writing and editing. Literature will focus on reading and analyzing short stories, novels, drama, mythology, poetry and nonfiction. Oral communication will focus on speech content and delivery.

Pre-AP English I includes the content above, and gives students the opportunity to practice (at the appropriate level) skills necessary for the AP classes in the eleventh and twelfth grade levels.  It exposes students to the type of expectations and activities required by the AP program, thereby laying the foundation for success not only in the AP English program at the high school level, but ultimately in college course work itself.  The course progresses at an accelerated pace and is highly demanding in its reading and writing requirements.  TEKS and TAKS readiness are emphasized throughout the course

Continuing Skills:

  • Daily Grammar skills practice/ weekly quizzes
  • Lessons on grammar, tone, literary devices, and many other topics.
  • Literary terminology
  • Multi-Paragraph essay writing
  • AP Essay Format and practice
  • Short story and essay readings, discussions and analysis

Major Units by Six Weeks

*Please understand, this is a plan—some of it may change throughout the year.

1st 6 Weeks:

·  Pre-Writing

·  Writing a Thesis                

·  Writing Commentary

·  Thematic statements

·  3 tone essays

·  Lord of the Flies Unit

·  Poetry

·  Project Part 1

·  Independent Novel

·  Literary terminology

2nd 6 Weeks:

  • The Pigman Unit
  • The Secret Life of Bees Unit
  • Improving commentary
  • TAKS review
  • Paragraph structure
  • Revising and Editing
  • Independent Novel
  • AP Essay format
  • Poetry Project Part 2
  • Edgar Allen Poe Mini-Unit


3rd 6 Weeks

  • Animal Farm Unit
  • Literature Essay #1
  • Propaganda and Advertising
  • Rhetoric
  • Poetry Project Part 3
  • Ad Project
  • Independent Novel
  • AP Test format

4th 6 weeks

  • Personal Essay
  • Poetry Unit
  • Romeo and Juliet Unit
  • Poetry Project Part 4
  • TAKS review
  • Independent Novel
  • “The Miracle Worker” Unit

5th 6 weeks

  • Bless Me Ultima Unit
  • Persuasive Essay
  • The Odyssey Unit
  • Research Project
  • Mythology Project
  • Independent Novel


6th  6 Weeks

  • Literature Essay
  • Of Mice and Men Unit
  • Pride and Prejudice Unit
  • Independent Novel
  • AP Test format review


 Summer Reading Assignment: 


Read at least TWO books and compile a short reading journal and review for each one.

Choose ONE BOOK FROM EACH LIST.  Follow the instructions at the bottom for 3 reading journals and 1 book review. 



The Martian Chronicles- Ray Bradbury Leaving behind a world on the brink of destruction, man came to the Red planet and found the Martians waiting, dreamlike. The strange new world with its ancient, dying race and vast, red-gold deserts cast a spell on him, settled into his dreams, and changed him forever.
The Red Pony—John Steinbeck Ownership of a red pony teaches ten-year-old Jody about life and death.

Little Women---Louisa May Alcott  In picturesque 19th-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy come of age while their father is off to war. This reissue contains the novel in its entirety, including Parts I and II.

The Crystal Cave—Mary Stewart Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myridden Emrys -- or as he would later be known, Merlin -- leads a perilous childhood, haunted by portents and visions. But destiny has great plans for this no-man's-son, taking him from prophesying before the High King Vortigern to the crowning of Uther Pendragon . . . and the conception of Arthur -- king for once and always.




Black Boy—Richard Wright Black Boy is Richard Wright's memoir of his life from early childhood to the launching of his career as a writer. His father abandoned the family soon after they moved to Memphis, leaving Wright, his mother and brother in dire straits. Schooling throughout his childhood was erratic and often interrupted; he eventually completed the ninth grade.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings—Maya Angelo In the first volume of an extraordinary autobiographical series, one of the most inspiring authors of our time recalls--with candor, humor, poignancy and grace--how her journey began....

Slam—Walter Dean Myers Greg "Slam" Harris can do it all on the basketball court. He knows he's got what it takes to go all the way to the top. Slam's grades aren't so hot, though, and when his teachers jam his troubles in his face, he blows up.

Native Son—Richard Wright Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.

Somewhere in the Darkness—Walter Dean Myers Jimmy's life is disrupted when a stranger, who is his father, comes to take him on a car trip. During their travels Jimmy must face the truth about who his father is, who he is, and what family really means.


Reading Journal Instructions:


For each book, you will be required to turn in a reading journal. About every few chapters (or about every 20-25 pages) stop and answer ONE of the questions below. You do not need to copy the question, but write the answer in complete sentences. Each response should be at least 5-7 sentences long. You must have at least THREE journal entries per book in addition to a review at the end.


1.       Summarize the events of the last section you read.

2.       Describe two of the main characters. Be sure to include physical description, as well as clues to their personalities. INCLUDE A QUOTE FROM THE TEXT.

3.       Relate an event from the book to something in your own life. How were your feelings different or similar to the characters’? How are you like to or different from a character?

4.       Describe the setting of the book—either the book as a whole or a scene in the book. Include details about time and place, and why it is important to the book as a whole.

5.       Predict what you think will happen in the next few chapters of the book. (obviously, you must not be finished with the book

6.       Write about the book’s main idea and/or theme. What is it? Is there more than one?

7.       Choose a scene from the book and describe it using lots of adjectives.  

Example Reading journal entry: Pg. 54 Chapter 1: “The Bride” Question #2. One of the main characters in the book is Buttercup. She is introduced as a baby, but most of the events take place when she is a young woman. She is described on page 54 as having hair “the color of Autumn” and skin the color of “wintery cream”. Wesley is the main male character. He is described as having “eyes like the sea before a storm” and “pale blond hair,” (g. 46). In her bed one night, Buttercup thinks, “the farmboy did have good teeth…white and perfect, particularly”(pg. 46) This is one of the first clues of her feelings about him.  He is quiet, and in love with Buttercup, who at first pays him no attention at all. She realizes that she loves him eventually, but they are not together long.  

Book Review: Describe and evaluate the books you have read in a well-developed book review. Use the outline below as a guide for your writing. You may print or type this paper. If you type it, please double space and don't use a script font--it is difficult to read. 

 I .   Introduction: Include title, author, publication year, and any background information about the book’s setting, if it’s part of a series, or any other pertinent information. 

 II. Summary: Begin with a description of the setting (time and place) and a description of the main characters. What is the books point of view (who is telling the story?)Then list the main events in the book in chronological order.  Identify the climax and the resolution. Then discuss the theme or main ideas of the novel.

 III.    Evaluation: Did the author achieve his/her purpose? In other words, if the book’s theme was romance, was it an accurate description of love? Did the characters seem believable? Were they complex or simple? Was the pace of the book appropriate?  Finally, did you enjoy the book, and would you recommend it to a friend? 

This will be a major grade the first 6 weeks of the year.