Dear students and parents,
Welcome to English 11 Honors! I am excited for the upcoming year, and I hope you are as well. Honors English is a challenging course. Briefly, my expectations for “honors” students are:
- Diligence and responsibility (you get things done, on time, and take responsibility for yourself)
- Skill in Language Arts (you will have some challenging tasks ahead)
- Intellectual Curiosity (this is the most important one: you are open to learning, to thinking, to discussing ideas, to challenging your preconceptions, to seeing what your mind is capable of accomplishing)
In preparation for English 11 Honors, students are required to read selections from How to Read Literature Like a Professor, by Thomas C. Foster, and to read Anthem, by Ayn Rand. Students may purchase their own copies of the texts which they are then free to annotate as they read. If students do not have their own copies, texts will also be available in the Academic Administrators’ Office of the High School to check out in order to complete the assignment.
Directions for completing the assignment:
- Students should first read The Introduction and chapters 1-15 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor. For each chapter, as they read, students should write down at least (3) specific things the chapter taught them about literary analysis.
Example: Ch 13 “It’s All Political” 1. Books with political ideas are more interesting, and stay relevant longer, if they are not overtly political. 2. All novels are somewhat “political” in that they are about individuals in societies. 3. It often requires knowing about the “social political milieu” in which the writer lived. 4. “Rip Van Winkle” is an allegory for the American Revolution!
- Next, read chap 27 “A Test Case” but stop on pg 283 at the top. Write a response to the prompts on pg. 282, following the “rules” prescribed. Do NOT read the rest of the chapter (follow rule #4!) until you have written your response (if you are tempted to break this rule it is likely to be very obvious in your writing, so don’t! You are on the “honors” system here).
- After completing #2, read the rest of the chapter. Then write a (short) response comparing your original writing to the ideas that came up in the rest of chapter: How was your analysis similar to, or different from, the ideas in the rest of the chapter? What have you learned in this process?
- Select at least two more chapters from the book to read (Wait: Are you really just going to pick the shortest ones? Pick the ones that look like they might be interesting to you. Don’t do the same chapters as your friends. Let’s get a little variety in here). Write down your thoughts on how those chapters affect your thinking about the test case, and what you learned from those chapters.
- Read Anthem, by Ayn Rand. This is a novella (a very short novel).
- After reading Anthem, return to the prompts on p 282, and consider them for Anthem. Come to school in September prepared to write a literary response to the text based on ideas from the text, and from How to Read Literature Like a Professor. You may take notes and observations to help prepare you for writing in class.
I look forward to meeting you, and getting to see how you think!
If you have any questions about the assignment, please feel free to contact the guidance office at 356-8320, or the Academic Administrator for English at 356-8251