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Summer Reading List 

Dear AP Students and Parents:


Next semester you or your student will be taking AP English IV.  I am attaching a syllabus for the semester and this is subject to some change. There are several things that I would like you all to be aware of.

 Before returning to school on August 28, each AP student will need to read the following selections: William Shakespeare's A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Arthur Golden's Memoirs of  a Geisha and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  Feel free to borrow these from me, use the  electronic copy or buy your own copies and mark in the books.  IF you buy your own copies, highlight important information, make notes, make comments in the margins of the pages, etc.  You have an attached assignment for each selection.  We will also discuss and work with these   titles when you return to school.

Realize this class is one semester in length. Depending on which semester this class occurs you will most likely have AP test prep that you will need to do either after school, on Saturdays or on your own. In order to make a 3 or higher on the exam--these review sessions are VERY  important.  

One thing that I would like all parents and students to be aware of is that AP English IV is a college freshman class.  That means that many of the novels, plays, etc. that we will read will have mature themes and situations.  At any time if you or your child is uncomfortable with a reading selection please contact me.  We can discuss the reason for a particular reading and if need be there are other readings that can be done.

I am looking forward to having each of you next semester.  Please do not wait in beginning the outside reading.  Realize that if you are going to borrow books from me, you must do it prior to June 2. After that date I will be busy with exams and graduation and will not have time to check books out. Enjoy your summer.   



Michele K. Saunders


P.S.  IF you need to contact me over the summer, realize I will be out of the country and may or may not be able to answer email from June 18-29. I will respond to you when I am able to do so. Here is my contact information:


All this information is posted on the school web page as well.

Tentative Syllabus of Major Works:


Jealousy and Betrayal:

Othello, William Shakespeare

Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden

“My Last Duchess,” Robert Browning

“The Lady of Shalott,” Alfred Tennyson


The Monster and the Hero

Beowulf, Anonymous

Le Morte de Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Anonymous

“House of Asterion,” Jorge Luis Borges


Self and Society

The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini

“A Modest Proposal,” Jonathan Swift  



Hamlet, William Shakespeare

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Tom Stoppard

Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austin

“The Rape of the Lock,” Alexander Pope


Summer Reading Assignments


Directions: Complete one activity for Memoirs of a Geisha and one for A Midsummer’s NIght’s Dream from the options below. (Frankenstein has a separate assignment that follows).


Projects will be due on the tenth day of school and will count as 10% of the first 9 weeks grade. Each novel/play should have a different activity.  (You cannot use the Scrapbook assignment for both works).  Realize there may be further work for these particular works when you return.  You may not want to wait until school begins to accomplish these.


  1. • Scrapbook:  Create a scrapbook for one of the characters in the novel/play.  What newspaper clippings, magazine articles, ticket stubs, photographs, etc. would accurately reflect the major characters, theme, etc.?  Your final product should include at least 10 items and these items should have a caption as to what they represent and why.  Be prepared to defend your choices during a short presentation.


  1. • Community Resources for Characters: After looking in the phone book and on the Internet, create a file of community resources that would help a character in your novel cope with some issue.  If possible, locate pamphlets, Internet ads, etc. to show the class what the resource has to offer.  Write a short summary of each resource.  In a separate paragraph explain how the resource(s) would benefit and possibly solve an issue for the character within the novel.


  1. • Cartoon Squares:  Create a series of six drawings in six squares that show a significant event in the novel.  Under each picture or cartoon, write a few lines of explanation.  Be prepared to defend the choices you have made in terms of significance to the overall work.  


  1. • Create an “On the Scene Report:” Change events in your novel into breaking news.  In a video or in front of the class, interview people who will help inform “viewers” of the situation.  Simulate “real life” reporting by sensationalizing the story, breaking in with new developments, etc.  (This can be a group assignment and all participants will get a grade).   


Frankenstein Assignment:  You MUST complete both parts


Part 1: Create your own "monster."  


Victor Frankenstein set out to create life, not a fiend.  Your job is to create your own "Prometheus."  You are to make a visual representation of your creature.  It can be three dimensional, drawn, or even computer generated.  Think about how he/she looks, what he/she might wear.  Is this an ugly or beautiful creation?


You are to create an advertising campaign to introduce your creature to the world.  Think about why your "creature" looks the way he/she does.  What types of personality traits does he/she have?  What, if any, special talent does your creature possess?  How does he/she interact with the world around them?  What does society and the creator think about the creation?  


Part of your advertising campaign will include a videotape to show the world your creation and encourage us, the buying populous, that we cannot live without this invention. If your talents lie elsewhere you can choose to do an in-class interactive talk show to introduce your creation. You will have to have someone to interview you the creator and if possible the monster. You will either do the video or the talk show, not both.

Part 2: Music to set the Mood:


The novel is filled with many emotionally charged and even suspenseful scenes.  Choose three of these scenes and find music that conveys the emotion or the suspense of that theme.  You may use modern music such as rap, hip hop, alternative, etc. Also, do not forget the music of the past.  Look into the music of the mid 20th century such as the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.  Classical music and any other time period are permitted.  Do not limit yourself to only the music of today.  


Create a CD cover to explain your choice of music with each of the three scenes.  Be creative.  There should be a picture representing the book and music along with a title of your CD.  The backside of the case should list your three songs and the reasons for your choices.  

Have fun with these and be prepared to share them with your classmates. You are allowed to use your fellow classmates in your videos and anyone else that is willing to help you.

*Movies: I have a DVD player or a computer that will be available for you to play your assignment. If you can save to a flash drive, that is fine too. I can access YouTube as well. You will not be able to hook up an actual camera, cell phone, etc. to show your work.