AP Literature: Heroes & Villains


AP Literature & Composition enables students to hone their ability to do college-level work. Themes uniting insights about human nature, including the flexible, transient nature of heroes and villains, and close study of poetry and plays prepare students for college-level assignments.

Students should expect:

  • challenging reading, which they will prepare in order to lead discussions;

  • immersion in essay-writing and in oral exercises of essay development;

  • poetry analysis; and grades which reflect motivation, tenacity, and performance.

Expect to read -- a lot.  Expect to write -- a lot.

Class includes significant portfolio writing of AP-type essays, which will be graded and reviewed for strengths and weaknesses, but will not be revised in the manner of previous NFS courses. 

The course will also include an in-depth study of poetry & poetic techniques, with an emphasis on analyzing techniques authors use, and the ways in which such techniques alter the reader’s experience of each poem (text is Perrine’s Sound and Sense).

Students will take a number of practice AP exams, including two full-length (three hour) practice exams as preparation for the real thing.

Readings for in-depth analysis include: epic poetry (Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight); plays (The Glass Menagerie, A Doll’s House, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Ernest, Death of a Salesman); novels (Frankenstein, Grendel, The Heart of Darkness, Beloved, Slaughterhouse Five); and selected short stories & essays, including Joyce’s Dubliners & Swift’s A Modest Proposal.

As the final year for most North Fork students before they head off to college, this class also includes quarterly professional self-reviews, which include assessing various aspects of their performance on an employer-focused rubric, and submitting a business letter requesting "pay" (grades and extra credit).

Exit interviews each quarter raise student awareness of key elements employers will be looking for, personal qualities college admissions committees assess, and how their personal motivation and work ethic translate into the larger world outside a classroom.

Heroes & Villains: plays, novels, poetry

Heroes & Villains: plays, novels, poetry

AP Literature requires an intense schedule of reading. The second year of a two-year preparation for the AP Literature & Composition Exam, English IV is a full-year course.

Students meet two days per week for 90 minutes each day.