English Language and Composition
SUMMER READING/WRITING PACKET
COLUMBUS HIGH SCHOOL
May 12, 2010
Dear AP English Language Student,
Congratulations and welcome – you are now officially a member of the AP LANG ―family‖ for the
next school year. I am excited about leading you in this journey through your first college-level English course. Your journey begins with your summer reading/writing assignment. Your first step is to read this entire packet.
Together, we will travel metaphorically through the worlds of adolescent characters such as Lily and Zach in The Secret Life of Bees, Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, Huck Finn in Mark Twain‘s The
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and perhaps Owen and Johnny in A Prayer for Owen Meany. You will also rdmeet some interesting adults along the way such as Frederick Douglass in his Narrative, Guy Montag in 23
century America (Fahrenheit 451), Puritans John and Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, Hester Prynne in The
Scarlet Letter, and Tim O‘Brien in The Things They Carried. We will also read a nonfiction book which you
will choose from a provided list. Because AP Lang is a college level class, the books on the reading list contain mature content. Please be aware that alternative choices are not an option.
We also will travel literally through the process of your becoming successful critical readers and articulate writers. I will be your guide. Some of you will love the experience from the beginning. Some of you will be intimidated at first, but will end up enjoying the course. Some of you may never fall in love with reading and writing. ALL of you will learn. ALL of you will end the year as better writers and better readers. This course will help you in all future courses, especially other AP courses. AP Language will also help you increase your SAT scores dramatically. A bonus: AP LANG certainly will help you write a persuasive romantic letter to your future spouse (in about 10 years or so)!
Over the summer, you will travel through the beginning stage of becoming AP LANG students. By the end of August, you will have read over 500 pages or about 7 pages a day. If you will get in the habit now of reading and writing every day, then you already will be on your way to success in AP LANG. Do not delay the reading or the writing assignments. Complete the writing assignments as you go. Follow my suggested schedule. You will have writing assignments for both books—The Secret Life of Bees and Dr. Martin Luther
King‘s I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches that Changed the World.
thThere will be no required entrance essay this year. Your 9 grade teachers instead will provide your ththwriting folder to me. Your 9 grade teacher‘s solid recommendation (as of May 14) is also required.
I look forward to our journey together.
Please skip to page 18 to read advice from previous students who are now in college.
REQUIRED: Join ap yahoo gtoup at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Lucky_13_AP_LANG_CHS/
OPTIONAL: Join the facebook group: ap lang chs.
2010-11 AP English Language
Columbus High School
Instructor: Carol Wingard (Room 222)
Summer Reading and Writing Assignments
; Book 1: The Secret Life of Bees
For you, it is your May/June book: May 26-June 30
; Book 2: I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches that Changed the World by Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. Edited by James M. Washington. Paperback, 203 pages. July book (Writing assignment is due by the first day of class.)
th; Book 3: Required supplemental text: Elements of Style, Strunk & White (4 edition:
paperback): Read only the introduction and Section 1 by the first day of class.
; Book 4: Required supplemental text: 5 Steps to a 5: English Language and Composition.
2007 edition. By Barbara L. Murphy, Barbara Murphy, Estelle M. Rankin (Read
Chapters 1 and 2 only). MAKE SURE TO GET THE 2007 EDITION (NOT
THE OLDER VERSION WHICH IS RED. AGAIN: DO NOT GET THE
You must have a clean hard copy of all writing assignments with you on the first day of class.
The Secret Life of Bees
AP English Language Study Guide and Writing Assignment
Exciting news! . . .
The novel has the usual literary components, but it also involves connections to American history (the Civil Rights movement), to cultural history (white Southern roots and African culture), to science and mathematics (the art and science of beekeeping), to psychology (effects of loss and grief, the angst of adolescence, the importance of connections to others), to art and photography, to music, to folklore and anthropology, to religion, and to drama. Many previous AP English Language students have already read this book and loved it.
STEPS FOR SUMMER READING/WRITING ASSIGNMENT:
1. Read the enclosed ―How to Mark a Book‖ (end of packet). Learn to annotate a book as you read.
2. Read the pages about Sue Monk Kidd in this packet. I want you to know the overall story and themes, as well as
information about the author, before reading the book. I would not write the author assignment itself until after
reading the book.
3. Make a schedule for reading and annotating the book (several suggestions below).
4. Read and annotate the book according to your selected plan.
5. Complete the two writing assignments: SQUIDS writing assignment (explained below) and the AUTHOR
ASSIGNMENT (explained below).
NOTE: If you do not have access to a computer, you may handwrite this assignment (in ink, one side of the paper).
FAST READERS: You may choose to read the book quickly in one or two sittings. (I read it in about 4 hours, all in one day.) You would need to then go back to do the annotations and writing assignments. I would estimate that the process of annotations and the writing assignments would take anywhere from 5-8 hours total.
Possible schedule 2 (23-24 days, 30-45 minutes a day):
; Read 15-20 pages a day.
; Annotate as you read. Mark possible quotations for the SQUIDS assignment with a Q in the margin.
FIRST THIRD OF BOOK: Chapters 1-5 [7 days, 30-60 minutes per day, depending on your reading speed]
o Chapter 1: 2 days
o Chapter 2 & Chapter 3: 2 days
o Chapter 4 & 5: 2 days
Chapter 5 marks the end of the first third of the book. Stop here and write your
SQUIDS assignment (2 quotations for the first third of the book). [1 day]
Be sure MIDDLE THIRD OF BOOK: Chapters 6-10 [7 days]
o Chapter 6 & Chapter 7: 2 days to o Chapter 8 & Chapter 9: 3 days
o Chapter 10: 1 day annotate Chapter 10 marks the end of the second third of the book. Stop here and write
your SQUIDS assignment (2 quotations for the second third of the book). [1 day] in the
LAST THIRD OF BOOK: Chapters 10-14 [6 days] book as o Chapter 11: 1 day
o Chapter 12: 1 day you read.
o Chapter 13: 1 day
o Chapter 14: 2 days
Chapter 14 marks the end of the book. Stop here and write your SQUIDS
assignment (2 quotations from the last third of the book). [1 day]
EVERYONE: After reading/annotating the book and completing the SQUIDS assignment:
; Complete the AUTHOR ASSIGNMENT as outlined in this packet. [2-3 hours: You could do it all at
once, or divide it into smaller segments.]
What types of things should you look for as you read and annotate the book?
; SETTING (details of time and place)
; CHARACTERS (descriptions, motivations)
; PLOT (main events)
; THEMES (universal truths about life)
; CONNECTIONS TO HISTORY (group presentations: connections to history)
; SIGNIFICANT QUOTATIONS (can be from narration, not just dialogue)
Optional, but helpful:
Discuss these six areas with a study group or a study partner. You could do it on the phone, through IM, or in person. I would not take separate notes, although I know some of you may decide to do so. (NOTE: The writing assignments are individual assignments—no discussion or sharing.)
I will model one chapter for you. If I were to discuss Chapter 1--after reading and annotating Chapter 1--here are the main points I would discuss:
Chapter 1: an exposition chapter – introduces characters and background for the novel
; July 1964, with flashbacks to other moments in Lily’s life, including 1954, when Lily’s mother died as well
stas day before she began 1 grade, other random memories
; Sylvan, South Carolina: small Southern town (population 3,100). Lily lives on farm (peaches). Owens
Peach Enterprises: giant peach sign (Great Fanny).
th; Lily Owens: turns 14 on July 4. Misses her mom who died when she was 4. Looked after by black
woman Rosaleen who loves her. Lives with dad T. Ray who treats her in abusive and neglectful manner.
Smart, likes to read, does well in school, encouraged by teacher to do more than go to beauty school.
Wants to fit in with rest of kids, but does not because of homemade clothes, lack of a mother. Keeps
hidden a box of her mother’s things. Fascinated by bees in her room. Growing up.
; Rosaleen Daise: has looked after Lily for 10 years. T. Ray pulled her from working in peach orchard after
Lily’s mom died. Lives alone in house nearby. Protects Lily when she can. Age unknown—no birth
cert.—says 2 different years: born in 1909 or 1919—so, she is in 40s or 50s, probably 55. One of 7
children—not in contact with any of her siblings. Keeps picture of her mom in place of honor. Married
once before. No kids. Loves Lily. Excited about new law passed. Decides to register to vote.
; T. Ray Owens: Lily’s father, owns peach orchard. Tells Lily that she pulled gun when mom killed. Mean.
Only kind to his dog Snout. Goes to church every Sunday. Makes Lily kneel on Martha White grits for
punishment. Ignores her birthday. Calls her a slut for no reason. Never talks about Lily’s mom.
; Deborah Owens: Lily’s mom, died in 1954, but still major presence in book. More details in PLOT.
; Minor characters: mention of teacher Mrs. Henry who encouraged Lily; minister at Lily’s church (Brother
Gerald), 3 men outside store who beat up Rosaleen.
PLOT (events in order as they occur in chapter):
; Begins w/Lily in bed, watching bees in her room & listening to them in walls.
; July 1, 1964: thinks about Rosaleen—gives background information about R.
; Fantasizes about dying and going to heaven w/mom, what she would do: (1) would ask for forgiveness
(her m. would kiss her and tell her she was not to blame—―for the first ten thousand years‖); (2) next
10,000 years, her m. would fix her hair; (3) would tell mom –for 4 or 5 centuries—about how bad living
with T. Ray had been.
; Midnight: Beauty of bees makes her go get T. Ray to look; they are gone when he gets there; he does not
believe her; she decides to catch some to prove existence.
; Flashback to Dec. 3, 1954 when mom died: M. packing suitcase, dad comes in, they fight, dad tries to
forcefully remove L., mom gets gun, gun goes off somehow, mom dies.
; Background info.: Description of Sylvan, peach farm, T. Ray, lack of self esteem about looks &
popularity, girls at school (Lily miserable about it all)
; Rosaleen sees L. catching bees. L. tells her why. Background info. about Rosaleen, the story about the
Easter chick (biddy). L. wishes at times R. would be her mom (several fantasies: R. marrying T. Ray/L.
black & adopted after being found in cornfield/move to place where it is OK for black woman to adopt
; Background info. about Deborah: T. Ray gets angry if L. asks questions (told L. to shut up, threw jar of
jelly against cabinets). 2 things he did tell her: L. knows mom was born in Virginia; she would try to save
roaches by luring them out of house w/marshmallow and graham-cracker crumbs. L. found paper bag in
attic 2 years before that had 3 things of mom’s: (1) picture of mom by a car; (2) white cotton gloves; (3)
small wooden picture of Mary, mother of Jesus—a black Mary, with the words ―Tiburion, S. C.‖ written
on back. Lily keeps things hidden in tinbox buried in orchard.
; L. spends afternoon selling peaches at highway stand. Background info. about T. Ray being opposed to
her reading books, Lily’s love of reading, Lily’s attempts at writing, and teacher encouraging her to get
st; Flashback: L. thinks back to day before she went to 1 grade: father sat her down & told her his story
about mom’s death. Lily’s memories confused, unclear. He tells her that she picked up gun & it went off
; Back to present (July 2, 1964): Rosaleen watching President Johnson on TV, signing Civil Rights Act.
th; L. mentions to T. Ray her birthday is on Sat., the 4 of July & that she would love to have charm
bracelet/he ignores her.
; L. sneaks out in night to orchard, digs up tinbox of mom’s things, puts them on her stomach in order to
feel close to mom, falls asleep.
; July 3: T. Ray finds her next morning, accuses her of being with a boy, calls her ―no better than a slut,‖
makes her kneel on grits for 1 hour;causes hundreds of welts. Lily hides her mom’s things in her own
clothes & later underneath her mattress. R. upset when she sees Lily’s knees. L. realizes T. Ray does not
love her/decides to run away (―Then I’ll find another roof‖).
; July 4: Lily’s birthday. Rosaleen brings cake. L. begs R. to take her into town/they walk many miles/hot
and tired/rest in Lily’s church/minister looks upset when he sees black woman there/R. takes 2 of the
paper fans because of heat [some background info about R.’s religion here]/they enter town on poor side
of town (descrip. of poverty there)/center of town: 3 men playing cards harass and insult Rosaleen for
no reason/she tells them she is going to register to vote/they get up and continue to insult R./she pours
spit from snuff jar on their shoes/they beat up R./Rosaleen arrested for assault, theft, and disturbing the
peace/policeman takes L. to police station to call her dad.
; Lasting impact of loss and unresolved grief
; Importance of memories/connections to those we lose
; Loss of a mother: especially damaging
; Negative impact of neglect/cruelty by a parent
; Search for identity/coming of age/self esteem
; Effects of ignorance, racism, poverty
; Finding love/mothers in other places
; Importance of education and reading
; Last line of chapter: ―The door closed. So quiet it amounted to nothing but a snap of air, and that was
the strangeness of it, how a small sound like that could fall across the whole world.‖ One moment, one
CONNECTIONS TO HISTORY:
; Poverty and racism in small towns in South in 1960s
; Bomb drills in late 50s-early 60s: fear of Russia, its leader Khrushchev, & potential missiles;fallout
shelter models for science projects
; President Johnson signing Civil Rights Act: July 2, 1964 (seen on TV)
; African Americans wanting to vote
; Division between blacks and whites (p. 21 my book: ―Who was winning—the white people’s team or the
colored people’s team?‖)
; Mention of arrest of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Florida when tried to eat in a whites-only restaurant &
jubilation about arrest among whites
; Voting registration rallies in black churches
I. Introduction/Overview: The Secret Life of Bees
August said, “Listen to me now, Lily. I’m going to tell you something I want you always to
remember, all right?”
Her face had grown serious. Intent. Her eyes did not blink.
“All right,” I said, and I felt something electric slide down my spine.
“Our Lady is not some magical being out there somewhere, like a fairy godmother. She’s not
the statue in the parlor. She’s something inside of you. Do you understand what I’m telling you?”
“Our Lady is inside me,” I repeated, not sure I did.
“You have to find a mother inside yourself. We all do. Even if we already have a mother, we still
have to find this part of ourselves inside.”
Set in the American South in 1964, the year of the Civil Rights Act and intensifying racial unrest, Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees is a powerful story of coming of age, of the ability of love to transform our lives, and the often unacknowledged longing for the universal feminine divine. Addressing the wounds of loss, betrayal, and the scarcity of love, Kidd demonstrates the power of women coming together to heal those wounds, to mother each other and themselves, and to create a sanctuary of true family and home.
Isolated on a South Carolina peach farm with a neglectful and harsh father, fourteen-year-old Lily Owens has spent much of her life longing for her mother, Deborah, who died amid mysterious circumstances when Lily was four years old. To make matters worse, her father, T. Ray, tells Lily that she accidentally killed her mother.
Lily is raised by Rosaleen, her proud and outspoken African-American nanny. When Rosaleen attempts to exercise her newly won right to vote, she is attacked by the three worst racists in town and is thrown into jail. Lily is determined to save Rosaleen and finally escape her own father as well. Seizing the moment, she springs Rosaleen from jail, and the two set out across South Carolina in search of a new life.
Their destination is Tiburon, South Carolina—a town they’ve never been to and know nothing
about except that in a box of Lily’s mother’s belongings there is a cryptic picture of a black
Virgin Mary with the words ―Tiburon, South Carolina‖ written on the back. In search of the truth about her mother, Lily and Rosaleen make their way to Tiburon, where they are taken in by three black beekeeping sisters, who worship the Black Madonna. It is here, surrounded by the strength of the Madonna, the hum of bees and a circle of wise and colorful women, that Lily makes her slow passage to wholeness and a new life.
Captured by the voice of this Southern adolescent, one becomes enveloped in the hot South Carolina summer, and one of most tumultuous times the country has ever seen. A story of maternal loss, maternal found, love, conviction, and forgiveness, The Secret Life of Bees boldly
explores life’s wounds, and reveals the deeper meaning of home and the redemptive simplicity
of ―choosing what matters.‖
In the end, though she cannot find the mother she lost, Lily discovers and comes to terms with her mother’s past, finds a hive of new mothers, and falls in love with the great universal mother, who has been traveling with her, and with all of us, all along.
WRITING ASSIGNMENT: The Secret Life of Bees
I. PART ONE [72 points]: SQUIDS or six paragraphs about significant quotations. stFollow the instructions below. [Due to www.turnitin.com by July 1; clean hard
copy due on first day of class]
II. PART TWO [18 points]: AUTHOR ASSIGNMENT--instructions on next page
PART ONE [SQUIDS]:
Choose two quotations from each third of the book: Chapters 1-5, Chapters 6-10, Chapters 11-14 (total of 6 quotations). Write about one half page or 200-250 words per quotation. The word count
should not include the quotations. Your entries should be written in your natural writing voice.
There should be no trace of a source on-line or anyone else‘s writing. I should be able to tell you have read the book. Typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, MLA heading on first page.
[Select a Quotation, Understand, Identify. Describe the Significance]
1. Select a Quotation. Copy the quotation; include page number.
[NOTE: A quotation may be from the narrative—it does NOT have to be from
the dialogue of a character.]
2. Understand (in your mind) and prove your understanding by 3 & 4 . . .
3. Identifying the context—what happened before and after the words you
4. Describing the Significance of the passage—be sure to connect to overall
themes of the book.
WARNING: Do not choose one of the 5 quotations explained on
SAMPLE SQUIDS from The Secret Life of Bees [You may NOT use this quotation.]
“Time folded in on itself then. What is left lies in clear yet disjointed pieces in my head. The gun
shining like a toy in her hand, but he snatched it away and waved it around. The gun on the floor. Bending to pick it up. The noise that exploded around us.
This is what I know about myself. She was all I wanted. And I took her away.” thAs she approaches her 14 birthday, Lily is thinking back to her memories of the day her mother died, 10 years before. Lily has tried to remember other details about her mother, but her only memories are of December 3, 1954—Lily was only 4. She remembers these things in a disjointed, confused way: her mother packing a suitcase hurriedly, her mother picking her up, her father entering the room, and her parents arguing. Lily also recalls her mother running across the room, to protect her from her father T. Ray who is handling Lily roughly. Lily remembers watching her father shake her mother, who then got a gun out of the closet. Lily had run toward her mother to help. She remembers her father holding the gun, and she seems to think he pulled the trigger. When Lily says that she took her mother away, she means that she was the cause of her mother‘s death because of her mother trying to protect her. [At another point, Lily thinks of a time when T. Ray told her that she had been the one to pull the trigger. The truth is unclear.] For Lily, her mother‘s death
was the death of her life as she knew it—the loss and unresolved grief continue to affect her every day. She
still misses her mother intensely and yearns to connect to her in some way. The words ―She was all I wanted‖ foreshadow Lily‘s journey in search of her mother‘s story. The quotation also exemplifies the themes of grief and loss, as well as the search for identity. [266 words]
PART II: AUTHOR ASSIGNMENT--SUE MONK KIDD [18 points]
READ the following information about the author in the 4 articles pasted below. AFTER reading the novel: In your own words, write a two-page reaction paper (typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, MLA heading on
first page) about what you read. What interested you? How would you describe the author? What is your
understanding of some of her comments about writing, race, growing up in Georgia, religion, or the South?
(1) Teacher Resources: Sue Monk Kidd ~ A Biographical Sketch
by Maxine Williams
Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees, loved to write as a child but chose nursing as her
major in college.
She wrote in her autobiography, ―My desire to become a writer was born while listening to my father ply us with tales about mules who went through cafeteria lines and a petulant boy named Chewing Gum Bum.‖
Although, as a teenager, she filled notebooks with her writings, she felt that – at least in her town in southwest Georgia –
―girls grew up to become one of four things: homemaker, secretary, teacher, nurse. Since I knew all about the glamour of
hospitals by watching Dr. Kildare on television, I chose nurse.‖
She graduated from Texas Christian University in 1970 and did graduate study at Emory University. She worked as a nurse and a nursing instructor. She wrote in her autobiography that the only time she really doubted her career choice ―was when my English professor said, ‗For the love of God, why are you a nursing major? You are a born writer.‘‖
As she reached her thirties, the writer in Kidd would not be silent. Deeply interested in spirituality and Western theology, she wrote God’s Joyful Surprise (1988), a memoir describing her experiences with contemplative Christian spirituality, and When the Heart Waits (1990), which portrays the psychological and spiritual transformation she later experienced. The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Journey from the Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine followed in 1996.
The Secret Life of Bees, first published in 2001, is Kidd‘s first novel.
Sue Monk Kidd is married and the mother of a son and a daughter. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina, where she enjoys walking along the beach, kayaking, and sitting on the dock with her husband Sandy and their black Lab, Lily. http://www.readingacrossri.org/, The Biography Resource Center Providence Public Library
(2) INTERVIEW with author
Ross asks: Sue, our Annapolis book club, "Reading Between The Lines," loved your
novel! Why did you choose the search for one's mother as a main theme for Bees?
Sue Monk Kidd:
I have always been interested in the search for mother in the larger sense or in the
symbolic sense. By that, I mean looking for our source or our home. I think mother resonates in the human spirit as our source or our home. Lily was looking for her actual mother, on the one hand, but also she was looking for her home, her roots and where she came from.
A lot of people speculate about how an author's life is reflected in her work. In my case, my mother is still alive and lives in Georgia and is nothing at all like the mother in this book, I'm glad to say. So in this case, the search for mother is nothing I know about firsthand in a literal way. But I have been in a search for mother in the larger sense of the word.
Karen Scott asks:
Who, if anyone, was the inspiration for August, the African American strong, southern and educated female who plays an important part in healing Lily?
Sue Monk Kidd:
I'm inclined to say that no character in the novel is modeled on a real person. But it's never that simple. I drew on amorphous memories of growing up around a lot of wonderful, southern African American women. I recall as a child growing up in Georgia listening to their stories.
But I wasn't thinking of any particular one of them while I was writing. I would have to say that the inspiration for August came from a vision I carry in my own head of feminine wisdom, of compassion and strength. Essentially, I was just trying to imagine a woman that I would have wanted to find if I had been Lily. So I think the answer is that there was inspiration from numerous women, but not any particular one. Kelly Montgomery asks:
I absolutely love your book! It is so very rich in content and language. I am reading it for a book group in Chicago that will be meeting to discuss it this Friday. Could you give me a question or two to bring to the group?
Sue Monk Kidd:
I like the challenge of coming up with a question to pose to a reader. One idea that intrigued me as I wrote the book was the power of place in a person's life. Does place have the power to transform our experience? What is the impact of the richness or the barrenness of our surroundings?