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Summer Reading AP Literature and Composition (12th grade)
Posted On:
Monday, May 23, 2016
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Summer Reading is required for upcoming seniors enrolled in Advanced Placement Literature and Composition.

Advanced Placement Literature and Composition

Summer Reading Assignment

 This assignment can also be found in Word Document formal on the following link: 

**What you will need for your summer reading assignment:

·         Copy of How to Read Literature Like a Professor (HTRLLAP)— You may get the PDF online. If you read from PDF, do not print the entire thing.

·         The short story “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty—You will need to print this story in order to make annotated notes. ( . If you aren’t able to print from this link, you can find the story by searching on Google.


**You will need to do three things for your summer reading assignment: (1) read assigned portion of HTRLLAP, (2) read and annotate “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, and (3) answer the assigned questions on this handout.

1.      You may choose to read the entire book HTRLLAP; however, you must read the following chapters in How to Read Literature Like a Professor:

a.      Introduction: How’d He Do That?

b.      Chapter 1: Every Trip is a Quest (Except when it’s Not)

c.       Chapter 12: Is That a Symbol?

d.      Chapter 19: Geography Matters…


2.      Read and annotate “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty. To do this, you must print the short story. If you find a good PDF format of the text (in two columns), it should be about 4 pages.

a.       Keep in mind what you read from How to Read Literature Like a Professor. If anything from the story strikes you as significant based on what you read from HTRLLAP, mark it and takes notes of the significance.

b.      As you read, annotate the text for meaning of setting, characterization, dialogue, etc. Think about how descriptions in the story contribute to the meaning of the work as a whole. 

c.       The protagonist is on a journey. Make notes of the deeper meanings of who/what she encounters throughout her journey.


3.      Answer the following questions using textual evidence from the text. You should answer these questions on a separate sheet of paper; however, if you want to use notes you took while annotating, you can give your answer on the separate sheet of paper and then write something along the lines of, “See annotations on page ___, paragraph ___.”


1.       What is the point-of-view of the story (first person, second person, third person limited, third person omniscient, objective)? Explain using textual evidence how you determined the point-of-view?

2.       How are the thoughts and feelings of the characters conveyed? To what extent do you know each character’s thoughts and feelings? Give examples.

3.       How does point-of-view affect your perspective as a reader? Do you think any situations are skewed by the point of view? Explain.


1.       Here is a quote from a literary anthology: “Authors use setting to create meaning, just as painters use backgrounds and objects to render ideas.” The setting of a story is the environment in which the story is located. This environment can be physical, political, temporal (time of day, time of year, etc.). List the characteristics of the setting of “A Worn Path.” How does that setting reveal meaning in the story? What is significant about that setting?

2.       In this short story, Phoenix Jackson takes a journey. Discuss what you think might be significant about that journey. The details should already be in your annotated notes.

3.       Each of you try to relate to this journey. Discuss and be able to tell the class how the journey is significant to YOU, how you can relate the journey that Phoenix Jackson takes to your own life in some way.


1.       What can we know about Phoenix Jackson? What kind of character does the author want us to see? List characteristics of Phoenix Jackson, as revealed in the short story, and identify the passages that illustrate those characteristics.

2.       Write a physical description of Phoenix Jackson, referring to passages in the short story.

3.       Contrast Phoenix with the white people in the story. What are the characteristics of the hunter, the nurse? Do the nurse and hunter seem to be more positive or more negative characters than Phoenix Jackson?

Symbol, meaning, theme, idea, irony

1.       What is ironic in the nurse’s calling Phoenix Jackson a “charity” case? (Do you know double meanings of the word “charity”?)

2.       What is the significance of…

a.       The scene with the white hunter and Phoenix’s reply to him when the hunter asks Phoenix if she is scared? “’. . . I seen plenty go off closer by, in my day, and for less than what I done,’ she said, holding utterly still.”

b.      Phoenix’s stealing the nickel from the hunter (and the hunter’s claiming that he had no money)?

c.       Phoenix’s statement that she “never did go to school,” that she “was too old at the Surrender”?

d.      Phoenix Jackson’s name?

e.      The title of the story?

3.          Identify and explain at least one piece of symbolism that you noticed that you haven’t already written about in #s 1-2

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