AP Summer Institute

Hosted at St. Johnsbury Academy

Visible Sessions:    July 8 July 15 July 22

English Language

Session 1: Peter Durnan

Session 2: Peter Durnan

Session 3: Peter Durnan

Over the course of the week we will fully review the AP English Language and Composition curriculum and exam. Participants will review and practice skills of argumentation and rhetorical analysis and share best practices. We will be visited by a guest writer and take advantage of local art to augment the experience. The week is intended to address the practice of inexperienced and experienced teachers.

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English Literature

Session 1: Marilee Eyre

Session 2: Richard McCarthy

Session 3: Robert Brown


Participants will learn and share strategies and best practices to help students enjoy learning and performing well in their advanced English classes and on the AP English Literature exam. We will explore a variety of works and share assignments. Bring copies of your favorite unit, lesson plan, or activity to share. If you do not feel comfortable sharing your ideas, you do not need to. But we would love to hear from you.

The proposed outline may change according to the wants and needs of the participants.


Introductions, overview, and planning AP course.
Examine the AP English Literature and Composition Exam Question 1.
View, grade, and discuss exam samples and rubrics.
Discuss point of view, structure, and literary terms used in analyzing poetry.
Look at various reading strategies and literary technique practices.
Share units, lesson plans, and activities.


Read and discuss the AP Literature and Composition Exam Question 2.
View, grade, and discuss exam samples and rubrics.
Discuss prose devices such as syntax, diction, and narrative pace.
Look at various ways to practice prose devices, vocabulary, and revision.
Share units, lesson plans, and activities.


Focus on the AP English Literature and Composition open-ended question.
View, grade, and discuss exam samples and rubrics.
Discuss novels, plays, and activities including reading strategies. Make and share syntax examples.
Analyze best practices for Question 3.
Share units, lesson plans, and activities.


Analyze multiple-choice strategies.
Discuss reading and poetry explication methods and activities.
Focus on tone and an array of writing assignments for drama, poetry, and prose.
Visit the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum.


Integrating Art.
Wrap up.


Participants in this workshop will begin with a broad overview of AP English Literature curricula, and will proceed to examine effective strategies for teaching students to read and respond to each of the major literary genres. Examples of both familiar canonical texts and works by emerging writers will provide platforms for discussion and collaboration, as participants experience and develop teaching methods and materials.

Rather than focus on teaching “to” the AP examination, the workshop will encourage participants to teach “with” it. Participants will collaborate in creating appropriate assignments and assessments that mirror the AP exam, and will practice applying the standards used by AP readers in evaluating and scoring student writing.

Even though the workshop is devoted to Advanced Placement, participants will find that its approaches and materials are readily adaptable to all levels.

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English Literature Experienced

Session 1: Robert Brown

Session 2: Not Offered

Session 3: Not Offered

Participants in this advanced workshop for experienced AP English Literature teachers will explore literature from the inside, from the perspective of “teacher as writer.” Under the guidance of guest artists – successful authors of “AP worthy” texts – participants will work on short creative writing prompts in the genres of fiction and poetry, receiving guidance and feedback as they share their work. Participants will work with novelist Maria Hummel, author of Motherland (2014) and Still Lives, which is due out this summer. (www.mariahummel.com), and with poet Kerrin McCadden, associate director of the Conference on Poetry and Teaching at the Frost Place, in Franconia NH. (www.kerrinmccadden.com) Concurrently, participants will examine and discuss selected texts with an eye toward enriching their own AP English Literature courses. AP consultant and workshop leader Rob Brown will cover current developments in the AP English Literature program, along with practice in applying AP standards in the assessment of student work.

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