Summer Work » AP Summer Assignments

AP Summer Assignments

Cutout of numbers on the left, open books on the right


All AP mathematics and computer science summer work will be communicated via student email addresses and Google Classroom. Please join one or more of the Google Classrooms below in order to complete the necessary assignments. Click on the class or login using the following codes:

AP CALCULUS — qz2k6ce

Teachers: Tuyet Julie Tran and Amy Brogna


Teacher: Catherine Ingersoll

Teachers: Sarah Bittermann and Corey Cheever
Note to AP Computer Science students: Please check your email continuously throughout the summer for any updates. Students will need a laptop/Chromebook/iPad and internet access to complete the summer work. If this is an issue, please contact Ms. Bitermann immediately.

In addition, there will not be an AP Computer Science A course in the fall. All the students who signed up for that class have been moved to AP Computer Science Principles. 

Important information:
All assignments should be completed by the due date listed in Google Classroom. Some assignments will have due dates during the summer. Summer work will count as 10 percent of the first quarter grade for the AP course in 2020-2021


Google Classroom Code: mm3d3qe

The goals of this course are aligned with the goals set forth by The College Board, which have been established to engage students in becoming stronger readers and writers. Through close reading and frequent writing, students will become aware of the ways in which a writer’s purpose, audience, subject, and style shape the structure of the piece and impact its overall effectiveness. Summer Reading and Writing, the first step, requires students to choose two texts to read and respond to in a number of ways. The assignment requires sincere, diligent effort on your part. If you are not willing or able to put forth this effort, please contact the Guidance Department before August 10 to remove yourself from the AP roster.

Due Monday, August 10: Book One work
Due Monday, August 31: Book Two essay

Students get to choose the two books. Books should be nonfiction of adequate length and depth. A sample list of authors is below, and we can provide individualized suggestions if you complete the survey on Google Classroom. One of the books can be a book being read for AP History class. One of the books can be replaced by three documentaries, but separate essays/prompts must be completed for each documentary.

Look for something that appeals to you, but be open to new writers, new perspectives, and new styles. Also be prepared: many of the works are written for a literate majority who care about the state of the world. As such, they may deal directly with sex, violence, and other sensitive topics. They may use language that reflects those realities. Suggested authors include:

Malcolm Gladwell
James Baldwin
Zora Neale Hurston
Diane Guerrero
Michael Eric Dyson
Ernest Hemingway
Flannery O’Connor
Hanif Abdurraquib
Joan Didion
Alice Walker
Cathy Park Hong
Sarah Vowell
Edwidge Danticat
Jenny Lawson
Paul Tough
Emily Nussbaum
Zadie Smith
Kurt Vonnegut 
Howard Zinn
Rebecca Traister  
Virginia Woolf
Mohsin Hamid
Jia Tolentino
Sandra Uwiringiyimana
David Sedaris
Chuck Klosterman
Jon Ronson
Alma Guillermoprieto
Albert Camus

Book One: Engaged reflections. Your responses should be clear, and fully developed with specific and relevant references to the text and to your own experiences and observations. You do not have to write these with a formal introduction and thesis statement, but you should strive for honest engagement with the issues the text brings up. Your responses will vary, of course, but strong ones will likely require at least 250-300 words per bullet point. 

  1. Consider the role of the author and the context of the book’s publication
  • Why did you choose this book?
  • Why did the author write it?
  • What does the author do to get the reader to care about the story itself,
    • to trust his/her credibility,
    • and to agree with his/her conclusions?
  1. Which person in the book do you (and say why!)
  • Relate to the most?
  • Agree with the most?
  • Disagree with the most?
  • Most want to be like in the future?
  1. What are the most important lessons that the book teaches you
  • As a student in high school?
  • As a person living in Everett?
  • As a concerned citizen who wants a better future?

Book Two: Essay. Choose the best prompt and apply it to the ideas in your book in a well-supported essay that reaches a third page. Use Times New Roman, 12-point font, double spaced.

  1. Irish author Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) observed, “Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.” Write an essay that argues your position on the extent to which Wilde’s claims are valid in the book.

  2. Consider this quotation about adversity from the Roman poet Horace: “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.” Then write an essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies Horace’s assertion about the role that adversity (financial or political hardship, danger, misfortune, etc.) plays in developing a person’s character in the book.

  3. Michael Ignatieff, Professor of the Practice of Human Rights at Harvard University, made the following observation: “To belong is to understand the tacit codes of the people you live with.” Consider how unspoken rules help define group identity. Then write a carefully reasoned essay that examines the relationship between unspoken rules and belonging in the book.

  4. Author and aviator Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906–2001) writes, “We tend not to choose the unknown which might be a shock or a disappointment or simply a little difficult to cope with. And yet it is the unknown with all its disappointments and surprises that is the most enriching.” Consider the value Lindbergh places on choosing the unknown, then write an essay in which you connect the book to an exploration of the unknown.

  5. One Hasidic parable says, “Never surrender a good question for a mere answer.” Consider the implications of this idea, and then write an essay that explains how the book embodies this spirit.

Criteria for success:
• Thesis statement establishes a clear position connecting the book to the prompt
• Specific, relevant details from the text illuminate the writer’s position
• Explanations and elaboration demonstrate a thorough understanding of the book
• Maturity of style and mastery of conventions demonstrate a writer in control

Please share all work on Google Classroom, or via email / Google Docs, and specify “can edit.” If you prefer, you can mail or drop off a printed copy instead. Please make copies or take pictures of work before mailing, and email them to English teacher Michael Fineran. Work can also be mailed. to: AP English 3 Summer Work, 100 Elm Street, Everett, MA 02149

Scoring Rubric

Level 4/A: Accomplished

Exceeds the demands of the assignment, successfully and effectively presenting and supporting its claims. The work is impressive throughout, because the student consistently and thoroughly processes and articulates the book’s ideas, engages in thoughtful reflection, and draws logical conclusions; and consistently makes insightful, unique, and true associations between the text, the prompt, and the student’s life outside the book.

Level 3/B+: Sufficient
Meets the demands of the assignment, presenting generally sound claims and including adequate support. The student frequently comprehends and processes main ideas, engages in thoughtful reflection, and draws logical conclusions; and often makes clear and reasonable associations between the text, the prompt, and real life. While adequate insight and effort are evident, the work does not have the full development or impressiveness of work that achieves Level 4.

Level 2/C: Needs improvement
Inadequately meets the demands of the assignment: may lack substance, direction or development; may misrepresent, misunderstand or oversimplify the content. The work does not demonstrate knowledge of the entire book, or may be turned in after the due date.

Level 1/D-: Significantly below expectations
Demonstrates little success in meeting the demands of the assignment: may show fundamental misreading of the text, or may substitute a simpler task for the assignment. The writing may be significantly flawed and hard to follow. The work does not show evidence of genuine effort; or the work is more than one week late. If this is indicative of your effort and/or performance, you should contact Guidance to transfer out of AP.

(0/F) Sufficient evidence of plagiarism or other shortcuts, online or otherwise, or the work is not turned in. If students are caught copying from another student, both students will fail the assignment.    


Google Classroom code: ztshjbu
The goals of this course are aligned with the goals set forth by The College Board, which have been established to engage students in becoming stronger readers and writers. This course is intended to prepare you for the rigorous analysis and writing that is required for the AP exam and college courses. You will be analyzing novels, short stories and poetry in depth and writing formal literary analysis. The summer reading assignment is designed to help prepare you for the work we will be doing in this class.

As it is a college-level course, performance expectations are appropriately high, and the workload is challenging. Students should expect to read and write a great deal, in and out of class. Effective time management is crucial. Summer Reading and Writing, the first step, requires students to read two books and to respond to the texts in a number of ways. These are valuable assignments that require sincere, diligent effort on your part. If you are not willing or able to put forth this effort, please contact the Guidance Department over the summer to remove yourself from the AP roster. 

The books you will need to read this summer are the following:
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

This book is available at any library or HERE

How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster
This book is available HERE

Part One: Due Thursday, July 30, 2020 via email or Google Doc to or potentially through Google Classroom.
Email contacts: Kaitlin Nardi and Emily Gould

Part Two: Due Thursday, September 3, 2020 to your English teacher

Part One
How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Revised Edition, by Thomas Foster

Take notes while reading this guide, as you will also need to refer back to this guide for written assignments and presentations throughout the entire year. Although you are choosing 10 chapters to write about, you must read and take notes on the entire book.

Written Assignment
Respond to 10 of the prompts below. Clearly label your responses and be sure to answer all parts of the prompts. You will be graded on the quality of thought and the quality of examples used in your responses.                             

Introduction: How’d He Do That?
How do memory, symbol and pattern affect the reading of literature?   How does the recognition of patterns make it easier to read complicated literature?   Discuss a time when your appreciation of a literary work was enhanced by understanding symbol or pattern.  

Chapter 1: Every Trip is a Quest (Except When It’s Not) 
List the five aspects of the Quest and then apply them to a novel you have read or a film you viewed in the form used by Foster on p3-5. 

Chapter 2: Nice to Eat with You: Acts of Communion
Choose a meal from a literary work and apply the ideas of Chapter 2 to this literary description.

Chapter 3: Nice to Eat You: Acts of Vampires
What are the essentials of the Vampire story? Apply these concepts to a literary work you have read.

Chapter 4: Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before?
What does Foster say about original works of literature?   Define intertexuality.   Choose a novel you have read and discuss two points that support what Foster claims.  

Chapter 5: When in Doubt, It’s from Shakespeare…
What does Foster say about Shakespeare being sacred?   Why does T.S. Eliot allude to Prince Hamlet?    How does Fugard use Shakespeare?   Discuss a literary work or film that alludes to Shakespeare.  

Chapter 6: …Or the Bible
What is the Fall?   Explain what Foster means by “the fat chord.”  What does Foster say about the depth of Biblical allusions?   Apply this to a literary work you have read. 

Chapter 7: Hanseldee and Greteldum
What is the literary canon?   Why do authors and readers like allusions?   Discuss a literary work or film that reflects a fairy tale.   Does it create irony or deepen appreciation?

Chapter 8: It’s Greek to Me
Explain the importance of Homer to present day readers.   Discuss two examples from literary works or commercials/advertisements based on mythical allusions.

Chapter 9: It’s More Than Just Rain or Snow
Explain how water is not always cleansing.   Explain the significance of rain and Spring.   What does fog signify?   What do rainbows signify?   Discuss the importance of weather in a specific literary work you have read, not in terms of plot, but symbolism/characterization.

Chapter 10: Never Stand Next to the Hero
When do epics work best?  Why does the reality of inspiration for a character not matter?  Discuss an example from literature or film that supports Foster’s best friend theory.  

Interlude: Does He Mean That?
Explain the “Intentionalists” movement.   What does Foster say about writers prior to 1900?   What does Foster say about lateral thinking, revision and composition?  Reflect on these ideas in regards to your own writing process.

Chapter 11: …More Than It’s Gonna Hurt You: Concerning Violence
Explain the two kinds of violence found in literature and then present examples of both.   Discuss how the effects are different.

Chapter 12: Is That a Symbol?
Explain the difference between symbolism and allegory.   Use the process on p. 113 and investigate the symbolism in a novel or short story you have read.  Ex: the green light in The Great Gatsby

Chapter 13: It’s All Political
Assume that Foster is correct and “it is all political”.   Use his criteria to show that one of the novels you have read in high school is political in nature. 

Chapter 14: Yes, She’s a Christ Figure, Too
Why do readers need to know about the Bible?   Why do writers use Christ figures?  Apply the criteria on p. 126 to a major character in a novel you have read.

Chapter 15: Flights of Fancy
Discuss a literary work in which flight signifies escape or freedom.

Chapter 16: It’s All About Sex… and Chapter 17: …Except Sex
Discuss an example from a literary work that uses “coded” sex. 

Chapter 18: If She Comes Up, It’s Baptism
Discuss a “baptism scene” from a significant literary work.   How was the character different after the experience?

Chapter 19: Geography Matters…
Discuss at least two different aspects of a specific literary work that Foster would classify under geography.

Chapter 20: …So Does the Season
Find a poem that mentions a specific season.  Discuss how the poet uses the season in a meaningful way.   Include the title and author in your analysis.

Interlude: One Story
Define archetype.  Discuss how a novel you have read is an archetypal story. 

Chapter 21: Marked for Greatness
Select a character from a novel with a physical imperfection and analyze how this contributes to characterization

Chapter 22: He’s Blind for a Reason, You Know and Chapter 23: It’s Never Just Heart Disease…And Rarely Just Illness
Discuss a character that suffered from disease in a novel you have read.   Consider how their illness reflects the “principles governing the use of disease in literature” p.  222-224.

Chapter 24: Don’t Read with Your Eyes
Choose a scene or episode from a novel, play or epic poem written before the 20th century.   Contrast how it could be viewed by a reader from that time frame to how it would be viewed by someone reading it now.  Focus on specific assumptions the author makes about his audience. 

Chapter 25: It’s My Symbol and I’ll Cry If I Want To
Discuss a symbolic novel you have read.   In what ways does the novel “teach us to read it as we go along”?

Chapter 26: Is He Serious?  And Other Ironies
Select an ironic novel or short story and explain the multivocal nature of the irony in the work.

Chapter 27: A Test Case
Read “The Garden Party” by Katherine Mansfield.  Complete the exercise on p. 282-283, following the directions exactly.   How did you do?   What does the essay that follows comparing Laura with Persephone add to your appreciation of Mansfield’s story?

Part Two
Frankenstein Or, the Modern Prometheus
Mary Shelley

This assignment requires effort and a serious attempt to develop your own ideas, rather than using analysis from Shmoop, Sparknotes or any other sources.  Using those sources for plot summaries prior to reading is a good technique, since knowing the plot allows the reader to focus on the craft, but work on developing your analytical skills.

Shelley’s Gothic masterpiece was written in 1816 when she was only 19 years old.  She was vacationing in Switzerland with her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and their two children.  Their neighbor, Lord Byron, a famous British poet, suggested a competition among the friends to write a horror story and Frankenstein’s monster was created. 

The novel is an exceptional example of Gothic literature, featuring: a supernatural or otherworldly element, macabre incidents, remote settings, characters in psychological or physical torment, terror, horror, suspense, the dark side of human nature and the conflict between chaos and order. 

Some thematic ideas/motifs to look for while reading are: identity and purpose, a shadow self, dangers of scientific discovery, restorative powers of nature, monstrosity, secrecy, poverty, revenge, injustice, roles of women, independence of mind, loneliness, and guilt.

Frankenstein is a rich and challenging piece of literature, therefore you must give yourself plenty of time to reread confusing sections and develop your own ideas about the content.  This is not simply reading for enjoyment, this novel is part of the AP curriculum.

Reading Journal - Quote Selection and Responses

  • Choose one important quote for every 25 pages you read. Write down the quote and page number. 
  • Write a response based on one of the following prompts. Responses must be at least half a page (approximately 250 words) and demonstrate sophisticated Do not merely summarize what the quote is saying.   Push beyond writing about what happened and explore the “So what?”   Ask yourself why this quote matters to the text as a whole.   How does the quote illuminate the meaning of the novel as a whole?

  • Clearly label which prompt you are using.

  • Please see the example that follows for formatting.
  1. Characterization: Comment on how the quote develops the personality of the character. Which traits are being developed?   How do those character traits contribute to the overall meaning of the novel?
  2. Theme/Motif: Comment on how the quote contributes to the development of a theme in the novel.
  3. Conflict: How does the quote relate to a conflict in the novel?
  4. Tone: Comment on how the quote expresses the author’s attitude toward the subject. In what way is this significant or meaningful?
  5. Mood: How does the quote contribute to the mood of the novel? In what way is this significant or meaningful?
  6. Other Literary Devices: Comment on how the specific literary device helps to develop a theme or contributes to characterization.
  7. Discussion Question: Create a discussion question based on an inference (reading between the lines, not just a factual question that can be answered by pointing to a fact from the novel).
  8. Foster: Apply knowledge you gained from one of the chapters from Foster’s guide to the novel.
  9. Interesting Diction/Language: How does the word choice or language help to develop a theme or contribute to meaning or effect on the reader?

 You will need to vary your selections.  You will need two hard copies – one to hand in and one for group work.

* This novel is one of the most popular choices of Everett students for the third essay.  Therefore, you may want to take detailed plot notes (to review in May) while reading the novel in addition to the work you hand in.  





“Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees – he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder.”


ch 6


Foster – Chapter 1 - Quests

This is Jay Gatsby’s call to adventure. 

1.     quester – Jay - and he must go alone 

2.     A place to go – “a secret place above the trees” is heaven

3.     A stated reason to go there – to gain infinite knowledge and live with God “pap of life” and “incomparable wonder”

4.     Challenges and Trials – Daisy, win the girl whose heart beats for gold only

5.     The real reason to go – Gatsby is a tragic hero in the truest sense, he is offered immortality, but he gives it up for mortal love in the form of Daisy.  “He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God.”

Earlier in this chapter, he is referred to as “a son of God” who “must be about his Father’s business.” One way to look at this novel is as a classic hero quest from mythology where a god/goddess gives up his/her immortality for love and, usually, is it an unworthy love.  Daisy certainly proves herself unworthy.   Usually the call to adventure is not crystal clear (it takes a true hero to follow something that risky), note how Fitzgerald writes that Jay saw this out of the corner of his eye and not directly.   He is a tragic hero, not because he dies, but because he stubbornly clings to an immature dream, a foolish grail, even when he finally sees her for what she truly is. 

Reading Journal Rubric

Level 4: Exceeds Expectations
The reader consistently and thoroughly comprehends and processes main and subordinate ideas, engages in thoughtful reflection, and draws logical conclusions; and consistently makes insightful, unique, and true associations between the text and the prompt.

Level 3: Meets Expectations
The reader frequently comprehends and processes main ideas, engages in thoughtful reflection, and draws logical conclusions; and often makes clear and reasonable associations between the text and the prompt.

Level 2: Needs improvement
The reader on occasion comprehends and processes ideas, engages in thoughtful reflection, and draws logical conclusions; only sometimes makes clear associations between the text and prompt; or does not demonstrate knowledge of the entire book

Level 1: Significantly below expectations
The reader rarely comprehends and processes main or subordinate ideas; or does not engage in thoughtful reflection or draw logical conclusions; does not show evidence of genuine effort and may suggest plagiarism or other online short cuts