Mrs. Olson's English Classes
McNary High School
Welcome to Mrs. O's English classes!
Advanced Placement Literature and Composition
Dear Students: I'm glad you have decided to take on the challenge of the College Board's AP Program! Advanced Placement Literature is a literary analysis/writing class that helps students to read and write at the college level. We read many genres of literature in a deliberate, investigative manner. Each six weeks you and 2-3 of your friends in the class will get to choose a novel or play "of literary merit" to read and study together; students find these "book club" groups make the class and novel reading more fun. Colleges and scholarship applications want to see the presitigious "AP" designation on your high school transcripts; so taking AP English Literature and other AP classes at McNary HS helps you with college admissions and college scholarships. By the first week of May each school year, students in AP Literature class will be trained and prepared to take the Advanced Placement Literature & Composition exam. Students who score a "3," "4," or "5" on the AP exam earn high-status college credit, credit recogized by the top Ivy League, private, and public colleges and universities. AP exam credits are more widely accepted at prestigious, private colleges than are community college credits. If you earn a "3" or higher on 3 or more AP exams, you will earn the title of "AP Scholar" on your high school transcripts.
Planet Earth English
Planet Earth English is an elective English class for juniors and seniors designed to improve students' skills in reading, note-taking, literary analysis, research, and writing. Each 9 weeks we study a novel, poetry, and music related to the novel; and each novel study represents a particular world culture. This is why the class is called Planet Earth English: we study a variety of world cultures and world issues on planet Earth.
The first novel and culture we study first semester is Vietnam. We read a Vietnam War novel called Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers. We view and discuss power points about the book and details of the Vietnam War, and students also present individual research.
We take Cornell Notes for the class power points and write journals and essays about issues concerning the Vietnam War. We take an AR computer test for this novel and complete a study guide for the novel. We write a five-paragraph academic persuasive or expository essay about the issues of the Vietnam war as expressed in the novel, poems, songs and our research.
This is the basic outline for each nine weeks and each novel/culture of study in Planet Earth English. By the end of each 9 weeks, students can consider themselves an "expert" on the culture and novel of study.
The other book we study first semester is Farewell to Manzanar--a memior by Jeanne Wakatsuki. This memior is about a Japanese family forced to move into an internment camp on the Oregon/California border; after Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1942, Japanese Americans on the West Coast had to leave their homes and jobs and go to a fenced-in, guarded "camp."
The first book we study second semester is Parrot in the Oven, by Victor Martinez. It is about a Mexican American family living in California. The main character, Manny, tells his intense story with humor. We study Mexican-American culture and research issues concerning the Mexican-American war and themes in this novel.
The last book we read second semester is a memoir called Night, by Elie Wieisel. It is an amazing true story told by a man who survived the most horrible Holocaust death camp, Auschwitz.
McNary High School