Setting the scene


AP English 12 students Joule Tazbir (12) and Elise Bereolos (12) act out the novel The Awakening by Kate Chopin. This was one of five literary works assigned for summer reading.

Sarah Bredar, Author

Summer reading is the bane of advanced and Advanced Placement english classes. However, in AP English 12, Mr. Ron Fredrick, English, deviates from the norm and gives his students a unique chance to test their knowledge of the summer reading.

“This type of exam, a curriculum-embedded performance assessment, better assesses their grasp [and] their understanding of the work. Multiple choice tests tend, I think, to be somewhat not equitable because they tend to [just address] surface level questions, and literal level questions also tend to be somewhat subjective. What I think is important in terms of a fact may not be what you think is important in terms of a fact,” Mr. Fredrick said.

Compared to years past, this summer reading assessment was much more of a creative process. Students were assigned into groups, in which they wrote scripts for the books assigned to them.

“I enjoyed the project a lot more than things we’ve done for summer reading in the past. My whole group got along and worked really well together and it was an overall non-stressful experience,” Elise Bereolos (12) said.

In addition to the performances, the five summer reading books were also new to the curriculum. The works assigned this year were The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Billy Budd by Herman Melville, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and The Piano Lesson by August Wilson.
“I try to tie my books in with something we are doing over the course of the year. The reason that these five were the ones that we read [is] they are, in addition to what we normally read, the next five most frequently mentioned books on the open question on the AP Literature and Composition exam. So the purpose was assist [and] expand the students’ knowledge base for the AP exam,” Mr. Fredrick said.