Honor’s Literature 2019/20

Course Description

New this year! This class is for the student who is up for a challenge. Our goal is to read some of the classics of the 20 th -21 st centuries and then to spend time analyzing and then writing about what we’ve read. My goal is to read two to three books per session. One book per session will be an AP book selection, one used often on the AP English Literature and Composition tests. For any student who desires to pursue the AP test in the future, this will be good preparation. This extra work will not be required of every student, but only for those who have set the AP test as a goal. ** Students, if you are interested, please write me a 500-word essay telling me why you would like to be a part of this class. Include information about the books you have read recently and any writing you’ve done, and any goals you have for the coming year. Please get your essay to me at cgmiller600@gmail.com by August 15.

Honors and Advanced Placement Prep

Goals: Session One

  • To read three examples of fantasy fiction: allegorical, heroic, and religious.
  • To explore the historical settings and forces behind the stories.
  • To add to the student’s literary vocabulary.
  • To correct any ongoing grammar and punctuation issues.
  • To walk the students through essay development from the idea stage to the final product.
  • To assess the students through reflective quizzes at the completion of each book.

To take a field trip to the Wheaton College Wade Center, a research and collection center for C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien materials and memorabilia.


Session One

  • Animal Farm by George Orwell. Easily found in through the library system.
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Easily obtained through the library system.
  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Easily obtained through the library system.

Session Two

  •  Lord of the Flies by William Golding. 
  • The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. 
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

Session Three


  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett. 

Session Four


  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. 
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. (Excerpts)
  • Peace LIke a River by Lief Enger.. 
  • God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill

Honors Literature 2019-2020: Session One Syllabus


Week One: September 6

We will spend this first class getting acquainted with the class goals and format.  No reading will be required prior to Week One’s class. 

This session’s reading selections will focus on fantastical writings. Though thoroughly fictional, these stories each pack a truthful punch. 

This session’s writing and composition will focus on some basics: grammar, punctuation, and solid essay composition. You will begin compiling literary vocabulary; this will be essential, especially if you wish to take the AP English test in the next couple/three years. 

 Begin reading Animal Farm by George Orwell. You will be responsible for reading the first six chapters for Week Two’s book discussion. To fully appreciate this allegory you should have a basic understanding of the Russian Revolution. You will be assigned a history scavenger hunt. 

Vocabulary and quotes will be expected homework each week.

Tea will be a vital part of our discussion time 🙂 


Week Two: September 13

We will discuss the first half of Animal Farm, propaganda, and allegory. We will develop our own examples of propaganda in class.

This session we will focus on the basics of grammar and punctuation. Each week we will edit writing and spend time on any weak spots. 

Each week this session we will also work on developing an effective essay. Week Two will focus on formatting and idea formulation. 

Read the second half of Animal Farm.  Vocabulary and quotes. 


Week Three: September 20

Discuss the second half of Animal Farm. Find modern day parallels. 

You will be presented with some reflective questions concerning the book. This will be graded. 

Editing work

Continue developing a strong thesis. 

Read chapters 1-6 of The Hobbit by Tolkien for Week Four. Vocabulary and quotes. 


Week Four: September 27

Discuss the first six chapters of The Hobbit. We will discuss exterior and interior quests; the definition of hero; what makes a reluctant hero. Discuss what themes are presented in this novel. 

Continue editing work. 

Develop and write three-prong thesis statements. 

Read the next six chapters of The Hobbit. Vocabulary and quotes. 


Week Five: October 4

Discuss chapters 7-12 of The Hobbit. 

Continue editing work. 

Finetune thesis statements. Begin work on the three supporting body paragraphs. 

Finish The Hobbit for Week Six. Vocabulary and quotes. 


Week Six: October 11

Discuss the final chapters of The Hobbit. Take a reflective test on the book. 

Editing work.

Read the first sixteen letters or chapters of The Screwtape Letters by Lewis. Define apologetics. Homework will require a one sentence summary per letter (chapter). I will also require you to choose one quote per letter. An essay rough draft will be handed in on Week Eight; we will discuss the topic and begin working on the essay this week. 


Week Seven: October 18

Discuss the first sixteen letters of The Screwtape Letters. 

Come up with working theses for the paper. Work on introductions and conclusions. Create an outline. Write the rough draft. Take notes. 

Read the next sixteen letters; continue writing out summaries and quotes. 

Assign Food for Thought 🙂


Week Eight: October 25

Discuss The Screwtape Letters. Hand in your summaries and quotes. 

Hand in your rough drafts. 

Take a reflective test on the book. 

Eat good food! 

Begin reading The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. 


Sometime during the two week gap I hope to take the class on a field trip to the Wade Center at Wheaton College. This is a center of research and collections related to Tolkien, Lewis, and their writing contemporaries. (The wardrobe which was featured in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is on display there!) Date TBA.