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May 2011

Dear Student:

Welcome to English 2 Honors!  This course offers highly motivated students the opportunity to study great classics of world literature and to participate in composition and vocabulary activities designed for the college preparatory curriculum.

We look forward to working with students like you who have exhibited a true dedication to scholarship. Students are expected to go well beyond the requirements of other English classes not only during the school year but also during the preceding summer months.

As a reflection of this philosophy, you are required to read the following:  There is ONE required work of literature and ONE choice that must come from the list provided.

In addition to the reading, you are required to write TWO two-page responses for each novel. Please use the attached “Responding to Literature” questions as a guide.  INCLUDE AT LEAST TWO WELL-CHOSEN SUPPORTING QUOTATIONS that illustrate an important facet of your focus statement from the text to support your opinions, giving page numbers in parentheses at the end of each quote. PLEASE INCLUDE NO MORE THAN THREE QUOTES.

JOURNALS WILL BE DUE AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.  These typed analyses will be accepted for half credit [maximum] until Friday [the end of the first week of school].  After the first week of school, no credit will be given to late analyses. Your continued participation in English Honors will be seriously jeopardized.  It is very important that you follow these guidelines since the first grade of the course [100 pts.] will be based on your summer reading typed responses.  You will also take a test on these works of literature during the first week of school.

DO NOT SUBMIT JOURNALS TO THE MAIN OFFICE.  Teachers will not be responsible for any journals dropped off at the wrong time or place.

At Glenbard North, “Honors” not only signifies academic excellence but also ethical behavior. We expect all students will carefully read each assigned book and write their own responses. They will not turn to Cliff’s Notes, plot summaries, movie versions, or the writings of classmates to complete their summer reading and journal assignments.  

Therefore, we ask that all students write on the first page of their journals the following:

“I promise that the contents of this journal are my own words
and ideas based on my careful reading of the summer assignments.”
Signed:___________________   (your name)

We look forward to working with you in the fall.

The Sophomore Honors English Teachers,

Meggan Burgoni                  Melanie Lumb            Sara Noureldin


Lord of the Flies       by William Golding
What happens when a group of British choirboys find themselves stranded on an island?  Life without grownups, a paradise at first, turns into something quite different.  Golding has written not only a superb adventure story of children against the elements, but the ultimate parable of good and evil in human nature.

Choose ONE work of literature from the list below THAT YOU HAVE NOT READ PREVIOUSLY:

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings         Maya Angelou    
The Bean Trees                                   Barbara Kingsolver
Yellow Raft on Blue Water                       Michael Dorris
Ordinary People                                  Judith Guest
The Color of Water                              James McBride


1.  Format
B.   Date all entries and include the title of the novel (story) and the corresponding page numbers at the top
       of the page. Write your name and your English teacher’s name on the cover.
C.  Begin each journal entry with a FOCUS STATEMENT that you underline;
      it must include the title and author of the novel.

2.  Guidelines
A. Write TWO entries for each novel.  Each should be 1 1/2 page minimum, two pages maximum.
B.  Quote from the text to support your opinions.  Cite page numbers in parentheses after each quote or
     reference. Make sure you explain the importance of the quote you use for support.
Failure to provide at least two quotes, with the accurate page citations, per journal entry will yield a grade of D at best.

3.  Criteria for Evaluation
A.  A careful reading of the literature with close attention to detail.
B.  Use of specific examples and/or quotes, with the relevant page numbers, to illustrate your ideas concerning
      the  focus statement. AVOID PLOT SUMMARY!
C.  Perceptive thinking that reveals your understanding of the theme or “larger issues” of each work of literature.  
      You may use, but are not limited to, the attached “Critical Analysis” prompts.

Responding to Literature

Areas You May Explore In Your Critical Analyses

1.  The different uses of narration
2.  The use of real or symbolic characters and character development
3.  The values of an artificial society compared to larger society
4.  The relationship between old age and youth
5.  The treatment of evil
6.  The reliability of the narrator
7.  The resolution of ethical conflicts
8.  The use of irony and parody
9.  The exploration of the darker side of life
10.  The world of male dominance and patriarchal authority
11.  The use of the initiation theme
(the hero/heroine gains self-knowledge as he/she moves toward maturity)
12.  The use of reconciliation as the end of conflict
13.  An exploration of guilt
14.  The use of supernatural elements
15.  The role of violence
16.  An exploration of the destruction nature of pride
17.  The private self vs. the public self
18.  The position of human beings in the universe
19.  The nature of human freedom; man as a political animal; the State vs. the individual
20.  The struggle of the main character to achieve enlightenment through suffering
21.  The use of traditional Biblical imagery and symbolism
(use of a Christ-figure, an Eve-figure, a Madonna-figure, or redemptive symbols such as water and fire)
22.  The theme of discovering goodness in a fallen world
23. The role of a symbol/object and its connection to character and/or theme
24.  Do you think the title of this work is appropriate?  Is it significant?  Explain. What do you think it means?

Sophomore Honors
Summer Reading Receipt



Carefully separate this last sheet from your Summer Reading packet, fill in the blank spaces, and return it to your English teacher.  This is a declaration that you have received the packet and fully understand the nature-- and the ramifications-- of the assignment.

I, [print your name]                                                     understand that a requirement of English 2 Honors is to complete the summer reading of two novels as assigned, with the writing of two journal entries for each novel.

 I understand that without specific quotes and page numbers cited throughout the journal entries to prove that I have read the literature, the maximum of a “D” can be earned.

 I will follow the instructions as explained on the attached sheets and hand in my analyses on the first day of school.                                                                                                  

Student Signature

Parent Signature                                                                                                 


“There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury,
pp. 25-31

The human race, for all its accomplishments, is temporary and can be easily forgotten. Bradbury illustrates this point by offering a speculation on what it would be like if people were completely wiped off the face of the Earth. Every innovation created by mankind becomes useless after the population’s demise. In one modernized home, for example, “nine thousand attendants, big and small…[were] servicing, attending… even though the gods had gone away and the ritual was meaningless”(28). The machines continue running as they are programmed, but with no clear benefit to anyone or anything. Without the needs of people to cater to, the technological advancement that society places so much value upon has no worth.
The human race’s legacy is petty, erasable by time. Even time itself, invented by man for the purpose of convenience, will disappear, replaced by mere existence of the remaining animals, replaced by the growth or decline of nature. The poem captures this idea clearly: “Not one would mind…/ If mankind perished utterly:/ And Spring herself…/ Would scarcely know that we were gone” (29). In the poem, Spring is the embodiment of rebirth and life. It is symbolic of the fact that life goes on, regardless of losses, either big or small. Life is unaffected by the extinction of a particular species, even if the species in question stood at the very top of the ecological hierarchy. In the end, nature takes over once more, and “the fire crackled upstairs, ate paintings, lay hungrily in the beds! It devoured every room” (30). When nature reestablishes its control, it will be as if people – technology, government, diverse cultures and all – never were, but perhaps some traces will be preserved to attest to their existence when the next civilizations arise.  Bradbury uses the house to show that through man’s attempt to create ease in society through technology, humans have consequently made themselves obsolete.  Disconnected from humanity and nature, man ultimately destroys his own society, loses his soul, and kills himself.

Glenbard North High School | 990 Kuhn Road Carol Stream, IL 60188 | Phone: (630) 653-7000 Fax: (630) 653-7259