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English Literature

Skip Nicholson

Skip Nicholson is a member of the Folger Shakespeare Library National Teacher Corps and leads and presents at teaching Shakespeare workshops. He taught high school English for 41 years, retiring from South Pasadena High School in California, and is past chair of the Secondary Section of the National Council of Teachers of English. He now teaches on-line courses for the University of California, Riverside Extension in English, theater, and education. He has been a mentor teacher in the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute and a Visiting Teaching Associate in Rhetoric at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He now serves on the faculty of Shakespeare at the Huntington, a summer institute for teachers at the Huntington Library. He leads Advanced Placement workshops and summer institutes throughout North America and chairs accreditation teams for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. His publications include Fast Track to a 5: Preparing for the AP® English Literature & Composition Examination for Wadsworth/Cengage; the Literature & Composition: Teacher’s Manual for Bedford/St Martin’s; and as consulting editor for five books in the National Texbook Company’s Shakespeare Series—Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet.


Day 1

Planning the AP® course:

  • Demographic, social, political conditions;
  • Equity and inclusion issues
  • Scheduling: year-long calendar and summer reading
  • Choosing textbooks and literary works

The AP® Audit

  • Writing the syllabus; Meeting the requirements

The Advanced Placement® English Literature Exam

  • Test development, administration, and scoring
  • The Essay section: mechanics; Question writing and student practice
  • The Multiple-choice section
  • Essay scoring: The 2019 Exam, Question 1

Day 2

Teaching Literature:

  • Reference and allusion, Shifts
  • Tone: Voice Lessons

Teaching Fiction: Fiction Boot Camp

Using the Short Short Story

  • Essay scoring: The 2019 Exam, Question 2

Day 3

Teaching the Novel

  • Selection and pacing

Teaching Poetry—Formal Study

  • Diagnosis, Strategies

Teaching Poetry—The Poetry Response Paper

Ekphrastic Poetry

Teaching Shakespeare: Language & Classroom Performance

  • Essay scoring: The 2019 Exam, Question 3

Day 4

Close Reading: Shakespeare

Teaching Writing

  • Revision Strategies
  • Vocabulary Development
  • Research, Theory and Practice
  • Evaluations for the College Board, the Institute