Additional materialsBesides a main text or texts, do you have any ancillary materials?
I also use How to Read Literature Like a Professor. It's incredibly accessible for students who don't yet know the language of criticism. It also helps them see that we don't just imagine symbols or meaning in texts! Occasionally, depending on the class, I'll also use Stephen King's On Writing, which is a valuable tool for students needing an introduction to professional writing. It is perhaps a better fit for an AP Language course, but I find it useful in AP Literature as well.
Also, a wonderful tool for poetry analysis is Sound and Sense. I think it's now in it's 9th edition, although I just copy chapters from my older edition for distribution. It breaks down each aspect of poetry students may be expected to consider in their analysis, including sound devices, meter & rhythm, irony, etc. I often give students chapters to study just before the test as well, since we cover poetry heavily at the beginning of school and primarily study novels throughout the rest of the year.
Great ideas, Everyone! I, too, recommend Sound and Sense. I also find that throwing in some non-fiction is a good way to concentrate on style analysis without the distractions of plot, characters, etc. Selections by Annie Dillard work quite well, as do excerpts from Wendell Berry. There are so many of these kinds of works to choose from, and they can be done in a more focused and limited way. That means you can intersperse a short narrative or essay specific to tone, or whatever else you're working on, to check progress or to review. A great change of pace.
Have a great year!
I use the theatrical representations of the books I teach as long as they follow closely to the literature. When I am teaching my Multicultural unit about diversity, I have some YouTube videos I burned to a DVD to show and same with my Disability unit that I do right before Flowers For Algernon. I also have some games that work well for review like grammar bingo etc.
...although I teach Basic English - the polar opposite of AP - I can bet you money that they will be effective for higher level kids as well.
I frequently pull materials from DiYanni's Literature collection. Besides these types of texts, I also use Reviewing Basic Grammar to help students with persistent errors in their use of language. I also use a test preparation book to help them get familiar with test-taking strategies. Finally, there's nothing like past exams to help students prepare, so I've purchased a few of the released exams from the College Board so that students can practice with the actual exam materials.
My students are reading selected chapters of How to Read Literature Like a Professor as part of their summer reading. The other chapters will be used as a complement to the literature of the first semester. Sometimes I think students think that English teachers have a magic file cabinet of "meaning," but this book illustrates what happens as people become more well read and they start to notice the motifs and archetypes used by so many authors.
I generally use whatever I can find. I use different additional materials at different times, depending on how long I have to teach a book and what my focus is. I also try to take advatage of additional resources as I gather them. The more the merrier with me, as far as resources are concerned! I like to take everything and pick through it.