Pre-AP English I

Pre-AP ELA gives students foundational reading and writing skills by providing regular practice in close examination of texts and evidence-based writing and speaking.

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Pre-AP ELA focuses on the close reading, analytical writing, and language skills that have immediate relevance for students across their current courses and that are most essential for their future work in high school, college, and careers.

Texts take center stage in the Pre-AP ELA classroom, where students will prepare for close, critical reading of a wide range of materials. The course trains the reader to observe the small details within a text in order to arrive at a deeper understanding of the whole. It also trains the writer to focus on crafting complex sentences as the foundation for writing in order to facilitate complex thinking and to communicate ideas clearly. 

Instructional Shifts

Pre-AP ELA instructional resources focus on the following key instructional shifts:

  • Emphasis on close reading of complex texts: Students read closely and analyze a range of complex literary and informational texts.
  • Stress on valuing evidence: Students value textual evidence and incorporate it effectively in writing and speaking.
  • Focus on attention to language: Students understand how writers and speakers use specific words and sentences to move the thoughts, emotions, and actions of readers and listeners.

Course at a Glance

The tabs below show the four main units in Pre-AP ELA, the recommended length of each unit, the featured text types used in each, and the skills each focuses on.

Skills focus across all units:

  • Close reading
  • Writing process
  • Analytical writing
  • Sentence and paragraph structures
  • Collaborative communication



Unit title: Telling Details

Featured text types: Short stories and visual texts

Timeframe: 7 weeks

Skills Focus

  • Short story features
  • Making meaning from visuals
  • Literary analysis

Unit title: Pivotal Words and Phrases

Featured text types: Poetry and drama

Timeframe: 7 weeks

Skills Focus

  • Poetry and drama features/analysis
  • Essay structures
  • Oral delivery/presentation

Unit title: The Nature of Arguments

Featured text types: Speeches and essays

Timeframe: 7 weeks

Skills Focus

  • Argument features/analysis
  • Essay structures
  • Oral delivery/presentation

Unit title: Novel Study

Featured text types: Opening chapters of novels

Timeframe: 7 weeks

Skills Focus

  • Analyzing fiction
  • Writing a literary analysis

Underlying Unit Foundations

These big ideas are addressed across units:

  • Engaging with texts
  • Constructing texts
  • Focusing on language
  • Researching to learn
  • Entering the conversation

Instructional Resources

  • A course framework, texts, and targeted lessons provide teacher support and student scaffolding for implementing the instructional shifts and shared routines for reading and writing.
  • Local school or district materials can be used alongside the Pre-AP resources during the unit with continued infusion of instructional shifts and routines.

Assessments and Feedback

Each unit includes:

  • Assessments: Short, digital formative quizzes, or learning checkpoints, offer opportunities for actionable feedback within each unit.
  • A performance task (assignment): This performance-based task is scored by the teacher. It features a writing prompt and rubric that build readiness for the SAT Essay and free-response questions on the AP Exam.