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May 26, 2015
Congratulations on your child being selected to enter Manvel High School’s AP Capstone Program. The
purpose of this course is to offer promising students challenging work that will prepare them for
collegiate reading and writing.
Additionally, because the AP Capstone Seminar course is research-intensive and because of the rigorous
calendar for this course, students will be required to complete a summer reading assignment in
preparation for the first designed unit.
In Alvin Independent School District, Advanced Placement courses are offered to students, who upon
successful completion of course work, may take AP examinations administered each year in May, and if
successful, they will be awarded college credit accepted and/or recognized by most universities. AP
Capstone courses, in particular, serve as a signal of distinction to colleges, many of which award
scholarships for students earning Capstone Certificates or Capstone Diplomas upon graduation.
Specifically, the AP Capstone Seminar summer reading assignment is designed to introduce students to
concepts central to the program. Students will gain experience in conducting preliminary research on a
specific theme through this assignment.
For the summer of 2015, the reading assignment comes from the following text:
• The Omnivores' Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
Please encourage your child to complete this reading assignment in order to be prepared for an assessment
in Google Classroom (code: kxdt6ou) to be completed before the first day of school.
Thank you for your cooperation and continuing interest in your child’s education.
Pamela Blades Tracie Lee
AP Capstone Seminar/Research Teacher Advanced Academics Specialist
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AP CAPSTONE SEMINAR SUMMER READING ASSIGNMENT 2015
1) Students must first sign in to Google Classroom AP Seminar Capstone 2015. Enter the following
code to join the classroom: kxdt6ou
Fundamental to the Seminar course, students must learn to read difficult texts through the following
2) As you read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivores’ Dilemma, annotate the text for information that
reflects the lenses in the above graphic. Address an array of lenses that connect to each other in an
essay, to be posted in the Google Classroom assignment (after also including in the essay the other
two components of the assignment below). Read specifically for information that reflects lenses that
logically connect or overlap as this connection will help you with the research skill that requires you
to create lines of reasoning in future research papers.
Example: Examining the economic factors concerning the “fours ways we get our
meals,” Michael Pollan asserts that “most of our food” comes from “industrial
farms”(L4). He also underscores Monsanto’s unethical role, from a consumer’s and/or
farmer’s perspective, in controlling the industry, especially regarding the forced purchase
of that company’s patented seeds, and thus, making the individual farmer’s re-use of
seeds from year to year illegal (L64).
Note: The above lenses only reflect a sampling of lenses types. You may separate the lenses, or you
may create your own (ie. Religious, Philosophical, Artistic)
3) Include in your essay an outside credible source that you can relate to one or more of the lenses of
information you have included in your essay already. Expound on your connection between
information in Pollan’s book and your selected source, relating that connection to one or more lenses.
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The information in your outside source may extend a facet of a topic in Pollan’s book, corroborate
Pollan’s research, or contradict Pollan’s findings.
Note: Peer-reviewed articles reflect a high degree of credibility and can be found on our
school’s library website, referencing EBSCO. Since this assignment will be posted on
my website, I will not post the password for EBSCO in this document because the
password is limited to only Alvin students.
Also Note: All Google searches for sources must be Advanced searches. Simply click
on the Tools icon and scroll down to Advanced Search.
To ascertain the credibility of an author/source, consider the following components:
Ability to observe (eyewitness?)
Vested Interest (stakeholder?)
Expertise (researcher? professional?)
Neutrality (biased? objective?)
Note: In Capstone, RAVEN is a verb. We RAVEN all sources.
4) Also include in your essay a poem or piece of art related to the theme of food and connects to one or
more lenses reflected in Pollan’s book. After an analysis of the poem or art piece, expound on this
connection in your essay, establishing a clear line of reasoning between and/or among any or all of
the three sources (Pollan’s book, your outside credible source, and/or your poem or piece of art).
ONE FINAL NOTE: I will examine your essay for the following criteria:
1) Language Control (mostly for diagnostic purposes)
2) Logical Connections
4) Thoroughness (Depth of Discussion that integrates all three sources)
5) Adherence to Word Limit (350-500 words)
**In addition to posting this essay in Google Classroom, you are required to bring a hard
copy of the essay to class the first day of school. I will use this essay to begin
evaluating/editing your writing. You will revise this essay after I make the necessary
corrections. I may require you to attend a writing conference with me, depending on the
amount of attention your writing demands.
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Please sign and return to Mrs. Blades by May Thursday, May 28th.
My child and I have received notice of the summer assignment for AP Capstone
Seminar and will comply. We understand that the completion date for this
assignment is AUGUST 24, 2014, the first day of school.
Parent Printed Name _________________________________________________
Parent Signature _____________________________________________________
Student Printed Name ________________________________________________
Student Signature ___________________________________________________