Monday, December 12, 2016
AP Lang, Annie Dillard, & a Starling Murmuration
Each year around this time, my students read and write about an Annie Dillard passage on the experience of witnessing a large flock of birds. Most teachers of AP English Language are familiar with the Audubon-Dillard prompt, in which students are asked to read two passages by John James Audubon and Annie Dillard and then compare how each author's use of language reflects the experience and the effect on the observer. The descriptive passage by Dillard has a transcendental approach, reflecting a spiritual connection between Dillard and the natural world. After writing the essay, I often share this video of a starling murmuration to help the students appreciate the awesome spectacle which Dillard beheld and was inspired to write about.