AP Literature Short Story Resource: "Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?"

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This resource is aligned with the Short Fiction II Unit of the new AP Literature and Composition curriculum framework. This story and the resources provided provide a delightful way to build students' literary analysis, discussion, and writing skills.

"Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?" is a terrifying story built around the massive cultural shifts of the 1960s where a teenage girl comes face to face with a Satan-like fiend, Arnold Friend, who poses an imminent threat. This is a story rife with elements to analyze: symbols, story structure, Biblical allusions, descriptive imagery, and more. Help your students deepen their analysis skills through this text.

Please note that this resource does not include the full-text of "Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?" but that the text can be found online or in a number of anthologies

This 40-page resource includes:

  • An anticipation guide to help students prepare for key themes and questions inherent in the text.
  • A teaching guide for reciprocal teaching that will guide you through the steps of scaffolding independent student analysis.
  • A reciprocal teaching graphic organizer, a discussion rubric, and discussion protocol.
  • Task card versions of discussion questions if you would like to try a different discussion format, along with worksheet versions which are perfect for sub. plans.
  • Suggested discussion questions.
  • Literary Argumentation (Q3) Essay Prompts with Rubrics
  • Prose Analysis (Q2) Essay Prompts with Rubrics


Alignment to 2019 AP Literature and Composition Curriculum Framework:

CHR-1: Characters in literature allow readers to study and explore a range of values, beliefs, assumptions, biases, and cultural norms represented by those characters.

  • 1.A - Identify and describe what specific textual details reveal about a character and that character’s perspective.
  • 1.C - Explain the function of contrasting characters.
  • 1.D - Describe how textual details reveal nuances and complexities in characters’ relationships with one another.

SET-1: Setting and the details associated with it not only depict a time and place, but also convey values associated with that setting.

  • 2.B - Explain the function of setting in a narrative.
  • 2.C - Describe the relationship between a character and a setting.

STR-1: The arrangement of the parts and sections of a text, the relationship of the parts to each other, and the sequence in which the text reveals information are all structural choices made by a writer that contribute to the reader’s interpretation of a text.

  • 3.A - Identify and describe how plot orders events in a narrative.
  • 3.D - Explain the function of contrasts within a text.

NAR-1: The narrator’s or speaker’s perspective controls the details and emphases that affect how readers experience and interpret a text.

  • 4.A - Identify and describe the narrator or speaker of a text.
  • 4.B - Identify and explain the function of point of view in a narrative.
  • 4.C - Identify or describe diction that reveal a narrator’s or speaker’s perspective.

LAN-1: Readers establish and communicate their interpretations of literature through arguments supported by textual evidence.

  • 7.B - Develop a thesis statement that conveys a defensible claim about an interpretation of literature and that may establish a line of reasoning.
  • 7.C - Develop commentary that establishes and explains relationships among textual evidence, the line of reasoning, and the thesis.


Teaching AP Literature and Composition? Check out some of my resources below:
1. AP Literature Test Prep. Choice Board

2. AP Literature Short Story I Unit Bundle

3. AP Literature Reciprocal Teaching Bundle

4. AP Literature Introduction to Poetry Activity and Poetic Précis

5. Brave New World Unit (For AP Students)

6. King Lear Unit (For AP Students)

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Total Pages
30 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
2 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.


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