AP English students create scarlet letters


Megan Wedhorn

Most teenagers don’t really want to point out their characteristics or stand out in any way, but last week AP English students jumped at the chance for an AP English assignment. 

After reading The Scarlet Letter with her students, teacher Brenda Shaw asked the students to pick a letter that described them, decorate it and wear around the school for an entire day.

“It was fun coming up with different ways to decorate my letter to express myself,” junior Taylor Lack said. “My favorite thing about this project was getting to see how everyone else expressed themselves through the letters they had picked and the different ways they decorated them.”

Shaw’s idea for this project was inspired by one of the characters in the book The Scarlet Letter. This is the second time that Shaw has assigned this project.

“Hester, the main character in The Scarlet Letter, had to wear the letter A to represent her sin,” Shaw said. “I wanted my students to choose a letter that represented something about them.”

Every student had picked a different word to express themselves. A few of the words that the letters stood for were: wild, positive, sassy, humanitarian, creative and outgoing.

“My letter was H and it stood for Humanitarian,” senior Gracie Davis said. “I picked this letter and word, because I enjoy helping people. Selfless service has always been something I strive to do at all times and I liked being able to show that through my letter.”

For one student, a mishap meant doubling up on the work.

“It was a fun project to create, but my dog literally ate my letter the night before it was due,” junior Kaiden Loep said. “I had to redo my letter, so it was not nearly as pretty or elaborate as my original one.”

The AP English students are the only students that read The Scarlet Letter and completed this project. A few of the students said that the book was a bit of a challenge to read, but they really enjoyed it.

“If you have not read The Scarlet Letter, I would encourage you to do so,” junior James Rodell said. “I really enjoyed how it all unfolded at the end. I would tell you how it went but I’ll let you find that one out on your own.”