Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Students Write AP English Language Questions

Challenge: How Do I Get Students to Remember the Types of Essays on the AP English Language Exam?

The Plan

Students never remember the three types of essay questions on the AP English Language exam until the day before the test (this phenomenon is akin to the one in AP Art History where the students need to review what's considered non-Western art until the day of the exam).

This year, my efforts to improve my test prep procedures are meeting my desire to create a student-centered classroom.

Today the last chapters of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are due, and this month students in my AP English Language class are working on a GoogleDocs PowerPoint for Black History Month. (The class curriculum covers American Literature and rhetoric for the AP English Language exam). I've also just finished commenting on outlines for student term papers. As I review in class each student's outline with him/her, I'm going to ask students to finish their PowerPoints and then use the information on Huck Finn and the class PowerPoint to create an example of each one of the three AP English Language essay questions.

Here's the class PowerPoint students can tap into. As you can see, students have already begun uploading information. I love the people they've chosen to discuss!

Students can look at sample essay questions to gain a sense of what they have to write:

Sample AP English Language Essay Prompts

2012 Free Response Questions

Once the students write the questions, I'm going choose the best ones and use those as practice essay exams for the entire class, so student-centered learning becomes student-created course content.

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