Using APES to Write Short Answer Responses

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What is APES?
0 APES is an acronym that will
help you remember the steps
to writing a solid Short
Answer Response on the
STAAR test and in the
classroom.
0 Think of APES as a checklist
that you can use whenever
you are answering a question
based on a reading from class.
0 From now on, all of your
written responses will need
to be in APES format.
A is for…
0 Answer the question.
0 This is the first sentence of your response.
0 Here, you rephrase the question into a complete
sentence.
0 Never start an answer with the following statements:
0 “I think…”
0 “Yes, because…” or “No, because…”
0 “In my opinion…”
A is for…
0 This is the most important step in
answering any question based on
the text.
0 According to the rubric for the
Short Answer Responses, if you do
not answer the question, you will
earn an automatic score of zero out
of a possible four.
0 For example, if the question asks
why Helios is angry with Odysseus’
men, and your answer is about his
threatening to take the sun to the
Underworld, then you didn’t
answer the question. This is an
automatic grade of zero.
A is for…
0 Read the following example. Locate the statement
that matches the A part of APES:
0 “Helios is upset because Odysseus’ men ate his cattle. In a
fiery rampage on Mount Olympus, Helios threatens to
take the sun to ‘light the dead men in the Underworld’ if
Zeus does not punish Odysseus’ men for slaughtering his
‘peaceful kine.’ Zeus understands that he cannot allow
Helios to take the sun to the Underworld, so he assuages
Helios’ grief by killing Odysseus’ men. The only survivor is
Odysseus because he was not a part of the slaughter.”
A is for…
0 It is your turn to try.
0 Read the following questions. Write the first line on
your worksheet. Remember that this first line is for
the A part of Apes; you are answering the question.
0 How does Kino feel about the prospect of Coyotito being
able to attend school?
0 Starting in chapter four, why does Juana believe that the
pearl is evil?
0 Describe how the doctor feels about Kino’s race.
P is for…
0 Proof! You can’t make a statement
about a text without providing proof
to back up your argument.
0 Relate this to lawyers in the
courtroom. They can’t just say, “Justin
stole the clothes from the store!” They
have to provide PROOF to PROVE that
Justin stole the clothes.
0 When writing about texts, your proof
comes in the form of textual evidence
(quotes from the text).
Embedding Quotes (P is for…)
0 When you add a quote from a text, you can’t just plop it in
and call it a sentence. Here is an example from our
question about Helios.
0 Here, the quote is plopped into the paragraph as its own
sentence: “Helios is upset because Odysseus’ men ate his cattle.
‘So overweening, now they have killed my peaceful kine, my joy
at morning when I climb the sky of stars…”
0 Don’t do this!
0 Here, only part of a quote is embedded into my own writing:
Helios threatens to take the sun to ‘light the dead men in the
Underworld’ if Zeus does not punish Odysseus’ men for
slaughtering his ‘peaceful kine.’
0 Do this!
Embedding Quotes (P is for…)
0 Can you see the difference?
0 One of the key goals when you embed a quote is to use
ONLY THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of the quote as a
piece of your own sentence. Look at the correct way
of doing this again:
0 “Helios threatens to take the sun to ‘light the dead men in
the Underworld’ if Zeus does not punish Odysseus’ men for
slaughtering his ‘peaceful kine.’”
Where are the pieces of the quote? Highlight them in your
notes.
Embedding Quotes (P is for…)
0 Please remember that your
quote MUST relate to your
answer. You can’t chose a
quote that has NOTHING to
do with what you are
writing about. Keep this in
mind: your QUOTE is your
PROOF about your
ANSWER to the question.
0 Poor quote = poor proof =
question unanswered =
failing score
Using TSQ for
Embedding Quotes (P is for…)
0 Embedding quotes can be difficult sometimes. How
do you start? Where do you put the quote?
0 This video can help you embed your quotes by
introducing a strategy called TSQ. It was one of your
homework videos and it is extremely helpful.
0 Please take your notes on your worksheet.
TSQ Video (P is for…)
Embedding Quotes (P is for…)
0 TIP: Begin a sentence that has an embedded quote with your
words first. Then, smoothly incorporate your quote into your
sentence.
0 Avoid using phrases in your quotes like “he says” or “states” or
“she says.” This is boring for your reader and shouts “I AM NOT
ABOUT TO QUOTE SOMETHING FROM THE TEXT!” It is not
sophisticated writing.
0 Make sure your verbs are in present tense.
0 When necessary, change all first person pronouns (I, me, us, we)
to third person pronouns (him, he, they) by using brackets.
0 “In a fiery confrontation on Mount Olympus, Helios exclaims that
Odysseus’ men ‘killed [his] peaceful kine, [his] joy in the
morning.’”
P is for…
0 It is your time to practice. Let’s do two together, and then
you will do the last one on your own. We will use our
original questions from slide six:
0 How does Kino feel about the prospect of Coyotito being
able to attend school?
0 Kino feels a strong sense of pride at the thought of Coyotito
being able to attend school. When Kino and Juana are sitting in
their home after Kino finds the pearl, Kino’s “face shone with
prophecy” as he tells everyone how his son will “read and open
the books” and “make numbers, and these things will make us
free because…he will know and through him we will know.”
P is for…
0 Here is the second question.
0 Starting in chapter four, why does Juana believe that
the pearl is evil?
0 Juana believes that the pearl is evil because it has brought
danger to her family. For example, after Kino is attacked outside
his hut after failing to sell the pearl, Juana implores Kino to
“crush it between two stones” or “throw it back in the sea where
it belongs” before the pearl “destroys [them].”
P is for…
0 See the color codes for the first part of the two Short
Answer Responses we just did. Working with a partner,
see if you can identify what the colors stand for. Your
answers should be terms that we have already covered.
Write your answers on your worksheet.
0 Kino feels a strong sense of pride at the thought of Coyotito being
able to attend school. When Kino and Juana are sitting in their
home after Kino finds the pearl, Kino’s “face shone with prophecy”
as he tells everyone how his son will “read and open the books” and
“make numbers, and these things will make us free because…he
will know and through him we will know.”
P is for…
0 Juana believes that the pearl is evil because it has
brought danger to her family. For example, after Kino
is attacked outside his hut after failing to sell the pearl,
Juana implores Kino to “crush it between two stones” or
“throw it back in the sea where it belongs” before the
pearl “destroys [them].” (Hint: The answer for the P
part is related to TSQ.)
0 Here is something to think about: why is the pronoun
them in brackets? Look back to your notes if you can’t
remember right away.
P is for…
0 Now you try. Working by yourself, try to answer the
last question on your own. Write your answer on
your worksheet. Your goal is to make your answer
sound like the two that we have already done. Look at
the examples before writing your own. Then check
your answer against the examples. You will check
your answer with a partner at the end of ten minutes.
0 Describe how the doctor feels about Kino’s race.
E is for
0 Explanation.
0 In a sentence or two, you
will explain how your
quote relates to your
answer.
0 Remember that your
quote must always relate
to your answer, the first
line in your response.
E is for…
0 This is one of the harder parts of the writing process
because it requires you to really think about what you are
going to say about the answer.
0 To help you get started, you can use transition words to
start off your sentence.
0 Example: “Helios is upset because Odysseus’ men ate his cattle.
In a fiery rampage on Mount Olympus, Helios threatens to take
the sun to ‘light the dead men in the Underworld’ if Zeus does
not punish Odysseus’ men for slaughtering his ‘peaceful kine.”
Zeus understands that he cannot allow Helios to take the sun to
the Underworld. Consequently, he assuages Helios’ grief by
killing Odysseus’ men.
E is for…
0 Example: “Helios is upset because Odysseus’ men ate his
cattle. In a fiery rampage on Mount Olympus, Helios
threatens to take the sun to ‘light the dead men in the
Underworld’ if Zeus does not punish Odysseus’ men for
slaughtering his ‘peaceful kine.’ Zeus understands that he
cannot allow Helios to take the sun to the Underworld.
Consequently, he assuages Helios’ grief by killing Odysseus’
men.
0 We have two sentences for this part of APES. You can
have one or two depending on your answer needs.
E is for…
0 Zeus understands that he cannot allow Helios to take the sun
to the Underworld. Consequently, he assuages Helios’ grief
by killing Odysseus’ men.
0 With a partner, discuss how these two sentences are
related to my original answer to the question: Helios is
upset because Odysseus’ men ate his cattle.
0 Does everything relate back to this answer? Is
everything connected? If the answer is yes, you are on
the right path. If it’s not, then you need to do a little
editing.
E is for…
0 Here are the E sentences for our first two practice
questions:
0 Kino feels a strong sense of pride at the thought of Coyotito
being able to attend school. When Kino and Juana are
sitting in their home after Kino finds the pearl, Kino’s “face
shone with prophecy” as he tells everyone how his son will
“read and open the books” and “make numbers, and these
things will make us free because…he will know and through
him we will know.” In spite of Coyotito’s young age, Kino
believes that his son has the potential to liberate his people
from ignorance and oppression if he is able to attend school.
E is for…
0 Juana believes that the pearl is evil because it has
brought danger to her family. For example, after Kino
is attacked outside his hut after failing to sell the pearl,
Juana implores Kino to “crush it between two stones” or
“throw it back in the sea where it belongs” before the
pearl “destroys [them].” Juana’s wealth is not
associated with material goods or money. For this
reason, Juana does not care about the money the pearl
may bring since she accredits the hazardous and
possibly deadly situation for her family to the pearl.
E is for…
0 With your partner, discuss how the E sentences for
our first two practice paragraphs are related to the
answers.
0 Find the transitional words/phrases that I used to
make my answers flow.
E is for…
0 It is now your turn to try.
Take a few minutes to
write the E sentences for
the third practice question.
You will have an
opportunity to check it
with your partner.
0 Focus on addressing how
the quote relates to and
supports your answer to
the original question.
0 Stay on topic!
S is for…
0 Special Closing Statement.
0 This is the last one or two sentences of your answer.
0 Wrap up your thoughts and claims that you made in
your answer.
0 Your goal with the S part of APES is to wrap up all of
your ideas into a nice little package of coherent
thought.
0 If you get really stuck, you can use a new transitional
word or phrase such as “As a result…” or “What this
shows…”
S is for…
0 WATCH OUT for these
closing statement traps:
0 Do not use “In
conclusion…”
0 Do not repeat word-forword what you have
already said.
0 Don’t bring up a new
idea that you haven’t
already addressed.
S is for…
0 Let’s look at the questions that we have already done
and see how the S part of APES works.
0 Kino feels a strong sense of pride at the thought of Coyotito being able to
attend school. When Kino and Juana are sitting in their home after Kino
finds the pearl, Kino’s “face shone with prophecy” as he tells everyone how
his son will “read and open the books” and “make numbers, and these
things will make us free because…he will know and through him we will
know.” In spite of Coyotito’s young age, Kino believes that his son has the
potential to liberate his people from ignorance and oppression if he is able
to attend school. For these reasons, Kino places a significant amount of
hope and monetary reliance on the pearl to offer Coyotito a chance at a
better life.
S if for…
0 Juana believes that the pearl is evil because it has brought danger
to her family. For example, after Kino is attacked outside his hut
after failing to sell the pearl, Juana implores Kino to “crush it
between two stones” or “throw it back in the sea where it belongs”
before the pearl “destroys [them].” Juana’s wealth is not associated
with material goods or money. For this reason, Juana does not care
about the money the pearl may bring because she accredits the
hazardous and possibly deadly situation for her family to the pearl.
Despite the life improvements the pearl may bring for her family,
particularly Coyotito, Juana is not wiling to risk the life of her
family for possible wealth.
S is for…
0 You have made it this far!
Now, it is time to finish
your practice question.
0 Take a few minutes to
think of how you can wrap
up everything you have
said already without
repeating yourself. Then
write it down.
0 Don’t leave the reader
hanging!
TIPS for using APES
0 Stay on topic! If you
don’t stay on topic, you
will not pass this portion
of the test. Where do
you find your topic?
Look to your answer to
the question. Everything
should relate back to
this.
TIPS for using APES
0 “Yes” and “No” answers
are not acceptable. Do
not start any of your
answers with “yes” or
“no.”
0 Remember that you are
starting your response
with an answer to the
question.
TIPS for using APES
0 Don’t use first person
pronouns (I, me, we,
us…).
0 To be honest, the
questions are not asking
about you at all. I don’t
want to know anything
about you! I want to
know about the text!
0 Stay text focused.
TIPS for using APES
0 Whatever you do, make
sure you at least do the
following:
0 Answer the question.
0 Provide proof (textual
evidence).
0 Explain your proof in
relation to your answer.
0 Sum it all up.

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