Scaling the AP Language Mountain: Managing

Report
Scaling the AP Language Mountain:
Managing the Paper Load for
Rookie Rhetoricians
Dr. Stacey L. Aronow
Souderton Area High School
Souderton, PA
Sheryl L. Miller Hosey
Council Rock High School South
Holland, PA
Dr. Stacey L. Aronow
• 15 years teaching high school English 9-12
• 4 years teaching AP Language and Composition
• Award-winning journalism instructor
– 13 years as newspaper adviser
• 4 years teaching at the university level (graduate-level
education courses)
• Block schedule in a suburban, middle to upper-middle
class school with 2,200 students, AP classes average
28-30 students each with 5 sections offered
• [email protected]
Sheryl L. Miller Hosey
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18 years of teaching experience
12 years at current high school
4 years teaching AP Language and Composition
Specialization in teaching Shakespeare through
performance, public speaking and theatre
• Traditional schedule in a suburban, upper-class
school with 2,450 students, AP classes average 2530 students each in 3 sections offered
• [email protected]
Block vs. Traditional Schedules
• Block at Souderton
– Four 90-minute periods on a 4X4 schedule
(teachers teach 3 and change students mid-year)
• Fall semester: September – January
• Spring semester: February – June
• Traditional at Council Rock
– Nine 55-minute periods
(teachers teach 5 with same students all year)
• Fall semester: August – January
• Spring semester: January – June
Quality vs. Quantity
• We believe that it is not about how MUCH
students write; rather, it is about how WELL
they write.
• Ultimately, students benefit more from
learning how to write effectively even if they
turn work in less frequently.
• Our time should be spent on assessing the
students’ best work rather than rushed or
sloppy work.
Tips to Encourage Top-quality
Student Work
• Students email thesis statements to teacher
– Teacher can then provide specific, clear, personal response
efficiently.
– Thesis statement must be approved prior to a pre-set date.
• Use of comprehensive, interactive peer edit sheets and
conferencing. See handout for example.
• Essay Reflections
– Prior to submitting final essay, students compose a
reflective piece (approximately 1/2 page) detailing thought
process behind essay development and peer-editing
experience. See handout for example.
Tips to Encourage Effective and
Efficient Assessment of Writing
• In research papers, students highlight citations
(primary and secondary) in two different colors.
• In thesis-driven essays, students highlight thesis
statement, topic sentences, and summative comment
in the conclusion.
• When focus is on specific rhetorical devices, sentence
patterns, etc., have students identify and label them.
• Provide clear, specific instruction sheet/rubric.
• Grade portions of essay prior to completion so that it
can be assessed in stages.
• Students assess each others’ work using the AP rubric;
teacher gives cursory read and grade of 1-9.
Strategies for the AP Language and
Composition Classroom
The creative writing process can still be useful
and valuable in an AP environment.
1A. To add a bit of poetry, students create one
per season and must use certain teacheridentified devices. Students label them on the
poem.
Example of Seasonal Poem Using
Rhetorical Devices
• Please see handout for poem by Jaclyn Sattler
entitled “Fall.”
Strategies for the AP Language and
Composition Classroom
1B. To add a bit of poetry and check in with
summer reading, students can create a
“ShrinkLit.”
Strategies: ShrinkLit Assignment
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“ShrinkLit” Assignment for Summer Reading Novels
Advanced Placement English 11
Ms. Miller Hosey
Council Rock HS South
ShrinkLits – “…process whereby books undergo a kind of constructive distillation which boils out the fat and renders the meat [so to speak] into verse, making it at once more lucid and
palatable” (SagoffShrinkLits).
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Assignment: Choose one of the novels assigned for summer reading and write a ShrinkLit. Your composition must be in verse form, and it must rhyme. Sarcasm and humor are
acceptable as long as the content is appropriate for class. Your ShrinkLitmust be at least 15 lines in length, and it must have a title.
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Submit 2 copies; one should be decorated for classroom display whereas the other should be text-only for assessment purposes.
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Point Value: 25 points
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ShrinkLit for Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
-Maurice Sagoff (ShrinkLits)
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In his occult-science lab
Frankenstein creates a flab
Which, endowed with human will,
Very shortly starts to kill.
First, it pleads a lonely life
And demands a monster-wife;
“Monstrous!” Frankenstein objects,
Thinking of the side-effects.
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Chilled with fear, he quits the scene,
But the frightful man-machine
Follows him in hot pursuit
Bumping people off en route,
Till at last it stands, malign,
By the corpse of Frankenstein!
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Somewhere in the northern mists
-Horrid thing- it still exists…
Still at large, a-thirst for gore!
Got a strong lock on your door?
Strategies: ShrinkLit Example
• Please see handout for poems by Jaclyn
Sattler entitled “Bromance” and Molly Barson
entitled “Tonight.”
Strategies: Six-Word Narratives
2. Six-word narratives provide a change of pace from the
“usual” essay-driven curriculum. Based on the book
Six-Word Memoirs: By Writers Famous & Obscure,
students are given a topic and are asked to express
the essence of that topic by “showing” and “telling”
in six words.
Please see handout for book review.
Examples:
• Job/work: “It’s a party with PG-13 cast.”
• TV show synopsis: “9 to 5; bored to death.”
• What not to say to parents: “When can I move back
in?”
Strategies: Short In-Class Assignments
3. Not every unit/stylistic technique has to
conclude in a three-five page essay. For
example:
• Students are given a list of possible processanalysis topics. They must provide illustrative
examples of each.
• Students then choose one and develop it into
a one-paragraph analysis (rather than a long
paper).
Strategies: Short In-Class Assignments
Process Analysis
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Process Analysis Exercise
AP Composition
Process Analysis Brainstorming Exercise
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A process you go through every day unconsciously or with little thought
A process you go through mentally every day (preparation for sport, etc.)
A process you have gone through when learning something new
A process that you thoroughly enjoy
A process that is universal, but you do it differently than most other people
A process somebody else goes through that irritates you
A process that you see somebody you admire go through
A process that you go through in less than a minute
A process that you go through that takes several hours
A process that takes several years. You may be going through it now, or you may have gone through the entire process.
A process you learned at school
A process you go through for a hobby or sport
A process somebody goes through every day at work
A process everybody goes through but nobody enjoys
A fictional process that you could describe to make a point about something (maybe ironically)
A process that you have gotten better at over time
A process you have gone through after a great loss
A process you have gone through after experiencing great success
A process that failed
A process that led to success
A process that you have improved
A process you go through when meeting a new person or a particular person
A process that works, although it seems as if it wouldn’t
A process about which most people know very little
Any other process about which you would like to write
Strategies: Short In-Class Assignments
Causal Analysis
• Written Group Work is OK!
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Causal Analysis Exercise and Example (in handout)
AP Composition
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Task: You and your partner are two of the country’s foremost authorities on the subject of adolescent stress. You both have been asked to serve as
the keynote speaker at this year’s foremost convention on adolescent issues. Prepare a speech analyzing the major causes of stress for people age
14-19. (Be creative, clever, and fun!)
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Focus:
Make your purpose clear.
Label your purpose.
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Content:
Concentrate on proximate as opposed to remote causes.
Be clear on the three kinds: necessary, contributory or sufficient.
Label each cause.
(Consider reviewing pages 570 -572 in your composition textbook.)
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Organization:
The introductory paragraph states clearly the elements of the causal relationship.
Supporting paragraphs illustrate the causes (occur in the past) and present a direct line of analysis to effects (occur in present or future).
The concluding paragraph evaluates or makes recommendations.
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Style:
Feel free to use the formal or informal voice and write in the 1st or 3rd person.
Use at least one example each of four sentence patterns learned in class. Label each sentence pattern.
Include at least four schemes and four tropes. Label them.
Experiment with tone. It can be serious, foreboding, humorous, sarcastic, etc.
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Conventions: Edit for correctness.
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Be prepared to deliver your causal analysis speech to the class (in other words, the rest of the country’s leading authorities on the subject of
adolescent stress) using your best presenter persona.
Strategies: Short In-Class Assignments
Visual Rhetoric
• Visual Rhetoric Practice
– Students each bring in two or three ads from
magazines/newspapers.
– In pairs students determine which two of the ads
most connect and reflect a certain idea.
– They then develop a one-two page analysis essay
that contains a thesis connecting the two ads.
– The teacher has to grade only one-half of the
number of essays!
Strategies: Short In-Class Assignments
Visual Rhetoric
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Visual Rhetoric Assignment
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AP Composition - Visual Rhetoric Analysis
(Synthesis Essay Practice)
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Working with a partner, your assignment is to write a one-two page analysis of two advertisements. Each
member of the group should choose one of the ads he or she brought to class. As a group, develop a
thesis which integrates the analysis of both ads. In the analysis, you must include the following:
an explanation of what you believe to be the advertisers’ strategies in persuading the reader to buy their
product
an explanation of what the advertisers believe to be important to (or just true about) the reader and how
the ad reflects that belief
Be sure to include any information (such as visual text, verbal text, location, etc.) from the ads that help
you to formulate your response.
The assignment is worth 40 points.
Consider appropriate MLA format and essay structure.
Attach this rubric to the essay.
Be prepared to share your analysis with the rest of the class.
Please turn in two copies of your essay, making sure that all group members’ names are listed as the top of
the first page.
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Strategies Cont.
4. Games!
• You’ve Been Sentenced
– A board game that can be purchased and adapted
for use in the classroom (McNeill Designs)
• Rhetorical Devices games
– Cards found Within 5 Steps to a 5 (McGraw-Hill)
– Terms Triple Play (Applied Practice)
Four Assignments to Teach Writing
Assignment One
Non-fiction Unit Using an Analysis Essay
• Unit consists of excerpts from Douglass, King,
Lincoln, Malcolm X, Obama, Jefferson, Chief
Seattle.
• Each student must create his or her own AP
prompt and answer it.
Example of Non-fiction Assignment
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Nonfiction Analysis Essay Grade Rubric
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This writing assignment must include a minimum of two works we have read within this nonfiction unit and be a
standard five-paragraph essay. It should also include an analysis of the use of argumentation, persuasion, and/or
diction.
Prompt (20 points)
Introduction (15 points)
– Three sentence minimum 3 points
– A powerful opening sentence that grabs the reader’s attention 2 points
– Thesis sentence that clearly explains your position on the topic (answering the prompt you created) 5 points
– Evidentiary overview, arranged effectively 5 points
Main Points (100 points)
– Topic sentences with clear ideas (sentences also provide transitions) 20 points
– Intelligent, thoughtful development with specific details 40 points
– Relevant, integrated quotes and examples (with citations) 20 points
– Closing sentences that synthesize and re-align on the topic 20 points
Conclusion (15 points)
– Restates thesis in a clear, concise, and powerful manner 5 points
– Provides synthesis and evaluation 10 points
Conventions (25 points) Formal essay conventions are to be followed.
Total=175
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Example of Student Non-fiction Essay
• Please see handout for essay by Joy Wang that
compares the inaugural addresses of
Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Barack
Obama.
Assignment Two
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Creating Short Stories and Skits Using Schemes,
Tropes, and Sentence Patterns
In order to break up the usual routine, students
develop and perform skits using rhetorical
elements that are currently being studied in
class.
Students are often given a list of 8-10 schemes,
tropes, and sentence patterns.
It’s not unusual for students to turn their skits
into ongoing episodes that they portray
throughout the course.
Please see handout for example.
Assignment Three
Synthesis Essay Practice: Tiger Moms
(Based on AP List Serve Ideas)
See handout for the sources that coincide with this assignment.
Prompt #1: Much attention has been given lately to Amy Chua's recently released memoir
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. After having her excerpt published in The Wall Street
Journal, Chua has received fierce criticism, even a couple of death threats, because of
her stance on parenting. In an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources for
support, evaluate the most important factors that a parent should consider when
trying to achieve the best for his or her child.
Prompt #2: In an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources for support, evaluate
whether society should or should not have a say in a parent's decision to help his or
her child achieve his/her best.
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Your essay will be evaluated on your response to the prompt and the use of sources
to support your position. Standard formal English as well as MLA conventions should
be used.
Synthesis Essay Rubric
(Tiger Moms)
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AP Language and Composition
Synthesis Essay/Tiger Moms
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Name: _________________________________
Prompt Number: _________________________________
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Introduction
three sentence minimum (3)
powerful opening sentence (2)
thesis sentence/answer to prompt (5)
evidentiary overview (5)
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Evidence
/70
topic sentences (10)
development (20)
quotes and examples from three sources and seamlessly incorporated (20)
show connections between sources (10)
closing sentences (10)
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Conclusion
/15
restates thesis (5)
synthesis and evaluation (5)
explain the logic as to how you arrived at the conclusion you did, based on the
information provided in the sources (5)
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Conventions
Attribute both direct and indirect citations
Standard English
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Total: _________/125
/15
/25
Synthesis Essay Example
• Please see handout for essay by Martin
Silberberg.
Assignment Four
Essay Analysis/Presentations
• One essay analysis spread throughout the
semester.
• Teacher grades only four at a time!
Essay Analysis/Presentations
Assignment and Rubric
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Essay Analysis (A Souderton AP Language Team Assignment)
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One of your weekly assignments will be to analyze an essay written by one of the authors listed at the bottom of this page. Your analysis must be between 2 and 2.5 pages and include the
following:
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A paragraph which includes important biographical information and significant literary contributions of your author.
An analysis of the main ideas or themes of the essay and of how the author’s style helps to convey those ideas effectively. You may do any of the following in analyzing your author’s style:
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Identify several significant uses of the schemes and tropes and explain how they help the author to effectively convey his or her ideas.
Analyze the author’s use of diction and syntax and explain how they help the author to effectively convey his or her ideas.
Analyze the types of sentences the author uses (functional, grammatical, rhetorical) and explain why he or she uses these types.
Analyze the author’s tone.
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You will submit an analysis of a different writer’s work for each essay analysis, and you will present your information to the class two or three times throughout the course of the semester.
You must provide each member of the class a copy of your analysis on the day you present. You may not discuss an essay already presented by another student, and the same essayist’s work
may not be presented more than twice.
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Listed below are the writers whose works you may analyze:
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18th Century (and earlier)19th Century20th Century
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You may not analyze the following: “I Have a Dream” by MLK; “A Modest Proposal” by Swift; “Once More to the Lake” by White; “My Wood” by Forster; “Of Idols” by Bacon.
It is your responsibility to choose an essay, not a short story.
Montaigne
Ben Jonson
John Milton
Joseph Addison
Jonathan Swift
Oliver Goldsmith
Charles Lamb
Francis Bacon
John Dryden
John Lock
Richard Steele
Alexander Pope
Thomas Paine
Thomas Jefferson
King Solomon
Lewis Thomas
Nathaniel Benchley
George Eliot
Walter Pater
Henry David Thoreau
James R. Lowell
W.D. Howells
Margaret Fuller
Thomas Carlyle
Matthew Arnold
Fredrick Douglass
Washington Irving
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Edgar Allan Poe
Herman Melville
Nathaniel Hawthorne
G.K. Chesterton
James Thurber
Albert Camus
Russell Baker
Loren Eisley
Aldous Huxley
E.M. Forster
Annie Dillard
George Santayana
Norman Cousins
E.B. White
James Baldwin
Kurt Vonnegut
Martin Luther King
Virginia Woolf
Gloria Steinem
Essay Analysis/Presentations Example
• Please see handout for essay by Craig Birchall
entitled “Men and Menstruation.”
Closing Comments
• Time to think/pair/share!
• Questions/Answers
Thank You
• Students of Souderton Area High School:
Craig Birchall, Andrea Gurgick, David Kim, Morgan Kratz,
Spencer Kulhanjian
• Students of Council Rock High School South:
Molly Barson, Jaclyn Sattler, Martin Silberberg, Joy Wang
• Council Rock School District for copying and
shipping materials
• Souderton Area School District AP Language
teachers for their willingness to share materials

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