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Scaling the AP Language Mountain: Managing the Paper Load for Rookie Rhetoricians Sheryl L. Miller Hosey Council Rock High School South Holland, PA Dr.

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Presentation on theme: "Scaling the AP Language Mountain: Managing the Paper Load for Rookie Rhetoricians Sheryl L. Miller Hosey Council Rock High School South Holland, PA Dr."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scaling the AP Language Mountain: Managing the Paper Load for Rookie Rhetoricians Sheryl L. Miller Hosey Council Rock High School South Holland, PA Dr. Stacey L. Aronow Souderton Area High School Souderton, PA 1

2 Sheryl L. Miller Hosey 19 years of teaching experience 13 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 students each in 4 sections offered 2

3 Dr. Stacey L. Aronow 16 years teaching high school English years teaching AP Language and Composition Award-winning journalism instructor – 14 years as newspaper adviser 5 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 students each with 8 sections offered 3

4 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 4

5 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. 5

6 Tips to Encourage Top-quality Student Work Students 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. 6

7 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

8 Revision List Students often complain about the inability to read and understand suggestions for improvements in their writing. Therefore, by using a numerical system to indicate changes needed, teachers can efficiently provide clear, specific feedback that is constructive and easy to understand. See handout for example. 8

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 teacher- identified devices. Students label them on the poem. 9

10 Example of Seasonal Poem Using Rhetorical Devices Please see handout for poem by Jaclyn Sattler entitled “Fall.” 10

11 Strategies for the AP Language and Composition Classroom 1B. To provide a review and challenge students to use much of what they have learned in AP Language, students can write their own presidential speeches, a creative and imaginative assignment that is simple to grade. 11

12 Strategies: So You’re Running for President “So You’re Running for President” AP Composition - Sentence Pattern Speech (50 Points) You and your partner have been tasked with the job of writing a speech arguing why you (or your candidate) should be the next president of the United States. (Be creative, clever, fun, school appropriate – and not necessarily realistic!) The Must Haves: A party, a platform, a slogan, a campaign poster (Remember visual rhetoric?) Focus: Make your platform and slogan clear. Label them. Content: Use at least two examples each of sentence patterns five, six, and seven. Label each sentence pattern. Include at least four schemes and four tropes. Label them. Include three logical fallacies. Label them. Consider the persuasive appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos. Remember, a strong argument includes a healthy dose of all three. Include each. Label them. Organization: The introductory paragraph states clearly your purpose. Support paragraphs illustrate your platform. The concluding paragraph reiterates previous points, promises, and claims, as well as your slogan. Style: Feel free to use the formal or informal voice and write in the 1 st or 3 rd person. Experiment with tone. It can be serious, foreboding, humorous, sarcastic, satirical, etc. Conventions: Edit for correctness, Use MLA formatting, Speech length should be approximately 1 ½ - 2 pages One representative member of your group should be prepared to deliver your presidential campaign speech to the class (in other words, the voters,) using his/her best presidential persona. The other member of your group should be prepared to explain your campaign poster and how you utilized visual rhetoric strategies to create an effective poster. An election will be held following the campaign speeches. 12

13 Strategies: So You’re Running for President Example Please see handout for “Cleaning Up the Men’s Mess” by Makena Finger and David Hartzell. 13

14 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?” 14

15 Strategies: Short In-Class Assignments 3. Not every unit/stylistic technique has to conclude in a three-five page essay. For example: Students are asked to brainstorm a list of words to define. Students then choose three and develop each into a short analysis (rather than a long paper). 15

16 Strategies: Short In-Class Assignments Extended Definition How to Write a Definition AP Composition Complete the following practice activity on definition. Refer to pages 459 – 461 in Readings for Writers for further clarification. Do not use a dictionary for this assignment. Brainstorm a list of 10 words to define. Choose 3 words from the list and define them in your own words by responding to the prompts below. Word #1: ____________________________ “General Class”: “How Word Differs”: How might you describe the word? Consider the use of description in your response. How might you provide an example of the word? Consider the use of anecdote and process analysis as possible, but not the only, methods to offer an example. Remember, an example should be more specific than the generalization (in this case, the word) it is trying to explain. How might you use compare/contrast to describe the word? 16

17 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! 17

18 Strategies: Short In-Class Assignments Visual Rhetoric Visual Rhetoric Assignment AP Composition - Visual Rhetoric Analysis (Synthesis Essay Practice) 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. Stacey Aronow, Ed.D,

19 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) Team Rhetoric Review – See handout for Team Games Tournament questions and answers. 19

20 Five Assignments to Teach Writing 20

21 Assignment One Non-fiction Unit Using an Analysis Essay Unit consists of excerpts from Douglass, King, Lincoln, Malcolm X, Obama, Jefferson, Chief Seattle. Students must create their own AP prompt and answer it. 21

22 Example of Non-fiction Assignment Nonfiction Analysis Essay Grade Rubric 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 Sheryl Miller Hosey,

23 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. 23

24 Assignment Two 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. 24

25 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. 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. Sheryl Miller Hosey,

26 Synthesis Essay Rubric (Tiger Moms) AP Language and Composition Synthesis Essay/Tiger Moms Name: _________________________________ Prompt Number: _________________________________ Introduction /15 three sentence minimum (3) powerful opening sentence (2) thesis sentence/answer to prompt (5) evidentiary overview (5) 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) 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) Conventions /25 Attribute both direct and indirect citations Standard English Total: _________/125 26

27 Synthesis Essay Example Please see handout for essay by Martin Silberberg. 27

28 Assignment Four Essay Analysis/Presentations One essay analysis spread throughout the semester. Teacher grades only four at a time! 28

29 Essay Analysis/Presentations Assignment and Rubric Essay Analysis (A Souderton AP Language Team Assignment) 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: 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: – 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. 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. Listed below are the writers whose works you may analyze: 18 th Century (and earlier)19 th Century20 th Century MontaigneGeorge EliotJames Thurber Ben JonsonWalter PaterAlbert Camus John MiltonHenry David ThoreauRussell Baker Joseph AddisonJames R. LowellLoren Eisley Jonathan SwiftW.D. HowellsAldous Huxley Oliver GoldsmithMargaret FullerE.M. Forster Charles LambThomas CarlyleAnnie Dillard Francis BaconMatthew ArnoldGeorge Santayana John DrydenFredrick DouglassNorman Cousins John LockWashington IrvingE.B. White Richard SteeleRalph Waldo EmersonJames Baldwin Alexander PopeEdgar Allan PoeKurt Vonnegut Thomas PaineHerman MelvilleMartin Luther King Thomas JeffersonNathaniel HawthorneVirginia Woolf King SolomonG.K. ChestertonGloria Steinem Lewis Thomas Nathaniel Benchley 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. Rob Barbadoro, Nate Wambold, and Stacey Aronow,,

30 Essay Analysis/Presentations Example Please see handout for essay by Craig Birchall entitled “Men and Menstruation.” 30

31 Assignment Five Good Night, and Good Luck – Please see handout for assignments and essay by Emily Thompson. This I Believe Edward R. Murrow’s rhetoric provides inspiration for both the written and spoken word. 31

32 AP Language Exam Evaluation After students have taken the AP Language exam, this evaluation is an opportunity for them to reflect on their preparation and experience. Please see handout for evaluation form. 32

33 Thank You The students of Souderton Area High School: Craig Birchall, Makena Finger, Andrea Gurgick, David Hartzell, David Kim, Morgan Kratz, Spencer Kulhanjian, Emily Thompson The students of Council Rock High School South: Jaclyn Sattler, Martin Silberberg, Joy Wang Council Rock School District for copying and shipping materials. Souderton Area School District and Council Rock School District AP Language teachers for their willingness to share materials. 33

34 Closing Comments Time to think/pair/share! Questions/Answers 34


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