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Strategies for Teaching Free Response Questions Nancy Watson AP Annual Conference July 20, 2012

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Preparing Students for FRQs Students are most intimidated by the dread……. FRQ!Students are most intimidated by the dread……. FRQ! Begin early in the year with geographic vocabulary & application of geographic concepts to build their confidence.Begin early in the year with geographic vocabulary & application of geographic concepts to build their confidence.

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Exams are the END of a Great APHG Year Your year long activities will prepare your students for the AP ExamYour year long activities will prepare your students for the AP Exam Use your daily lessons to teach analysis and application (higher level thinking skills!)Use your daily lessons to teach analysis and application (higher level thinking skills!) Use MAPS and PHOTOS to develop analysis skills for interpreting distribution maps and cultural landscapesUse MAPS and PHOTOS to develop analysis skills for interpreting distribution maps and cultural landscapes Use MODELS to develop application skills. How do they apply today? How do they not apply today?Use MODELS to develop application skills. How do they apply today? How do they not apply today? Help your students make connections to the APHG themes, content, current events, and real world examples.Help your students make connections to the APHG themes, content, current events, and real world examples.

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Free Response Questions Start with a careful reading of the questionStart with a careful reading of the question What does the question ask the student to do? Does it want a definition, an explanation, or an analysis?What does the question ask the student to do? Does it want a definition, an explanation, or an analysis? Geographic terminology is critical to understanding the questionGeographic terminology is critical to understanding the question Making geographic connections to Real World Situations is importantMaking geographic connections to Real World Situations is important Thinking critically is necessary to demonstrate understanding by adding in outside information to explain concepts, often drawing on more than one unitThinking critically is necessary to demonstrate understanding by adding in outside information to explain concepts, often drawing on more than one unit

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Key words are KEY! IdentifyIdentify DefineDefine ExplainExplain AnalyzeAnalyze Identify and ExplainIdentify and Explain Explain and Give ___ examplesExplain and Give ___ examples Think Geographically!

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If there is an image, use it! Stimuli may include a picture, a diagram, a graph, or a MAPStimuli may include a picture, a diagram, a graph, or a MAP Can you identify the epicenter and migration pattern shown on this map?Can you identify the epicenter and migration pattern shown on this map? Practice interpreting maps with your studentsPractice interpreting maps with your students

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Take away the Unknown Use released FRQs for practice Use released FRQs for practice Start by working through an FRQ together - talk it out - look at the rubric Start by working through an FRQ together - talk it out - look at the rubric Have students write an FRQ in 25 minutes (eventually 2 in 50 minutes) Have students write an FRQ in 25 minutes (eventually 2 in 50 minutes) Let students use highlighters to score their own FRQs using the rubrics so they become familiar with the confines of a rubric Let students use highlighters to score their own FRQs using the rubrics so they become familiar with the confines of a rubric Have small groups brainstorm FRQs (use mixed ability groups & coach groups to give confidence) Have small groups brainstorm FRQs (use mixed ability groups & coach groups to give confidence)

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APHG FRQs are Process Oriented Answer the question in the format of the question - label the parts, but write in paragraphs, not bullets. Answer the question in the format of the question - label the parts, but write in paragraphs, not bullets. No fancy introductions or conclusions, just get to the point and supply relevant content and examples to support the answer No fancy introductions or conclusions, just get to the point and supply relevant content and examples to support the answer Questions often address themes from across the units - encourage students to think broadly Questions often address themes from across the units - encourage students to think broadly Use geographic terminology when possible (and appropriate) and include examples Use geographic terminology when possible (and appropriate) and include examples Additional time was added to encourage students to pre-write or outline their answers before they write their final answer Additional time was added to encourage students to pre-write or outline their answers before they write their final answer Be SURE that the final answer is written on the lined pages provided and not on the prompt and/or stimulus Be SURE that the final answer is written on the lined pages provided and not on the prompt and/or stimulus Write LEGIBLY!!!! Write LEGIBLY!!!!

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Avoid Common Mistakes Stress that the students should read the instructions on the back of the FRQ booklet. It will not be read to them, but there is some important information there Stress that the students should read the instructions on the back of the FRQ booklet. It will not be read to them, but there is some important information there Do not skip lines Do not skip lines Write in ink (and legibly) Write in ink (and legibly) A strike through voids any content below the strike through. A strike through voids any content below the strike through. Do not use bullets or outlines in the final answer Do not use bullets or outlines in the final answer Questions may be answered in any order, but should be clearly labeled at the top of each page in the exam booklet. Questions may be answered in any order, but should be clearly labeled at the top of each page in the exam booklet.

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