AP Government Writing Round-Up

AP Writing is something I am excellent at teaching. I don’t mind tooting my own horn because we should celebrate when we excel at something. My students often exceeded state and national averages. Writing is something I am good at teaching. Period. I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error in all different levels to create these resources, and I am more than happy to share!

Argumentative Writing

Argumentative writing is by far the most popular topic on the blog. I’ve made a video for thesis writing, translated it into use for elementary, and explained at length how I used DBQ’s to make better writers. I have benefited from the experience as an ELA teacher for three years, and I’ve always been a writer. When the course changed to include argumentative writing, I dug right in with the rubric.

First things first, make sure the thesis statement “responds to the prompt with a defensible claim or thesis that establishes a line of reasoning.”

Here is the most popular post on Argumentative Thesis Writing. The key here is to keep it simple and practice, practice, practice. A correct thesis is essential because if students do not get the thesis point, they don’t do well on the essay. The rubric continually says, “To earn…points… the response must have a defensible claim or thesis (earned the point in Row A)” Basically, if the thesis isn’t defensible, students can only earn 1 point (evidence) on the entire essay.

The second post is on the process I used to teach argumentative writing. Honestly, this process helped my students so much. There are DBQ’s for almost all the foundational documents and required Supreme Court cases (which was also helpful for the SCOTUS comparison). This process allowed me to teach content, review documents, and teach skills altogether, which was helpful, mainly because we only had a semester.

Prepandemic learning at it’s finest. This can be done online in breakout rooms

Here is a post on the Judicial Branch and argumentative writing. It shows how I married all of the content and skills. Here is a prompt for the Executive branch

Quantitative FRQ

If you need help on the quantitative FRQ, I got you!

Concept Analysis/SCOTUS Comparison

Need help with the process for concept analysis? Although this uses the old format for FRQs, it’s relevant for both SCOTUS comparison and Concept Analysis. The focus is more on the WAY to do it as opposed to anything else.

Conclusion

There are so many great things out there to help your students prepare for the test’s writing portion. I highly suggest becoming a reader (even if it’s only for a year) so you know what it’s like and what graders and rubrics are looking to see in writing.

Lastly, I highly suggest making writing a consistent part of your class. Create a thesis statement for warm-ups. Look to mentor texts (Declaration) and ask students what they think the thesis is and pinpoint arguments and evidence. Reading documents and writing should be an integral part of your class, just don’t feel like you have to assign full essays, especially in an online environment.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Teaching History, Politics, and Stuff Podcast!

YOU Are The Expert… What Does That Mean? with Brit Bingold Teaching History, Politics, and Stuff

What does it mean to be an expert in your classroom? I am joined by Brit Bingold, Instructional Specialist, as we discuss being an expert by tapping into what you have within you as an educator. Pssst, this is a good review of National Board Core Proposition #1!Short bio: Brit is an instructional specialist who aspires to inspire every day; she loves learning new research-based instructional strategies to share with teachers. She also is a wife, mother of two kids and two dogs, and has two chronic illnesses. As a former high school English teacher, she loves to write when she can on her blog, thebitsofbrit.com. She also enjoys binge-watching with her favorite shows being Call the Midwife, Outlander, and The West Wing. How to Avoid Teacher Burnout and the Comparison Trap- Learning Unlocked with Brit BingoldFlexible Seating Post- The Bits of BritMore from Brit @thebitsofbrit
  1. YOU Are The Expert… What Does That Mean? with Brit Bingold
  2. Stress and Secondary Trauma with Becky Krumm, MSW, M. Ed
  3. Students! Harness Your Political Power To Make Change! with Trevor Malzewski
  4. Three Things to Focus on When You're Short On Time
  5. Cultivating Teacher Relationships and Curating a Positive Circle of Colleagues with Brigette Burge

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