This week begins Unit 3 in AP Language. We will begin our study of Work and our thematic question is “How does work shape and influence our lives?” This is one of my favorite questions to explore with the students because it encourages them to think beyond “What do you want to ‘be’ when you grow up” and they start to consider “What do I want my life to be like?” If you can, try to get your students talking about those things at home. Many of them are starting to feel the pressure of college choices and re-framing the discussion to consider how they want to live as adults can be very helpful for some.
Our writing focus for this unit is Argument. Now that we’ve analyzed and critiqued the arguments of others, we’ll be applying those strategies to our own writing. Students will dive back into They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing which they read over the summer. We’ll begin to explore how to best make effective arguments.
One of the biggest challenges for this unit is students’ contextual pools of knowledge. In order to make sound arguments, students simply need to know a lot about the world around them. For some students--especially those who enjoy history and current events--this is not that challenging. They understand how to connect things in history to modern day problems. They have a good grasp of current events and can suggest solutions based on that knowledge. For many, though, they are quick to realize that their “contextual pools” aren’t very deep!! Anything you can do to help your students deepen those pools would be appreciated. Talk about current events, watch the news with them, flip on NPR when you’re driving in the car, talk with them about what they’re studying in World History, etc. All of these things will help the students begin to make stronger connections in their arguments.
By the end of the week, students should have their first essays back and we will begin working on our next essay (argumentative essays). As always, encourage your students to ask for clarification if they do not understand how to improve!
Have a great weekend!
Mrs. Hattie Maguire