While walking out of the movie theater recently, I had to pass by the emergency doors to one of the individual theaters within the multiplex. I could tell the people inside were watching the same film I just had, roars and screams heard clearly through the door giving the film away. Sometimes, I have this same experience at school. Wandering down hallways near the end of the year, I hear all sorts of films playing: educational, entertaining, and even childish. This end-of-the-year slump can be compounded when your summative assessment happens in the first two weeks of May.
AP English Literature and Composition is a course many students across the spectrum experience as both struggle and triumph. Janis Mottern-High's ENGAGE NOW! Lesson for June provides an artistic and poetic context for making the most post exam days. The best part about the project is that it focuses on what students have already done, pushing them to take their thinking higher by synthesizing new products based on their understanding and analysis of the works they read throughout the course.
There are two major benefits as an instructor: first, students get a chance for metacognition, setting the stage for more enduring and permanent learning; second, students showcase how well they have understood the universal themes that run through literature.
The lesson features in-class work time, providing meaningful opportunities for learning in the midst of the school-year blockbuster season. The products that students design are also presented to the class, giving an opportunity to practice oral communication skills and fill more post-AP exam time with learning-centered discussions about what the class has accomplished on its journey this year.
If you are looking for something new to energize your classroom after the AP exam, or you just want a project to help students reflect on their learning in a creative way, check out this ENGAGE NOW! lesson on the Connected Community.