College Prep Teacher Resources
Find College Prep educational ideas and activities
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Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol provides the text for a formative assessment exercise designed for middle schoolers. Patterned on the AP exam, the packet includes a treasure trove of materials including answer keys, rationales, metadata, and attributes for each question, sample essays, and scoring guides for each essay prompt. The three types of assessments included (close reading multiple choice, editing multiple choice, and essay response) are designed to build the skills of learners and give feedback to instructors. Well worth a place in your curriculum library.
When, if ever, is the government justified in restricting individual rights? When, if ever, should the "greater good" trump individual rights? To prepare to discuss this hot-button topic, class members examine primary source documents, including Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus, Supreme Court decisions, and Executive Order 9066. After an extended controversial issue discussion of the questions, individuals present their own stance through an argumentative essay supported by evidence drawn from the documents.
Expose your class to Shakespearean language with a manageable excerpt from As You Like It. A wonderfully comprehensive plan, this resource requires pupils to use higher-level thinking skills to interact with a complex text and connect literary devices to thematic meaning. Middle schoolers will examine diction, imagery, sound devices, figurative language, and more through the six provided activities.
Students familiarize themselves with half cell reactions, potential circuits, etc. They participate in a lab that includes a worksheet that guides them through an inquiry pertaining to the content. They complete a series of questions related to and extending the lab experience and write up the lab in a formal report.
“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.” You’re never too old for Dr. Seuss and using The Sneetches and The Lorax is a great way to introduce readers to allegories, parables, and literary symbolism. The lessons included in this richly detailed resource use such diverse tales as James Aggrey’s “The Parable of The Eagle,” James Thurber’s “The Moth and the Star,” and William Faulkner’s “The Bear” to model how to uncover the levels of meaning in symbolic stories.
“Very orderly and methodical he looked, with a hand on each knee, and a loud watch ticking a sonorous sermon under his flapped waistcoat, as though it pitted its gravity and longevity against the levity and evanescence of the brisk fire.” Dickens’ diction and syntax can cause readers, even those familiar with 19th Century prose, to stumble. Provide your pupils with an opportunity to tackle complex text with a series of exercises based on a brief excerpt from A Tale of Two Cities. Brief writing assignments, a fill-in-the-blank quiz, and guided questions for the passage are included in the plan.
Show your high school and junior high learners the importance of active and passive voice in writing, and let them get their hands dirty with the provided practice questions. Although the lesson says that the active voice is preferred, it does support that the passive voice is effective for creating specific effect in writing. Learners explore documents like the Declaration of Independence and JFK’s Inaugural Address, as well as excerpts from fictional writing. The directions are clear, and the practice is effective. There is little need for modification.
What does a speech reveal about the speaker? Pupils explore this question and more as they conduct a close reading of Sojourner Truth's speech. Class members activate a series of skills related to the Common Core as they analyze the text, including citing textual evidence, writing analytical commentary, using research skills, and executing a questioning strategy.
Sputnik was one of the greatest scientific advancements of the 1950s, and this reading lesson does it justice. Pupils start off with pre-reading questions and a video. They then read an excerpt from an article, which is accompanied by vocabulary, short-answer questions, and other close reading tasks. Small groups work on the questions together and all pupils must decide on the author's purpose. Also included is a set of writing assignment suggestions, which could use more detail.
Baseball and statistics go hand-in-hand and knowing how to interpret, compare, and display this information is a key skill for any middle schooler. Using two sets of data, have young statisticians answer questions by constructing and comparing different representations of the data especially lineplots (dotplots), stemplots (including back-to-back stemplots) five number summaries, and boxplots.
Meat eater or vegetarian? Here’s a series of activities that prepare writers for crafting a persuasive essay. Using the included worksheets, the class works together to craft arguments for and against eating meat. They discuss issues (economics, personal freedoms, safety, personal beliefs, environmental impact) and brainstorm support that could be used for either position. The packet includes a detailed plan, flow charts, and graphic organizers that can be used with any topic, and a link to a site that lists issues and resources appropriate for this type of exercise.
Ever wonder if your ELA lessons are hitting all of Bloom's levels? Here are eight pages of close reading questions that gradually build from the lowest to the highest levels of Bloom's taxonomy. This particular lesson focuses on a short selection of Edgar Allen Poe's infamous short story "The Tell Tale Heart," but reviewing this resource may help you in crafting close reading assignments for any text your class may be reading. Included also are two extended writing prompts and a revision workshop activity.
Connect fractions to the journey the Navajo took to Jemez Pueblo for the feast of San Diego. In a multi-step lesson plan, your geographers will measure the distance traveled on a map and use that information for a series of questions requiring different operations with fractions. Learners will calculate the duration of the trip and break down the day into a table with different segments of travel and resting. There are many opportunities for a class discussion or small group work.
While building rollercoaster tracks for marbles is definitely age-appropriate for middle schoolers, the calculations on the lab sheets for this lesson are above most of them. Physics fledglings measure the potential energy at the beginning of a track, the kinetic energy at its end, and the amount lost to friction along the way. From these values, they calculate the height that a loop can be inserted and still have the marble make it from beginning to end. Hold on to your hats, because it's sure to be a rolicking time!
Well, shiver me timbers! Biology pupils practice using the Hardy-Weinberg principle for computing change in gene frequency within a fictional population of pirates. The genetic trait being analyzed is the presence of sea legs, legs that prevent them from falling over when the ship is tossing. A combination of math and science makes this a handsome treasure to increase the value of your genetics unit!
Using lab carts, physics minors plan and construct bumpers to minimize their impact against fixed wooden blocks.
Show your class how to read, and analyze poetry through the rules of grammar as you explore “love is a place” by E.E. Cummings. Some might consider this plan overbearing and beating poetry to death, which might be true, if you do all of the activities. However, the plan offers a unique way to show young learners how to read closely and deeply. The guided worksheet moves readers through the poem and has them analyze the literary devices, syntax, and grammar of the poem in search of meaning. A little part of this resource would go a long way.
Solid, liquid, or gas? Or all three? Young chemists make observations of dry ice and measure the pressure associated with its triple point. Pre-lab exercises include drawing Lewis structures and explaining bonding theories. An observation table and detailed procedures for measuring pressure are provided, along with analysis and conclusion questions. If you are planning on spending any time on sublimation with your chemistry class, this resource will be a strong supplement.
Designed for an advanced placement class, this resource requires class members to assess President Kennedy's dedication to civil rights through reading, discussion, and writing. Provided with a set of eight primary and secondary sources, pupils must read and examine individually before working in small groups to prepare an argument and debate. After the debate, one hour is allotted for a timed writing and self-assessment. All necessary materials are included except a rubric.
If you are planning on working on a research paper in your class, take a look at this resource first. Starting off with information about plagiarism, the series of activities briefly described here should give your pupils a general idea of how to write a research paper. While the bulk of the resource is an overview of activities and does not include much detail, there are quite a few useful links to help enrich the instructional activity.