Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Scavenger Hunt AP Lit and Comp Exam Review: #SOL16 [Teaching Strategy] #APLitchat

Each Tuesday the Slice of Life Story Challenge happens via the
Two Writing Teachers blog. Join other slicers for more stories. 
The day before the AP Literature and Composition exam, I planned a scavenger hunt for my class. It offered a much needed opportunity for students to decompress and gave a final push toward the goal of taking the exam. 

My students loved this activity, and I think you'll like the happy tale of their race to scavenge. 

To plan the hunt, I reviewed stations from past scavenger hunts and headed over to the AP Lit Help website for inspiration. Ultimately, I settled on eight stations. Here's a link to the document I gave students. And here's a link to the station instructions students used at each station. The stations: 

  1. RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT: Location:  Commons Area below the Clock     
  2. CHALK THE WALK: Location: In front of the building. Instructions are on the bell pole/tower.
  3. WHO TURNED THE LIGHTS OUT?! Location: Ms. Fleishman’s room (B-4)
  4. I WALK THE LINE: Location: B-1, Mrs. McCarthy’s Room
  5. WOMAN CARD! Location: Ms. Wilcox’s Office!
  6. GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Location: Bursar’s Office (Shelly’s space)
  7. GET YOUR NOSE IN A BOOK: Location: Mrs. Funk’s room and wherever else you can find books! (media center is closed for AP testing!)
  8. PREVIOUSLY: Location: Ram Center (present to counselor after completing the task)

I gave the stations names that I hoped would set the creative tone I wanted kids to take and that would hook their interest. 

My AP Lit and Comp class is small, but I wanted kids to pair up and work as teams, much as teams do on "The Amazing Race," which is a name I'm considering for next year's scavenger hunt. 
Planning the performance for Station 1, RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT.

Once I had the stations planned, I had to find areas of the building for each station. Only once the students reached the station location did they learn the task. I wanted to maintain an element of surprise! I also wanted to showcase to others the ways academics can be fun. 
Station 8, PREVIOUSLY, shows what students found
at each point in the Scavenger Hunt.

In advance of the hunt, I prepared instructions for each station and then mounted the instructions on orange construction paper. This paper matched the handout students had that listed the stations. I thought having a uniform color would help them locate the stations once they arrived at their destinations. 

Some stations necessitated having materials for students. For example, the WOMAN CARD station needed copies of the text students would annotate and supplies for making a "WOMAN CARD." 

Tyra and Vanessa do a little research before creating their Woman Card!
I need supplies for Stations 1, 2, 3, 5. I needed to provide an example for Station 4, WALK THE LINE, which required students to write a PERIODIC SENTENCE. This is something I composed in advance. I also needed to select an essay for scoring for Station 6, GOAL!!!!!!! 
The first text shows one team's score for Station 6, GOAL!!!!!
The second text shows the same team's periodic sentence for Station 4, WALK THE LINE.

During the scavenger hunt, students had to document their progress, so I had them use their phones for this part of the activity. Some tasks called for video recording and sharing the video with me. Others required kids to text or tweet or Instagram their results. This technological dimension to the activity really appealed to my students. 
Station 7: Parker has his nose in a book
and texts his and his partner's response to the task. 

Both Station 1, RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT, and Station 8, PREVIOUSLY, required students to create recordings of their performances. Since I followed students on their adventure, I was able to record some of these performances myself. Jake and James (reading) presented their PREVIOUSLY story on Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.  After their presentation, our AP coordinator looked at them and said, "And that's a children's story?"