- Students will be able to construct an AP-Style Long Essay using resources from Unit 2 of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness to practice constructing a historical argument.
- Students will be able to analyze the AP Long Essay Rubric to reflect on their own skills in the context of the AP Exam.
Students will use Handout A: Long Essay Rubric and read through the rubric. Students should highlight the area of the rubric about which they feel most confident in one color, and highlight the area of the rubric about which they feel the least confident in a second color.
Students will share their responses with others until they have found a partner whose self-identified strength matches their weakness, or vice versa.
After students have found a partner, the teacher will lead a discussion on strengths and weaknesses, emphasizing that it’s important to recognize the skills students already have. Students should then set a goal for writing this Long Essay, responding to where they feel least confident or another area of the rubric that they want to focus on.
- Praise: Offer at least one piece of positive feedback. What was done well?
- Polish: Offer at least one piece of constructive feedback. How can the essay be improved?
- Pose: Ask your partner a clarifying or probing question. What are you confused by, or what do you want to know more about?
Next, students should discuss their Praise, Polish, and Pose feedback with their partner in a “mini conference.” Students should focus on each essay one at a time, spending approximately three minutes per outline. Students should have the opportunity to respond to their partner’s feedback or record any information necessary to improve their work.
Students will then create an action plan for their individual outline, noting two or three specific steps they will take to improve it, on the basis of their peer’s feedback and the AP Rubric.
Students will write a full essay using their outline.
After the teacher has had the opportunity to evaluate students’ essays based on the rubric, students should be provided the opportunity to reflect on their writing progress and set intentional goals for growth, using Handout E: Writing Reflection. This will take place in a future lesson.
Chapter 3: 1763-1789
Chapter 3 of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, BRI’s U.S. History Curriculum Resource, invites students to identify the causes of the Declaration of Independence, evaluate the causes and effects of key events in the Revolutionary War, and compare various perspectives on constitutional principles and the structure of the new Union under the Constitution.
Chapter 4: 1789-1800
Chapter 4 of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, BRI’s U.S. History Curriculum Resource, invites students to explore how a nation can stay unified despite divisions.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness Curriculum Page
Explore all of the Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness content in one place!
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
In our resource history is presented through a series of narratives, primary sources, and point-counterpoint debates that invites students to participate in the ongoing conversation about the American experiment.