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English Vertical Teams: How They Can Work for Your AP Class

written by: Pauline H. Gill • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 2/16/2012

The world of English consists of writing, reading, grammar, and speaking. Language Arts is so diversified that teachers may find it overwhelming. What do you teach? Can you teach your favorite book? What kind of writing should the students do? English Vertical Teams can help you decide on skills.

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    Do you find teaching literary analysis difficult? If you are part of an English Vertical Team, you can discover ideas that will guide your students to high-level learning. As part of the English Vertical Team Workbook, there are a number of acronyms for teaching various skills. SOAPSTone is one of them. Use this acronym all year whenever students are faced with analyzing a piece of writing whether it's a story, essay, or poem. This approach is great.

    S is for the speaker. Who is talking?

    O is for the occasion. What is the time and place?

    A is for the audience. Who was this piece written for?

    P is for the purpose. What is the reason?

    S is for the subject. What is the piece about?

    Tone is the author's attitude toward the subject.

    For a detailed look at this concept, go to AP Central.

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    All About English Vertical Teams

    With the help of an English Vertical Team Workbook and the English Vertical Team, teachers can find a number of strategies for teaching content skills. Besides acronyms, the workbook has lessons on typical literary pieces such as To Kill a Mockingbird or The Odyssey. Besides the workbook, AP Central has ideas to help you develop high-level learning for the students. Take for example, The Odyssey. If you visit AP Central, there is a wonderful article about teaching the Odyssey. One example is Odysseus's skill at persuasion when he talks to Calypso about returning home. This eloquent speech is a great exercise in persuasive techniques.

    Another article talks about using The House on Mango Street as a literary analysis of language. At first, you may think of this piece as elementary, but Lorri Horn, a teacher at Santa Monica High School, talks about "Making a Simple Text More Challenging".

    AP Central also has a wonderful article on writing conferences. It details all the strategies to turn the conference into a skillful session.

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    Planning With the Team

    With the help of the English Vertical Team Workbook and AP Central, meet with your team and strategize how to approach the English content. Remember, the goal is to look towards college. You want to teach your students how to use strategies to learn new skills. Attend Vertical Team Workshops and study the Vertical Team Workbook. The College Board is there to help you succeed.

Vertical Teams for a Pre-AP Program

Vertical Teams are groups of teachers from a given content area. They are the ones who drive the curriculum by creating vertically aligned programs for students in content classes. Middle and high school teachers work to improve the skills and knowledge needed for students to have success in AP.
  1. The Vertical Teams Program Explained
  2. English Vertical Teams: How They Can Work for Your AP Class