things fall apart by chinua achebe africa map

How to Approach Things Fall Apart

I miss Chinua Achebe’s voice. When he passed in 2013, I grieved. After teaching “Dead Men’s Path” and Things Fall Apart for my entire career, I felt like I had lost someone personally. My lesson plans for the novel in particular changed over the years, and my approach moved from…
Read Post
teacher plans for rigor

Rigor in the Classroom: What it is and isn’t

After decades of throwing around the word rigor, we still can’t seem to come to agreement about what it is. I see in private school marketing materials institutions that offer “a rigorous course of study.” The average parent interprets that to mean that this school will be a challenge in…
Read Post

5 Ways to Engage Teenagers in the Classroom

Need to engage bored teenagers in your classroom? Need to channel the energy of students who are bouncing off the walls? Are your own classes boring, and you don’t know how to fix the problem? Let’s talk about it. Why are students bored at school? Nobody wants to bored teenagers,…
Read Post
rhetorical analysis commentary

The Role of Commentary in Rhetorical Analysis

Call it what you will—analysis, evaluation, commentary—this piece of rhetorical analysis is OPINION. Evidence is FACT, and commentary is OPINION. (When I’m training students to recognize the difference between the two, we use color coding. You can read more about how I do that here.) Where students get tripped up…
Read Post

Two Ways to Organize a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

The magic bullet. Here it is. You ready? Here’s your tidy little template you can apply to any rhetorical analysis essay. Just kidding. There’s not such thing as a one-size-fits-all outline for RA, but there are two ways we can teach students to approach each one. Rhetorical Analysis Essay Organization…
Read Post
critical race theory' CRT; white privilegewhite privilege

Critical Race Theory: Why is it such a big deal?

There are a LOT of angry parents, school board members, and politicians coming forward about what they are calling critical race theory. I get the anger–I really do–because many people think there is an attempt to indoctrinate our children to believe that White people are bad. I’m the helicopter parent…
Read Post

Dear New AP Language Teacher,

Dear New AP Language Teacher, We need to talk. You’re about to fall madly in love with a course, and because I used to be married (and I mean this in almost every sense of the word) to said course, I need to prep you. Listen up. AP English Language…
Read Post

Teaching in June: Will You SLOG or SLAY?

If only I could draw. I have this image in my mind of a frazzled, frizzy-haired teacher (Think Professor Trelawney) dragging herself across a desert . . . in a mask. Strapped to her back is a laptop with a Zoom logo on it. Tied to her leg is a…
Read Post

Exam Day Strategies for AP Lang (Paper-Pencil)

I’m so thankful that some students will have the opportunity to take the paper-pencil exam May 12. It just feels . . . normal. It also feels normal to write an old-fashioned blog post about ways to tackle an analog anything. Thank you, trees, for giving your lives for this…
Read Post

Rhetorical Analysis Review Tips

I’m winding up my AP Lang exam review series, and for the last content-specific post, we’re looking at rhetorical analysis (Question 2). In case you missed it, I hit multiple choice strategies pretty hard, and you can find those posts here at the end of my multiple choice review freebie.…
Read Post

Connect with  Angie and get five FREE lesson plans on rhetorical analysis and argumentation.