Participants in this session will learn how to set up an AP® Human Geography course and curriculum that will prepare students to learn to love geography and be successful on the AP test. After reviewing the basics of the course, its curriculum, and the goals of the course we will focus on the strategies and best practices that effective teachers of geography use. Specific attention will be given to helping student learn to “think geographically” and develop spatial skills. Participants can expect to learn a great deal of content during the week through consultant-led presentations, classroom discussions, and reading assignments. We will also spend time analyzing the exam itself; how it is written, how it is graded, and how to best prepare students for it.
The following topics will be specifically addressed and examples shared.
- Overview of the course design and outline.
- Fulfilling the requirements of the AP Course Audit.
- Analysis of free-response and techniques for using writing in class.
- Strategies for using outside readings.
- Methods of spatial analysis.
- Strategies for increasing student engagement.
- Lesson planning specific to geography instruction.
- Strategies for helping students learn to analyze non-text information.
- Understanding of models in geography.
- Application (geography “in action” or “doing geography”) activities.
- How to develop, present, use, and assess case studies.
- Vocabulary strategies.
- In-depth consideration of the test construction.
During the 4-day experience we will strike a balance between the needs of new teachers and those who have experience with the course. Teachers who have not taught the course will find all of their questions addressed and veteran teachers will discover new ways of involving students, curricular pieces to focus on, and learn new content.
For each summer’s workshop I like to pick a different “area of focus” which is relevant to the AP Human Geography course but is underrepresented in the textbooks. Past topics have included Natural Disasters, Gender, Health and Wellness, Cars and Driving, Travel and Tourism, and Indigenous Peoples. This year’s focus will be Water.
Christopher Hall began teaching AP Human Geography when the course was introduced by the College Board in 2000 and was a member of the Test Development Committee from 2007-2011 and has been regularly requested to submit questions to the committee since. He was a contributing author of the AP Vertical Teams Guide for History and the Social Sciences and has been the editor for two Human Geography Curriculum Modules (Urban Geography and Gender and Geography) published by the College Board. He was one of the authors of Human Geography: Preparing for the AP Examination (Perfection Learning). Prior to AP Human Geography Chris taught world regional geography courses in both junior and senior high schools.
He has been an AP exam reader since 2001 and is currently a table leader. NCGE recognized Chris as its Distinguished Teacher in 2007 and he the Utah Geographic Alliance awarded him Outstanding Secondary Teacher in 2001. He has also been the Davis School District secondary “Teacher of the Year (2006). Chris considers his experience as a presenter at AP workshops and institutes one of the highlights of his career and he conducts them regularly. He is also an endorsed consultant in Pre-AP Strategies in Social Studies and has worked with social studies vertical teams in schools across the country and internationally.