This group (or individual) activity is purely focused literary analysis and helps students master the difficult multiple choice questions required of the Advanced Placement™ Literature exam, although it can also provide excellent practice for any high school passage-based reading test. This text focuses on 19th century poetry.
Strategy: to assist with analysis and question breakdown, I typically provide a short practice passage with created multiple choice questions, using question stems/ideas familiar to the typical AP™ Lit style of thinking. Before providing them the answer choices, however, I require the group to annotate the passage and brainstorm *possible* answers to the multiple choice questions. Only after they've discussed possible answers do I then provide the actual answer choices so that they can match up their perceived answers with the answer choice that most closely matches their group discussion. Typically, this "reverse" strategy allows them to focus on the actual question rather than merely defaulting to selecting from the answers provided.
I usually give groups about 30 minutes to read and brainstorm answers, and then require each individual to complete their own answers in 10 minutes (approx. one minute per question).
This file includes a 19th century passage from Tennyson's "Tears, Idle Tears," a 10-question short answer review, and the same 10- question review with (5) answer choices each. An answer key is also provided.
Also available as part of a multiple choice reading strategy bundle (poetry and prose) featuring passages from Tolstoy, Kafka, Shelley, Tennyson, and Marvell.
AP™ English Multiple Choice Reading Strategy bundle: (5) poetry/prose analysis
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License