Pre-AP® Middle School English

This workshop will emphasize a variety of analytical, close reading strategies appropriate for high school students with the goal of fostering greater student independence and proficiency with poetry, prose and non-fiction, as well as preparing them do more analytical, more insightful, and more substantial inquiry.  Additionally, the course places considerable emphasis upon the reading-writing connection, asking students to read as writers and write as readers.

Pre-AP® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the development and delivery of this professional development. 

The goals of the four-day session are to assist participants with:

  • bridging the fiction – non-fiction divide
  • exploring style, syntax, voice and word choice, through mimics of quality sentences and longer pieces of prose
  • utilizing strategies that shift the “brain work” to the students to build confidence and independence with text and with writing
  • utilizing quality professional models as foundation for student writing, toward student adoption of “mature” elements in their own writing 
  • constructing quality, targeted rubrics for student writing
  • broadening the approach to syntax within the middle school classroom to help students refine voice and style in the context of their own writing
  • integrating student-led literary and style discussions into the middle school classroom as a means of increasing both student understanding and higher level thinking, as well as assessing these skills
  • equipping students with strategies to facilitate independent analysis of poetry and fiction, as well as pinning down that pesky tone
  • building and maintaining a working vertical team and examining how middle school Pre-AP aligns with the high school program and the exam

Participants should bring the following:

  • a laptop or tablet
  • one significant/major piece of prose that you teach in your classroom
  • sticky notes
  • highlighters

Course Outline (Subject to Change):


  • Linking middle schools and Pre-AP to student success in AP courses
  • Examination of the AP program and course expectations
  • Approaches to vocabulary and tone (“baby steps” to more complex assignments)


  • Critical reading strategies
  • Student centered discussion, part 1
  • Approaching syntax, part 1


  • Approaching syntax, part 2
  • Moving from facts to inferences to claims (thesis statements)
  • Using professional models/expository writing, part 1
  • Making better use of poetry


  • Student centered discussion, part 2
  • Expository writing, part 2


Christian Cicoria Christian Cicoria began his career teaching English to sophomores and juniors in Corpus Christi, Texas.  In 2001, Christian accepted a position at Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, Texas, where he taught a variety of courses first in the middle school, and then at the high school level, including AP Literature and Composition.