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Pre-AP: Strategies in Social Studies—Using Visual Materials in Middle School Classrooms

Expand your social studies teaching skills, techniques and knowledge in this workshop

Teachers learn strategies for analyzing and synthesizing visual sources in history and geography classes. Participants examine models of questioning for works of art, cartoons, charts, graphs, and photographs. They discover how to use the models to promote graphic literacy through source analysis, evaluation, and synthesis in the classroom.

The workshop conforms to the College Board's mission, particularly in promoting access and equity; National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) standards ; and to standards and skills for AP courses in social studies.


  • Understand AP social studies standards and the role of Pre-AP in developing them
  • Learn what students need for AP social studies courses
  • Understand the benefits and obstacles of visual materials
  • Improve students' thinking and writing skills through visual and graphic analysis
  • Improve students' analytical writing
  • Appreciate issues and strategies critical to AP Vertical Teams in social studies


Advantages and Challenges of Visual Sources
Cartoon Analysis
Chart Analysis
Photograph Analysis
Constructing Written Passages from Two Visual Sources
Constructing Written Passages from Contrasting Visual Sources

Workshop author

Mike Henry taught AP United States History for 20 years in Princes George's County, Maryland, and is now an adjunct professor of history at Prince George's Community College and University of Maryland-University College. A College Board consultant and writer, he has been an AP Reader and Table Leader for 14 years and has given numerous presentations at the regional and national levels. The author of two books on preparing for the AP United States History Examination, Mr. Henry also co-wrote a College Board workshop on argumentation.