Art & Humanities Teaching

10 Tips for AP Art History Review

December 9, 2016

So I know many schools are entering into exams & review time before Winter Break. Somehow I ended a whole week earlier than last year (totally not complaining!). This year I get a whole week to review with my AP kids rather than the one day I normally have…YAY!!! Here are some review activities I do with AP at various times of the year:
Hallway Timeline
I’ve made a blank timeline from “the beginning” to contemporary and have students add the images from the 250, testing their memory without looking at the IDs. This really helps them realize the things that are happening simultaneously in different parts of the world.
Wall Map
Last year I spend $172 dollars on a HUGE wall-sized world map and we use it all the time! It’s great for review to have the students sort out images geographically so they can begin to trace trends in art by location, regardless to time frame.
Thematic Groupings
I use the 13 themes presented in the series Art through Time: A Global View (read my post on their videos HERE!) to have students sort the images from the 250 by theme. I created color-coded posters with titles that I put up in the hallway for students to visually sort the images.
FFCC Posters
You can do these posters two ways: either provide a theme and ask students to select two images to compare and contrast OR give them two images that they would not normally put together and ask them to compare and contrast. Either way the result should be the same: a poster-sized chart in which they have to compare and contrast two images by breaking it down by Form, Function, Content , & Context.
Quiz, Quiz, Trade
I made index cards with all the images of the 250 with their IDs on the back and students pick cards from the bucket and go around the room trying to get their partners to guess parts of the ID and at least 1 item of FFCC. Partners switch cards and them move on to someone new, so each round is new information and a bit of review.
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I print out high-quality color images and split students in pairs and ask them to separate them stylistically and justify their answers. After a couple of minutes, if they are still really struggling I will give them hints or provide partial image IDs to help them towards the right direction. Their written justifications, however, are more important than getting it “right” on the first try.
Play Dress Up
This is a fun game we played in my AP Summer Institute that I just loved! Have the students “act out” or dress up as images from the 250. It really helps them to remember the images and is just plain fun! Make sure they take photos! It’s a great visual review! Can you guess the two images above!?
Six Degrees of Separation
If you have some extra days, Six Degrees of Separation Posters are a nice visual way to organize artworks by theme. I assign student themes and they have to create a poster connecting 6 artworks under that theme. I tell them at least 1 image must be Non-Western and they are allowed to use 1 image outside the 250 if they wish. I try to make these themes different from the ones presented in the Art Through Time: A Global View series, but there is some overlap.
Art History Taboo
Students are put into partners: one partner faces the board and the other has their back to it. On a PowerPoint there are 4 images and their IDs. The player facing the board has to get the other student to guess three parts of the ID by telling them things not on the board. Oh this is hard!
Art History Last Supper
This is another idea I got from my AP Summer Institute that was brilliant! I did this last year the Friday before their AP Exam. Each student is responsible for one image, I get them to pick an image they are weak on, and they have to make a paper plate with a recreation of their assigned artwork with FFCC information on the back. In addition to the plate, each student has to bring in a breakfast food related to their image (my AP class is 1st period). We spend the morning eating delicious food and sharing our plates. (Sorry I totally forgot to take pictures of this last year but it went so well!)
As you can see, most of my review ideas are about breaking organizational bias. We study images in set units but during review time I want them to make connections with images from other units too.

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  • Reply
    Jim Goodwin
    April 21, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Hi! thx for all the great ideas. I was wondering where you go that huge world map for your classroom? I’ve been lookin online and nothing appears to be close in size. can you email me the info? THX so much!
    Jim Goodwin
    San Diego, CA

    • Reply
      April 21, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      Man I bought it years ago. I’ll have to dig a bit to find it!

  • Reply
    curso ingles
    May 12, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Appreciation to my father who stated to me about this website, this blog is
    really amazing.

    • Reply
      August 2, 2019 at 9:17 pm

      Oh awesome! I’m glad you stumbled in. Let me know if there are any art history specific things you want to see

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