You know the Style #4 Free Response Question on the College Board’s national Government exam can be a real challenge. I am talking about the argument essay that takes more time for students to plan and write. Because it is a little more challenging, I tend to dread then delay teaching it. Not a good idea.


This year, I am devoting a few days to teaching it immediately after Unit 1. Since the question requires the use and reference to at least one Foundational Document, it makes total sense to teach and emphasize several of these documents during Unit 1’s founding government themes and events.


After three years of teaching FRQ #4 in a rather experimental way, I believe I have a good model and plan for year four. Check out the video, where I offer some classroom practices, some “dos and don’ts,” and basic teaching philosophy regarding this quest. You’ll also get access to some original FRQ #4 prompts.




David Wolfford teaches Advanced Placement® U.S. Government and Politics at Mariemont High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has served as an AP® Reader. He has a B.A. in Secondary Education and an M.A. in Constitutional and Legal History, both from the University of Kentucky. He has conducted historical research projects on school desegregation and American political history. David has published in historical journals, such as Ohio Valley History and Kentucky Humanities. He has written on government, politics, and campaigns for national magazines and Cincinnati newspapers. He is a James Madison Fellow, a National Board-certified teacher, and a regular contributor to Social Education. David is editor of By George: Articles from the Ashland Daily Independent (Jesse Stuart Foundation) and editor of Ohio Social Studies Review.


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