I don't want students to spend the weeks after the exam in mental stagnation, so I alternate between two activities. The first is to study the opening chapters of their summer reading together. Most of the students take AP Lit in their senior year, and they always have summer reading. We read the first few chapters together in class and spend time discussing and analyzing those chapters. The students appreciate that they were "getting ahead" on their summer reading, and beginning the book together helps them feel more confident reading the rest of the book on their own. Additionally, the students are engaged in close reading and analysis of language, which fulfills the objectives of both AP Lang and AP Lit.
The other activity is for students to work on their college application essays. Most students dread writing these essays, and honestly, who can blame them? Students choose one specific essay to write, and we spend time analyzing exactly what the essay is asking students to do. Basically, we are breaking down the prompt, as we had done all year, and as they will need to do in AP Lit. I schedule time in the computer lab for us to work on the essays and we go through the revision process together. I have time to work with each student one-on-one, and I give them credit for their work. Before they leave for the summer, everyone has a polished essay ready for the application process.
My AP students are seniors, and the days after the exam are filled with activities outside of the classroom that digs into my class time -- prom, senior picnic, senior dinner,graduation practice, final exams, etc. I try to incorporate activities that still get them thinking yet are fun. We watch Disney's The Lion King and then they explain why the classic film is an adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. This year they are creating infographics to present their comprehension. I have them work on their writing portfolios with a creative writing task, "Ode to Senior Year", where they reflect on all of their hard work in this AP course and end the poem with a stanza on how this year is helping them as they move forward once they graduate. I attempt to end the year with the film, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, adapted from the novel by Mitch Albom. In discussing the key theme of life having a plan for you even if you don't realize it, I want them to consider that not all situations they encounter in their lives, difficult or unpleasant, are negative. That includes the score from the AP exam that they will get in July. The important thing is to take all of our experiences and learn from them.