This lesson extends over several class periods. Students analyze the claim, grounds, warrants, qualifiers and counterclaims in three articles about the American Dream. Students conduct research and find two additional articles about the American Dream. Students then analyze the argument in those articles. Finally, students write their own argument essay about the current state of the American Dream.
Students use Library of Congress primary sources to examine 19th and 20th century social life in the United States in order to formulate ideas about the American Dream.
This resource is designed to walk students through the process of completing a research project in any field of study. It covers the earliest stages of brainstorming and discussing, continues through researching and compiling sources; writing, documenting, revising, and polishing a paper; and finally presenting the research topic to a wider audience in a professional manner. The focus is on MLA format, though the course could be modified for other formats.
The first unit is an introduction to the project. It asks students to draw on knowledge of issues affecting their own community and world to help generate discussion that could eventually lead to a research topic.
In this set of lessons which extend over several days, students read excerpts from "The Death of Benny Paret" by Norman Mailer and "The Fight" by William Hazlitt. Students annotate the text, specifically looking for metaphor and simile, tone, and syntax. Working with a partner, students write three paragraphs, analyzing metaphor or simile, tone, and syntax in "The Death of Benny Paret." Working independently, students write one paragraph, choosing to analyze metaphor or simile, tone, or syntax in "The Fight."
Students use Library of Congress primary sources to examine the controversies inherent in conservation programs.
Students use Library of Congress primary sources to examine the forces that shaped the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.
Docs Teach is the online tool for teaching with documents, from the National Archives.
* Choose from thousands of primary sources for use in classroom activities.
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The 11th grade learning experience consists of 7 mostly month-long units aligned to the Common Core State Standards, with available course material for teachers and students easily accessible online. Over the course of the year there is a steady progression in text complexity levels, sophistication of writing tasks, speaking and listening activities, and increased opportunities for independent and collaborative work. Rubrics and student models accompany many writing assignments.Throughout the 11th grade year, in addition to the Common Read texts that the whole class reads together, students each select an Independent Reading book and engage with peers in group Book Talks. Students move from learning the class rituals and routines and genre features of argument writing in Unit 11.1 to learning about narrative and informational genres in Unit 11.2: The American Short Story. Teacher resources provide additional materials to support each unit.
In this unit, students will take a look at the historical vision of the American Dream as put together by our Founding Fathers. They will be asked: How, if at all, has this dream changed? Is this dream your dream? First students will participate in an American Dream Convention, acting as a particular historical figure arguing for his or her vision of the American Dream, and then they will write an argument laying out and defending their personal view of what the American Dream should be.
Students read and annotate closely one of the documents that they feel expresses the American Dream.
Students participate in an American Dream Convention, acting as a particular historical figure arguing his or her vision of the American Dream.
Students write a paper, taking into consideration the different points of view in the documents read, answering the question “What is the American Dream now?”
Students write their own argument describing and defending their vision of what the American Dream should be.
What has been the historical vision of the American Dream?
What should the American Dream be? (What should we as individuals and as a nation aspire to?)
How would women, former slaves, and other disenfranchised groups living during the time these documents were written respond to them?
BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT: Cold Read
This unit uses William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing as a vehicle to help students consider how a person is powerless in the face of rumor and how reputations can alter lives, both for good and for ill. They will consider comedy and what makes us laugh. They will see how the standards of beauty and societal views toward women have changed since the Elizabethan Age and reflect on reasons for those changes. As students consider the play, they will write on the passages that inspire and plague them and on topics relating to one of the themes in the play. Finally, they will bring Shakespeare’s words to life in individual performances and in group scene presentations.
Students read Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing .
Students read two Shakespearean sonnets and excerpts from an Elizabethan morality handbook dealing with types of women, and they respond to them from several different perspectives.
For each work of literature, students do some writing. They learn to write a sonnet; create a Prompt Book; complete a Dialectical Journal; and write an analytical essay about a topic relating to a theme in the play.
Students see Shakespeare’s play as it was intended to be seen: in a performance. They memorize 15 or more lines from the play and perform them for the class. Students take part in a short scene as either a director or an actor.
What are society’s expectations with regard to gender roles?
Does humor transcend time? Do we share the same sense of humor as our ancestors?
How do we judge people?
How important is reputation?
BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT (Cold Read)
The Branagh version of Much Ado About Nothing is available on DVD through Netflix and for streaming through Amazon. Other versions are also available on both sites.
In this unit, students will produce two major pieces of work. The first piece is an argument essay that grapples with one of the core questions of the unit: who are we, and who have we become because of the ways we connect? Students will read, annotate, and discuss several texts together as they consider the issues surrounding this question, and they will also research and annotate independently as they search for more evidence and perspectives to help deepen their ideas. They will also create a museum exhibit as part of a team. The exhibit project will help students identify what's worth preserving about their unique place in history.
This project unit continues to meet the English Language Arts standards as it also utilizes the learning principles established by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. It is designed to support deep content knowledge and perseverance through long-term project planning and implementation. In addition, it will help students to recognize, develop, and apply the planning, teamwork, communication, and presentation skills they will use while presenting a final product to their class and/or the greater community. This real-world project-based activity will give students an opportunity to apply the skills they have been learning all year and will guide them to develop the motivation, knowledge, and skills they need in order to be college and career ready.
Students write an argument paper where they develop a claim about current culture as it has been influenced by digital connectivity.
Students participate in a group project to create a museum exhibit that captures a unique place, time, and relationship to technology. Students acknowledge the differing perspectives of each group member and use those perspectives to synthesize one cohesive visual argument together.
What does it mean to be digitally connected?
What are the implications of living in a world where everyone is digitally connected?
How does the availability of instant connectivity shape our relationships?
What does our Internet use reveal about people's needs as humans?
BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT: Cold Read
People often say that mankind should learn from history. Charles Dickens, whose books are considered classics, set his novel A Tale of Two Cities in the past. He wanted his readers to learn from the bloody French Revolution and from the widespread brutality in London. Both cities (Paris and London) offer the reader a glimpse into dark and dangerous times. As students read about Dickens's Victorian setting and learn his view of the French Revolution, they will think about what makes a just world. Students will have a chance to think about their own experiences, and, using techniques they have learned from Charles Dickens, they will do some writing that sends a message about your own world.
To complete the unit accomplishments, students will:
Read the Charles Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities.
Read several short pieces, including a biography of Dickens and excerpts from other literature, to help them understand Dickens’s world and the world of the novel.
Explore new vocabulary to build their ability to write and speak using academic language.
Practice close reading and participate in several role plays and dramatic readings to help them experience the dramatic writing style of Charles Dickens.
Write a vignette and a short narrative piece, and practice using descriptive detail and precise language.
Write a reflection about the meaning of Dickens’s novel.
How does good storytelling affect the reader, and how can a good story promote change in the world?
What was the Victorian view of gender roles?
How can power be abused?
What is loyalty ? What are the limits of loyalty?
In this unit, students will explore great works of American literature and consider how writers reflect the time period in which they write. They will write two literary analysis papers and also work in groups to research and develop anthologies of excellent American stories.
Students read and analyze stories from several 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century American authors. After researching a time period, they select stories from that period to create an anthology. The readings enhance their understanding of the short story, increase their exposure to well-known American authors, and allow them to examine the influence of social, cultural, and political context.
Students examine elements of short stories and have an opportunity for close reading of several American short stories. During these close readings, they examine the ways that short story writers attempt to explore the greater truths of the American experience through their literature.
If you were to write a short story about this decade, what issues might you focus on?
What defines a short story? Just length?
To what extent do these stories reflect the era or decade in which they were written?
To what extent are the themes they address universal?
History.com has short videos on the Vietnam War (“Vietnam” and “A Soldier's Story”).
The 12th grade learning experience consists of 7 mostly month-long units aligned to the Common Core State Standards, with available course material for teachers and students easily accessible online. Over the course of the year there is a steady progression in text complexity levels, sophistication of writing tasks, speaking and listening activities, and increased opportunities for independent and collaborative work. Rubrics and student models accompany many writing assignments.Throughout the 12th grade year, in addition to the Common Read texts that the whole class reads together, students each select an Independent Reading book and engage with peers in group Book Talks. Language study is embedded in every 12th grade unit as students use annotation to closely review aspects of each text. Teacher resources provide additional materials to support each unit.
Who decides who among us is civilized? What rules should govern immigration into the United States? Whom should we let in? Keep out? What should we do about political refugees or children without papers? What if they would be a drain on our economy?
Students read William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest and write a short argument about who in the play is truly civilized.
Students participate in a mock trial in which they argue for or against granting asylum to a teenage refugee, and then they write arguments in favor of granting asylum to one refugee and against granting it to another.
Students read an Independent Reading text and write an informational essay about a global issue and how that relates to their book.
What role do national identity, custom, religion, and other locally held beliefs play in a world increasingly characterized by globalization?
How does Shakespeare’s view of human rights compare with that in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
Who is civilized? Who decides what civilization is or how it’s defined?
How do we behave toward and acknowledge those whose culture is different from our own?
In our lives, we are constantly telling stories to ourselves and to others in an attempt to both understand our experiences and present our best selves to others. But how do we tell a story about ourselves that is both true and positive? How do we hold ourselves up in the best possible light, while still being honest about our struggles and our flaws? Students will explore ways of interpreting and portraying personal experiences. They'll read Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart , analyzing the text through the eyes of one character. They'll get to know that character's flaws and strengths, and they'll tell part of the story from that character's perspective, doing their best to tell an honest tale that presents their character's best side. Then they'll explore their own stories, crafting a personal narrative about an important moment of learning in his or her life.
Students read and analyze Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart , viewing the events and conflicts of the novel through the eyes of one of the central characters.
Students write a two-part narrative project: one narrative told through their character’s perspective and one personal narrative about an incident in their own life.
How do our conflicts shape and show our character?
How can we tell a story about ourselves that’s both honest and positive?
How do definitions of justice change depending on the culture you live in?
What are ways individuals can react to a changing world? To a community that doesn’t accept us?
BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT: Cold Read
This online lesson provides perspectives from Native American community members and their supporters, images, news footage, an interactive timeline, and other sources about an important campaign to secure the treaty rights and sovereignty of Native Nations of the Pacific Northwest. Scroll to begin an exploration of the actions Native Nations took to address injustices.
How do we, as youth, respond to gun violence in our communities? The Gun Violence webcast explores gun violence in Pakistan, Somalia, and the United States.
This inquiry by Ryan Theodoriches, Evergreen Public Schools, is based on the C3 Framework inquiry arc. The inquiry leads students through an investigation of the decision by the federal government of the United States to honor Christopher Columbus with a federal holiday as well as efforts to challenge the view that Columbus should be revered as a national hero.