About This Chapter
Standard: By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.10)
About This Chapter
In order to meet this chapter's matching Common Core standard, your class should be able to read and understand grade-level history and social studies selections with ease. This collection of readings presented through video lessons offers fresh insights and digs deep into the authors' motivations. Lessons are accompanied by self-assessment quizzes to give you and your students instant feedback on their learning. Here's an idea of just some of the literature summarized and explored:
- Walden by Henry David Thoreau
- H.L. Mencken's The American Language
- Black Boy by Richard Wright
- Amy Tan's Mother Tongue
- Take the Tortillas Out of Your Poetry by Rudolfo Anaya
Students will demonstrate control over this standard when they can read texts in this complexity band and discuss them orally or in their writing. Attainment of this standard can help students in college programs that require grade level reading and application of the views presented. These skills could also be beneficial in a wide variety of careers that require strong reading comprehension capabilities.
How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom
As a follow-up to your curriculum, these video lessons offer ideas that might be taken a step further in the following classroom activities:
Beyond The Videos
Before sharing the video lessons, alert students to be on the lookout for a piece that is of particular interest to each of them. Upon completion of this chapter, students will choose one piece to be read in its entirety, responding in writing or oral presentations to a set of discussion questions.
All About Abe
Watch the video lesson concerning Abraham Lincoln and the Self-Made Myth by Hofstadter. Choose another piece of literature appropriate for this complexity band based on Lincoln. Compare and contrast various aspects of the writing,including purpose and point of view.
Tortillas in My What?
Share additional portions of the text by Anaya. In small groups, ask students to discover the meanings of certain words and phrases that employ figurative language and connotative meanings. Ask them to discuss how those affect the tone and meaning of the selections. Students will then share their findings with the class.
1. Thomas Paine: Common Sense and The Crisis
Thomas Paine was an influential writer during the American Revolution. In this lesson, we'll explore the content and style of two of his most famous pamphlets and how they helped shape American history.
2. The Declaration of Independence: Text, Signers and Legacy
After 12 years of tension and fighting, the colonists and their leaders were ready to declare themselves a new country, independent of Great Britain. This lesson examines the motives, the text, and the legacy of America's Declaration of Independence.
3. The Bill of Rights: The Constitution's First 10 Amendments
The Bill of Rights was pivotal in getting the U.S. Constitution ratified. More importantly, the Bill of Rights guarantees the rights of every citizen of the United States in a way that is nearly unequaled.
4. Henry David Thoreau's Walden: Summary and Analysis
Henry David Thoreau was one of the most influential transcendental American writers and Walden was one of the movement's most important works. Let's explore why.
5. Ralph Waldo Emerson's Society and Solitude: Summary & Themes
Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay, 'Society and Solitude,' identifies 19th-century transcendentalist themes such as the importance of private contemplation and intuition. We'll be studying these themes in this lesson.
6. Horace Porter's Lee Surrenders to Grant, April 9th, 1865
In this lesson, we explore the eyewitness account of General Robert E. Lee's surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant in 1865, as provided by Horace Porter, one of Grant's lieutenant-colonels.
7. G. K. Chesterton' s The Fallacy of Success: Summary & Themes
G. K. Chesterton's essay ''The Fallacy of Success'' attacks self-help books that claim to teach the secret to getting rich. In this lesson, you'll learn the major ideas that Chesterton uses to prove his point.
8. H. L. Mencken's The American Language, 4th Edition
''The American Language'' is writer H.L. Mencken's study of American English, which caused controversy at the time for advocating a descriptivist view of English grammar and usage. The 4th Edition, published in 1948, is the final version Mencken published before his death.
9. Richard Wright's Black Boy: Summary and Analysis
After his fiction masterpiece 'Native Son,' Richard Wright wrote a deeply personal and moving autobiography, covering his childhood in the South and his life as an adult in Chicago. In this lesson, we'll explore 'Black Boy.'
10. George Orwell's Politics and the English Language: Summary & Themes
George Orwell's widely read essay 'Politics and the English Language' links the decline of the English language to the degradation of the political process. This lesson explores Orwell's arguments and his time-tested advice to writers on how to improve their writing.
11. Richard Hofstadter's Abraham Lincoln and the Self-Made Myth
'Abraham Lincoln and the Self-Made Myth' is an influential essay written by historian Richard Hofstadter in 1948. In it, Hofstadter challenges some of our most cherished stories about Lincoln in order to make a point about the way we understand history.
12. Amy Tan's Mother Tongue: Summary & Themes
In the essay, 'Mother Tongue' by Amy Tan, we are asked to consider how the language we grow up with affects us throughout our lives. The essay looks at themes of shame, education, and living in two worlds. Hopefully, in the end we find joy.
13. Rudolfo Anaya's Take the Tortillas Out of Your Poetry
In this lesson, you'll read a summary of Rudolfo Anaya's anti-censorship essay, ~'Take the Tortillas Out of Your Poetry.~' You'll learn about the different types of censorship and how they impacted Chicano writers of the 1960s.
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Other chapters within the Common Core History & Social Studies Grades 11-12: Literacy Standards course
- Using Evidence to Support Analysis: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.1
- Central Ideas in Writing: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2
- Evaluating Explanations in Writing: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.3
- Determining the Meaning of Words: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.4
- Analyzing Text Structure: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.5
- Evaluating View Points: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.6
- Using Multiple Sources of Information: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.7
- Evaluating Sources: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.8
- Integrating Information from Different Sources: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.9
- Reading Comprehension: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.10