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Ch 11: Samples of Informational Texts for CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.10

About This Chapter

Perk your students' interest during your English class with these entertaining short videos giving summaries and themes of several well-known historical works. Your students will discover methods of reading and interpreting complicated historical texts.

Standard: By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.10)

About This Chapter

Building on previous chapters describing the strategies for reading and pulling meaning from various texts, this chapter applies those lessons to a list of works by English-speaking authors from different backgrounds regarding various historical events and people. Reviewing these videos will help your students cement their understanding of all of the lessons in this course in a capstone exercise in evaluating texts. The texts described in this chapter include:

  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown
  • Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn by Evan S. Connell
  • The Story of Art, 16th Edition, by E.H. Gombrich
  • Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky
  • Black, Blue and Gray: African Americans in the Civil War by Jim Haskins
  • The Longitude Prize by Joan Dash
  • The Illustrated Book of Great Composers by Wendy Thompson
  • Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491 by Charles C. Mann

After watching these videos, students should have a steady example of how to put their textual analysis skills into practice. They will be able to refer to these videos to see what a summary and explanation of a text looks like as they develop their own ideas of other texts.

How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom

Here are some suggestions of different ways you may use these videos as part of your classroom instruction.

Check on learning

First provide the titles discussed in this chapter as options for students to read (most are available online for free if you do not have them in your school library). As part of a book-report project or just as a stand-alone homework assignment, have your students write their own synopsis and the key themes they drew from the book. Then have them watch the video related to their work and see how their summary matched up. They can annotate what they learned from the video on their assignment for future reference.

No reading necessary…

Perhaps you would like to focus only on the examples of summaries rather than using them as a reference for comparison in your students' studies. Just watch the videos in class and have the students complete the chapter test as homework.

Connecting history to now

Have your students choose a title which appeals to them for review. As homework they will watch the video here. Afterward they will tie their understanding of the text as presented in the video to events in their own life.

8 Lessons in Chapter 11: Samples of Informational Texts for CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.10
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

1. Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

How much do you really know about the old Wild West? In Dee Brown's epic history, 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,' you'll have a chance to read about what it was like for the Native Americans to find themselves outnumbered and outgunned by the white settlers.

Evan S. Connell's Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn

2. Evan S. Connell's Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn

Published in 1984, Connell's ''Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn'' tells the story of the cavalry battle against Native American tribes known as Custer's Last Stand. The book attempts to revise standard narratives about the battle, which saw Custer as a tragic hero slaughtered by savages.

E.H. Gombrich's The Story of Art, 16th Edition

3. E.H. Gombrich's The Story of Art, 16th Edition

Discover what makes E. H. Gombrich's ''The Story of Art'' one of the most widely-used survey textbooks in any field. Learn about the scope of the book and the canon of art history.

Mark Kurlansky's Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World

4. Mark Kurlansky's Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World

When you think of animals that helped change the world, you may think of farm animals or even microorganisms. But what about fish? In his book, Mark Kurlansky shows how one fish did just that.

Jim Haskins' Black, Blue and Gray: African Americans in the Civil War

5. Jim Haskins' Black, Blue and Gray: African Americans in the Civil War

In Jim Haskins' book, 'Black, Blue and Gray: African Americans in the Civil War', Haskins attempts to correct the historical record by highlighting the story of the African Americans who fought for both sides during the Civil War, but had traditionally been written out of history books.

Joan Dash's The Longitude Prize: Summary & Themes

6. Joan Dash's The Longitude Prize: Summary & Themes

Time is a relatively simple thing, but for the British in the 1700s, it was a very expensive problem. In this lesson, we examine 'The Longitude Prize' by Joan Dash, which looks at the search for a ship's clock.

Wendy Thompson's The Illustrated Book of Great Composers

7. Wendy Thompson's The Illustrated Book of Great Composers

Wendy Thompson's 'The Illustrated Book of Great Composers' introduces readers to classical music with illustrated biographies of the 100 most important composers in history, from the medieval period to the present.

Charles C. Mann's 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

8. Charles C. Mann's 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

In his book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, author Charles C. Mann challenges many of the accepted preconceptions of the Americas. Mann argues that the Western Hemisphere contained peoples far more populous and developed than common knowledge dictates.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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