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Common Core Standards: ELA - Literacy See All Teacher Resources



Grade 11-12

Reading RH.11-12.10

RH. 11-12.10 By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 11–CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.--

Reading Matrix

After taking all the parts out of the box and failing to assemble them properly, you decide to break down and look for the directions… they aren’t there. Looks like you’ll have to do this without the comfort of directions. The ultimate goal of all of the high school prep work and hours of independent study should come to this: assembling the parts without the blueprints, perhaps even blindfolded (time to show off). By the end of high school, the goal is for students to know intuitively how to complete a self-appointed task without the guidance and monitoring of a mentor or assignment sheet. There is no assignment sheet. Welcome to the real world.

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Teaching Guides Using this Standard


Reading Matrix Revolution

This standard may seem like something you can just say “check” for, but you’d be wrong. This standard requires students to comprehend anything that falls under the category of history and social studies, without the aid of a teacher, and at the level of college readiness. This shouldn’t intimidate you; after all it’s what you have been preparing them for, but now it’s time to really put students to the test on their own. However, reading independently does not have to be without purpose, to be truly proficient there should always be method to the madness.

  • Down the rabbit hole: There are a few things you can do that will enhance your ability to read these “heavier” texts proficiently and independently:
    • Further your understanding: Start with topics that interest you and try to find sources that are related or compliment your existing knowledge. You don’t want to jump in the water the first time without swimmies.
    • Go in prepared: If you do need to research or read a topic you are unfamiliar with, choose a few different sources of varying media. You will have a better shot at understanding difficult texts with some back-up relating to the same information.
    • Admit defeat: Though you are well prepared with all of the information your spongy brain has absorbed, you may not understand everything you read. It’s not magic; a switch doesn’t flip when you’re done with school that allows you to comprehend all texts. If you come across a text that makes your brain hurt, you can either hunch over a dictionary and computer for hours, or simply find a related text that is easier to digest. Don’t call it quits if the first you thing you come across slips you up. Trade the banana peel for a golden apple.
    • Running away screaming: Don’t do this. If you feel the urge to do this, remember, this is the skill you’ve been training up for, don’t throw the fight.


Choose a reading from the following list and complete the tasks or answer the questions that follow. 

  • The Pilgrimage of Western Man, Stringfellow Barr
  • Who Moved My Cheese, Spencer Johnson
  • Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave by Fredrick Douglass
  • Common Sense, Thomas Paine
  • Democracy in American, Alex de Tocqueville
  • The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison
  • Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Main Street, Sinclair Lewis
  • How the Other Half Lives, Jacob Riis
  • Fireside Chats of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt
  • A separate reading of your choosing

1. Indicate the major topics discussed in the reading you have chosen and determine the central ideas. Complete detailed, structured notes regarding specific insights gained and how they contribute to the text as a whole.

2. Locate a criticism of the text you have chosen. After completing the initial reading, apply this criticism to the text. Identify areas where the article supports the text or where it falls short through inconsistent representation of the text.

3. Identify at least ten key words or phrases that are used throughout the text in support of the central idea, and explain how this is achieved.

4. Explain the structure of the text. How does this structure enhance or detract from the holistic purpose of the reading?

5. Consider the central idea you’ve identified in question #1. Find a separate text, novel or article, in which the same assertion is either corroborated or challenged. Explain how this is done. 

Evaluate the following criteria for both texts

    a. The central idea
    b. The premises (5 will be sufficient)
    c. The evidence

6. Locate at least two sources of different media consistent with the central idea of the studied text. Explain how these sources support the central claim and further the understanding of the assertions.

7. Integrate all information in a well-developed analysis of the text and supporting documents. Compile this and all sources into a multi-faceted portfolio, containing all items throughout the study.

Aligned Resources