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Common Core Standards: ELA - Literacy

Grade 11-12

Reading RH.11-12.9

RH.11-12.9. Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.

How to Train Your Ideas

Listen up, students. Jonas, Scout, Jane, Frodo, Harry, Katniss...they all have one thing in common: eventually they had to break away from the protection and guardianship of a caring older person and move forward on their own with their protector’s tutelage in tow. It’s time to cut the little Padawan rat tail and take up your own light saber, time to let the wand choose the wizard, time to get off this archetypal train and get your own wheels. Ok, but seriously kids, by now you should be able to cut the cord with your teacher and make your own magic. Previously you’ve been given information with a task to complete, but this time you’re on your own in terms of the tools you have to complete the assignment… stay tuned for more.

Example

Kung Fu Student

In this standard, students need to take a single idea or past event, form a well thought out claim or opinion that represents their understanding and thoughts on the situation, and then slap some research on it to sweeten the deal. Here are some tips to get them started:

  • Stick to what you know: When you are dealing with a single idea or event in history or social studies, do yourself a favor and go with something you already have a little bit of background knowledge for. If you haven’t studied the feminist movement a whole heap then avoid the topic.
  • Find out what you know: Time to hit the research. This is where the fun comes in; the standard only says “integrate information from diverse sources,” which gives you a ticket to ride the internet train… as well as other legitimate sources. Integrating the information is key. Sifting through the desert of text can be tiresome; however it is critical to zero in on the most applicable information. How will you know when you’re done? Well, you should keep researching until you can demonstrate a coherent (meaning full, clear, and well-rounded) understanding of the topic.
  • Let’s talk about… you know: When there are discrepancies in the information you gather, not only is it necessary to point these out, it’s an indication that more research is needed in order to understand the cause and nature of the discrepancy. Even though you’ll have sources that disagree, you should still be able to reach a clear understanding of the topic at hand and explain how these disagreements play into things or may be resolved.

Fall of the Guardians

The point of it all is to finish the journey alone, to show how awesome you are out from under the shadow of your mentor. With patient study and carful logic you can do a job that would make daddy, your teacher, Yoda, Gandalf, or even Dumbledore proud.

Drill

This drill will serve as an independent study with criteria consistent with the standard. Read the following project guidelines and complete all tasks and/or questions.

Assignment

  • Determine a topic of interest related to your current mode of study. This topic should focus around a broad idea in history or notable event.
  • Integrate at least four sources into a comprehensive discussion of the topic or event in question. At least two of these documents must be primary sources. All sources should be diverse in origin and media type.
  • Annotate each text for the consistent presence of the topic discussed and trans-documented evidence. Note discrepancies among the sources; that is, briefly explain in the annotation whether the sources are in agreement, are opposing, or consist of erroneous or conflicting information.
  • In the case of narratives or fictional works, make note of any particular characters, events, or ideas in each. In the case of visual or quantitative data, provide a detailed, written explanation of the relation the source has to the topic.
  • Integrate the information from all texts into a well-developed evaluation of the central idea or event in question. This discussion should be substantial, incorporate line references from all sources, and contribute to a sense of on-going discussion on the topic. This assignment warrants a 5-8 page response.

Aligned Resources

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