Common Core Standards: ELA - Literacy
ELA - Literacy.CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4
RH.9-10.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
It happens all the time, in the car, in an elevator, even on a boat. It’s always at the most inconvenient time. Often it can happen multiple times in one day, and it always makes you angry. The infuriating and habitual dropped call…it happens to the best of us, even fanatical iPhone users occasionally have to deal with it. I know, a lot of people don’t actually talk, but when you do, and the call drops, you don’t just get angry, you get hulk angry. Once you pick up the shreds of your shirt and dignity after the dropped call tantrum, you start to piece together info you missed when the call was lost. If you don’t get all the info, you have to spend more time trying to piece together the point of the conversation. This is the exact same result when you don’t understand, or bother to contextually infer, technical words or domain-specific vocabulary in a text. It’s as if your convo was scattered and sketchy; you only get half the words, so you only get half the meaning.
Once Upon a Passage
When reading history texts, you’ll need to understand fun terms like Antebellum (not a country-pop cross over band), Free Market Economy (not a huge BOGO sale), Women’s Suffrage (not about harming women), and Manifest Destiny (the answer is obvious if you’re fortunate). This stuff isn’t just to be glossed over when reading; if you can’t understand half of the words in the text, how are you supposed to know the point of the reading, and for that matter, how could you discuss it intelligently? Here are some helpful hints:
- When you get to a word you don’t know and you are reading a textbook, generally there will be a footnote or a dictionary of specific vocabulary in the back.
- The buzzword of the day: context clues! Many times when you are reading a passage, the sentence, paragraph, or entire passage (context) may give you an idea (clue) of what an unfamiliar word means. A careful reading will help you understand domain-specific vocabulary. This will be the last line of defense if you get in front of an exam and you don’t know what something means.
- Google that stuff: Research, it never hurts to do a little outside reading on your own. If you know you’re having a hard time with a section of history, read up! Find some reliable electronic sources that may aid your understanding. When all else fails, just look up the word or words in a dictionary for a start!
You never want to fall victim to misunderstandings via cell phone texts OR class texts. A poorly read passage, skipping unfamiliar words because you don’t know them, is like the auto correct feature on your phone; instead of reading “my parents got me a laptop,” you could end up reading “my pterodactyls got me a lap dance” …enough said.
Quiz QuestionsHere's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.
Read each sentence given carefully. Choose the answer that gives the best definition or synonym for the bold word or words.
- Teaching the War of 1812: Document-Based Writing Activity: Britain's Impressment Policy
- Teaching the West: Document Analysis: The Life of a Homesteader
- Teaching World War II: Statistical Analysis: Participation and Fatality Rates
- Teaching World War II: Image Analysis: Portraits of the Enemy
- Teaching World War II: Home Front: Document Analysis: Roosevelt's Call for Sacrifice
- Teaching Causes of the Civil War: Image Analysis: Northern Representations of the South
- Teaching Causes of the Civil War: Image Analysis/Presentation: Controversial Symbol of Liberty
- Civil Rights Movement: "Black Power" Era: The Civil Rights Movement: "Black Power" Era Activity: Document Analysis: Martin Luther King, Jr. versus H. Rap Brown
- Civil Rights Movement: "Black Power" Era: The Civil Rights Movement: "Black Power" Era Activity: Image and Document Analysis: the Watts Riot/Revolt
- Teaching Civil Rights Movement: Desegregation: Image Analysis: The Power of Images
- Teaching Civil Rights Movement: Desegregation: Statistical Analysis: Measuring Progress
- Teaching Civil Rights Movement: Desegregation: Document Analysis: Brown v. Board
- Cold War: Cuban Missile Crisis to Detente: The Cold War: Cuban Missile Crisis to Détente Activity: Document, Statistic and Image Analysis: Nixon's Trip to China
- Teaching Immigration: Era of Open Borders: Image & Document Analysis: Anti-Irish Know-Nothings
- Teaching Immigration: Era of Restriction: Statistics Analysis: The New "New Immigration"
- Teaching Jefferson's Revolution of 1800: Document-Based Activity: Jefferson on Race
- Teaching the Legislative Branch (Congress): Interpreting Statistics: Congressional Re-Election Rates
- Teaching the Legislative Branch (Congress): Statistical Analysis: Congressional Membership
- Teaching the 1950s: Document Analysis: Comic Books and Juvenile Delinquency
- Teaching the 1960s: Video Documentary: Berkeleyinthe60s
- Teaching the 1960s: Song Analysis: Bob Dylan
- Teaching Equal Protection: Document Analysis and Debate: Women and the Draft
- Teaching Equal Protection: Statistical Analysis: Gay Marriage
- Teaching FDR's New Deal: Statistical Analysis: Was the New Deal a Success?
- Teaching FDR's New Deal: Image Analysis: WPA Post Office Murals
- Teaching the Federal Bureaucracy: Statistical Analysis and Graphing Exercise
- History of Journalism in America: History of Journalism: Statistical Data Analysis: The State of Print Journalism
- Teaching Political Parties: Image and Statistical Analysis: Interpreting Political Cartoons
- Teaching Political Parties: Polling Data Analysis: 2008 Realignment
- Teaching Postwar Suburbia: Image Analysis: Levittown
- Teaching Postwar Suburbia: Video Analysis: 1950s Advertising
- Teaching Postwar Suburbia: Video Analysis: The Kitchen Debate
- Teaching Progressive Era Politics: Document Analysis: The Jungle
- Teaching Progressive Era Politics: Image Analysis: Theodore Roosevelt in Cartoons
- Teaching Puritan Settlement in New England: Research Activity: Analyzing Probate Records