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Common Core Standards: ELA - Literacy

Grade 9-10

Reading RH.9-10.6

RH.9-10.6. Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.

American Fad

At some point everyone becomes aware of the subtle art that is breakdance fighting, not just a comedic ending to Zoolander, but the real deal, you know, like they do in Japan. The goal of each group is to conquer the other via their whirling extremities and to show off their approach to the same sweet moves. Whether you’re into b-boying or not, you have to appreciate classic American hip-hop culture. All of this, of course, is very much the same as the points of view of two different authors on the same subject; stick with me, the metaphor gets better… Picture Benjamin Franklin coming into the circle, toprocking to express his attitude towards early American political parties. After he is done blowin’ it up, out comes Alexander Hamilton with a different flavor altogether because he wants to represent for the Federalist Party… and the epic b-boy battle ensues. You’re welcome for that awesome visual. Each move is like an author’s pen twirling away on the page, expressing his or her personal point of view on a subject. Though the two accounts will vary in many ways, it’s up to you to decide who spins it the best.


The T Factor

This standard asks students to compare two different points of view, so naturally you would have two breakers… I mean writers… with texts on the same subject matter. However, this isn’t just a simple compare and contrast; it is your responsibility to analyze the style, move for move, of the two writings, including tone (don’t panic, you’re not tone-deaf), or how an author feels about the subject. For example, are they sarcastic and snarky, or sympathetic and heartfelt? To master this standard, you first have to determine the subject matter clearly, then identify the two separate approaches to the subject from the two passages, and finally conduct an informed comparison of those two and explain. You can do it!

America’s Next Top Detail

This standard also asks you to dig into the details. Authors make choices about which information to include and leave out based in part on their point of view on the subject. You’ll need to note the similarities and differences in the details and discuss how these specific details emphasize a particular point of view.

The Amazing Pace

When in doubt with this requirement, think back to the breakdancing (or b-boying if you’re a purist) American founders; it’s all about comparing the styles and perspectives of the two battling authors. They may have similar moves, but there are millions of different combinations and techniques to the same end. The comparison may seem overwhelming, but it’s definitely doable if you pace yourself.


This drill will consist of a small project that students must complete individually. Internet access is necessary, as well as access to a printer/copier (check school or public library). 

1. Locate one electronic source and one print source on the topic of Imperialism and Apartheids (World History). This can be an article 1-2 pages in length, a chapter in a book, or the like. Annotate each reading for the essential discussion of how Apartheids are caused by Imperialism; that is:

  • Highlight the topic sentences in each paragraph (don’t go crazy with it).
  • Underline or note in the margins how the key support connects to the essential idea. 
  • Summarize the discussion presented by the author in your own words (avoid repetition of the author’s words), and relate it back to the discussion question. Title this section Summary and devote at least one full paragraph to each document.

2. Underneath the summary on the same paper (let’s not be wasteful), identify the 5 best key details that serve to emphasize the discussion of Apartheids and Imperialism. You may list them with bullet points, again avoid simple repetition, and if using quotes from the text, use proper punctuation. Label this section Key Points.

3. Directly following your Key Points section, identify and explain the tone of the writing. In other words, what is the author’s attitude towards the subject of Apartheids and Imperialism? Write this explanation in at least one paragraph per document, using support for your analysis of his or her tone.

4. Analyze in at least three, maximum five paragraphs, how the two authors treat the subject of the causality of Apartheids in relationship to Imperialism. Consider the following questions to help your analysis:

  • How does the tone compare and contrast for the two documents?
  • Is there an essential argument for or against the subject matter in either text?
  • Does the author cite specific historical examples? If so, does he or she attempt to empathize with those victimized, or rationalize the use of the restrictions set in place?

5. Present your two documents’ Key Points (#2) and a brief recap of your Analysis (#4) to your peers in a multimedia format:

  • PowerPoint
  • Poster
  • Pictures
  • Handouts
  • Model

Aligned Resources