Common Core Standards: ELA
Standard 9: Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington’s Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech, King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”), including how they address related themes and concepts.
Breakin’ it Down:
Well, the good news is that you’ll probably have support from your history department with this standard. The bad news is that most history classes focus on memorizing the people, places, and dates, rather than analyzing the documents that influenced history.
This standard exists to make sure that students have a common core set of non-fiction texts. Just like there are works of literary fiction that students are expected to know, there are also famous works of non-fiction that students should have in their repertoire.
To meet this standard, make sure that when you are selecting non-fiction texts for your curriculum, you include texts that have influenced the history of the U.S.
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Using this Standard
- 1984 Teacher Pass
- A Raisin in the Sun Teacher Pass
- A Rose For Emily Teacher Pass
- Antigone Teacher Pass
- Julius Caesar Teacher Pass
- Narrative of Frederick Douglass Teacher Pass
- Of Mice and Men Teacher Pass
- Othello Teacher Pass
- The Aeneid Teacher Pass
- The Old Man and the Sea Teacher Pass
- To Kill a Mockingbird Teacher Pass
Teacher Feature: Ideas for the classroom
The main skill to cover in this standard is the art of comparison. Pick speeches, essays, and critiques that address similar topics or themes. Give students opportunities to compare and contrast the nuances of the authors’ opinions. (Look back at Standard 2 for ideas).
- Possible themes to consider:
- Rights and freedoms
- Role of government
- Injustice and prejudice
- Treatment of minority populations
- Resistant and rebellion
- Justification for and against war
Quiz QuestionsHere's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.
- Teaching Antigone: The First Three Letters of Funeral
- Beloved: Back to the Source
- Teaching A Raisin in the Sun: Costume Design
- Teaching A Raisin in the Sun: Newsletter
- Teaching A Rose for Emily: Write an Epitaph
- Teaching A Rose for Emily: Dramatizing "A Rose for Emily"
- Teaching Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Fed-up Fred and Honest Abe: Researching the Tensions Between Douglass and Lincoln
- Teaching Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: What Would Douglass Say Today?
- Teaching Of Mice and Men: Becoming Slim (or Curley, or Candy, or Lennie, or George, or Crooks, or ...)
- Teaching Othello: Paul Robeson’s Historic Performance of Othello
- Teaching The Aeneid: Now About that Ending…
- The Old Man and the Sea: Making It Political
- Teaching Julius Caesar: John Wilkes Booth: An "American Brutus"?
- Teaching To Kill a Mockingbird: Emmett Till & Tom Robinson
- Teaching 1984: This Is Why I Write