Closer Readings +

Opening “The Gift of the Magi” for the Classroom

The Magi (detail) c. 526. Ravenna, San Apollinare Nuovo
“… Magi, his most famous story, is the American answer to A Christmas Carol, only supplanted in the last generation by It’s A Wonderful Life, a film whose debt to O. Henry is apparent.”—Drew Johnson, “O. Henry’s Afterlife: Thoughts and Ephemera”Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

New Resources for ELA Classrooms

EDSITEment has developed a couple new ELA Literature resources around ELA Common Core State Standards Exemplars. We hope you will enjoy them!Launchpad: O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”: A Common Core ExemplarRead More »

Civic Education and the Classroom

Despite all the attention the Common Core English Language Standards have been getting in the media, some of the most interesting and salutary parts of the standards have been neglected. While the national conversation has focused on the use and abuse of “informational texts” in English Language Arts classrooms, the rationale for the “Literacy in History/Social Studies” standards have been largely ignored.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Crafting a “New” English in “Things Fall Apart”

Ojiako Ezenne with his family, c. 1913
There is that great proverb—that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.—Chinua AchebeA CCSS Exemplar text for grades 9–10 (Appendix B), Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart deals with the clash of cultures and the violent transitions brought about by British colonialism in Nigeria at the end of the 19th century.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address: “A Few Well Chosen Remarks”

Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address
When Abraham Lincoln was invited in the fall of 1863 to speak at the dedication of a national cemetery on the site of a pivotal Union victory at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, it was not to give the main speech. That oration was delivered by Edward Everett, a Massachusetts statesman, vice-presidential candidate of the Constitutional Union Party in 1860, and the most famous orator of his day. Everett spoke to the crowd of 15,000 without notes for over two hours, giving an example of the kind of ornate, learned, and transcendentalist rhetoric that was expected at such ceremonies.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings