As teachers head back to school, EDSITEment offers a host of new resources and lesson plans aimed to assist teachers grappling with the requirements of the Common Core for English Language Arts. Framed around the CCSS exemplar texts, the lessons and resources listed here embody the level of complexity and quality, and the breadth and depth, at which the Standards aim. The lessons identify anchor standards and the student activities contain applications for CC grade-level standards. While not being prescriptive, they are meant to serve as guideposts.
Literature and Language Arts
- A “New English” in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart: A Common Core Exemplar
This lesson provides students with an opportunity to see how Achebe integrates elements from the oral tradition into his narrative: Igbo similes, the proverbs of African conversation, and the folktales that both entertain and instruct.
- Closer Reading Blog Post: Crafting a “New” English in “Things Fall Apart”: A Common Core Exemplar
- Character in Place: Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” for the Common Core
This lesson invites students to describe and analyze Welty’s use of characterization and setting to communicate the struggle and reward of a journey taken by Phoenix Jackson—poor, black, and elderly—during the Great Depression
- Closer Reading Blog Post: Travel “A Worn Path” with Eudora Welty for the Common Core
- Dramatic and Theatrical Aspects in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town: A Common Core Exemplar
The activities in this lesson require students to be active observers, sensitive to the playwright’s subtle use of these dramatic and theatrical devices to shape his drama.
- Closer Reading Blog Post: Revisit “Our Town”: A Common Core Exemplar
- Exemplars from EDSITEment: Poetry for the Common Core
This listing offers a link to the poem, commentary and a host of multimedia resources to assist unpack the poem, the poet and its context.
- Closer Reading Blog Post: National Poetry Month: Exemplars for the Common Core
- House by the Railroad: A Painting and a Poem for the Common Core
This lesson invites a comparative close reading of Edward Hopper’s painting House by the Railroad and Edward Hirsch’s ekphrastic poem “Edward Hopper and the House by the Railroad” to explore how form affects content.
- Closer Reading Blog Post: "House by the Railroad": Painting and Poem for the Common Core
- Scottsboro Boys and To Kill a Mockingbird: Two Trials for the Common Core
This lesson is designed to compare factual and fiction renditions of similar trial experiences, the Scottsboro Boys trials of the 1931 and 1933, and the fictional trial in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird (1960).
- Closer Reading Blog Post: Will Common Core Make “Mockingbird” Extinct?
- Courage In the Time of the Butterflies: A Common Core Exemplar
The lesson analyzes the main characters of Julia Alverez’s novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, to see how each of the four Mirabal sisters and their families demonstrates courage in the Dominican Republic late 1950s to overthrow a dictator’s brutal regime.
- Closer Reading Blog Post: Migrate to the Common Core In the Time of the Butterflies
- Their Eyes Were Watching God: Folk Speech and Figurative Language
Students examine the role that folk groups play in their own lives and in the novel. They undertake a close reading of passages in Their Eyes Were Watching God that reveal Hurston’s literary techniques and determine their impact on the novel.
- Closer Reading Blog Post: Plumbing Zora Neale Hurston’s Voice for the Common Core
- Launchpad: O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”: A Common Core Exemplar
“The Gift of the Magi,” one of O. Henry’s most popular and beloved short stories, is a classic example of with O. Henry’s signature “twist-ending.”
- Closer Reading Blog Post: "Opening “The Gift of the Magi" for the Common Core
- EDSITEment and Common Core: A Raisin in the Sun
Drawing on Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, this presentation demonstrates how teachers can use EDSITEment resources to satisfy the expectations of the Common Core while meeting the diverse needs of students in the classroom.
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History and Social Studies
- Albert Sabin and Bioethics: Testing at the Chillicothe Federal Reformatory
Students work through four main questions of bioethics to determine whether or not Sabin acted ethically; learn how to approach these questions using primary and secondary sources; and come to their own conclusions using evidence-based logical reasoning.
- Galileo: Revealing the Universe
Students practice close reading of passages from Galileo’s Starry Messenger concerning his observations of the stars and constellations through a telescope and develop an understanding of how he constructed his arguments that challenged established views of his time.
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ABOUT THE IMAGE
V. Donaghue, “September—Back to Work, Back to School, Back to Books” . WPA Poster Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.