Thursday, June 7, 2012

COMMON CORE ELA Sample LITERACY Lesson for High School--Gettysburg Address

What might a high school English instructional unit deliver under the COMMON CORE?  It will open the door to powerful instruction which will reach all students including struggling learners with special needs including, but not limited to, language.

Here is model draft unit on teaching President Lincoln's The Gettysburg Address  SAMPLE LESSON UNIT  My suggestion is to print this out OR open it in another window so that when you watch the video, you can easily follow along as the moderator explains how this unit should be taught.

As you watch, notice how the techniques discussed would broaden vocabulary for all (notice the focus on the word "DEDICATE").  This unit could be jointly taught in both US history and English literature classes with English focusing on language (figurative language, mood, tone, word choice, etc.) and history class focusing on underlying message (not just WHAT WAS SAID, but also WHAT WAS NOT SAID).  For example, why did he date the birth of the country as 1776 and not a later one?  Why did he not mention SLAVERY explicitly?  For such questions, the content issues must be addressed by the history teacher and not the English teacher.

Another key point is that much of the discovery of the meaning of the text is uncovered by the students working with partners.  Students are analyzing text with support as needed (ex.  graphic organizers for note-taking purposes).  They are having "hands-on" experiences in developing skills that will transfer over into the real world when they leave high school.  In such settings, they are analyzing, clarifying their understanding with others, justifying their viewpoints with support from text, etc.

I am still looking for similar examples for middle and elementary schools, but haven't found one yet.  I am also still working on finding links related to lesson development linked to COMMON CORE to share with you.  All you will need to do is subscribe to get the latest news on the topic.



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