Discipline: Social Studies

Grade Level: 10th

Course: Advanced Placement United States History

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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The Cold War
  • Student Work Samples
    • Within the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) framework, student work samples answer the critical question, "What Results?" The inclusion of student work within the module design provides teachers insight into how to improve the quality of the teaching task and the feedback they give on student strengths and challenges.

  • Classroom Assessment Task
    • Background to share with students (optional):

      This task will be the final graded assessment for the unit on the 1950s and Cold War. Students will have 55 minutes of class time to read 10 primary source documents and respond to the classroom assessment task with an argumentative/evaluation essay that includes their own knowledge of the time period, as well as evidence from the documents.

      Classroom assessment task:

      To what extent was America in the 1920s and 1950s similar? After reading primary sources, write an essay that discusses the social, economic, and foreign policy characteristics of the 1920s and the 1950s and evaluates the degree to which they were similar. Be sure to support your position with evidence from the texts.

      Reading texts:

      10 primary source documents

  • Argumentation Classroom Assessment Rubric
    • Meets Expectations


      Addresses the prompt and stays on task; provides a generally convincing response.


      Demonstrates generally effective use of reading material to develop an argument

      Controlling Idea

      Establishes a credible claim, and supports an argument that is logical and generally convincing.

      L2: Acknowledges competing arguments while defending the claim


      Develops reasoning to support claim; provides evidence from text in the form of examples or explanations relevant to the argument.

      L3: Makes a relevant connection that supports argument


      Applies an appropriate text structure to address specific requirements of the prompt


      Demonstrates a command of standard English conventions and cohesion; employs language and tone appropriate to audience and purpose

      Not Yet


      Attempts to address prompt but lacks focus or is off-task.


      Demonstrates weak use of reading material to develop argument.

      Controlling Idea

      Establishes a claim and attempts to support an argument but is not convincing.

      L2: Attempts to acknowledge competing arguments.


      Reasoning is not clear; examples or explanations are weak or irrelevant.

      L3: Connection is weak or not relevant.


      Provides an ineffective structure; composition does not address requirements of the prompt.


      Demonstrates a weak command of standard English conventions; lacks cohesion; language and tone are not appropriate to audience and purpose.

  • Teacher Work Section
    • Here are added thoughts about teaching this module:

      • In teaching this unit again, I would reduce the number of documents for the classroom assessment task. There was not enough time for students to really show their writing skills and develop the essay.
  • Appendix
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