Grade Level:9-10

Course: English or History

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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A Reading of the Gettysburg Address
  • Skills cluster 1: Reading Process for Paideia Seminar
    • Pacing Skill and Definition Mini-Task Instructional Strategies
      Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...)

      Skills Cluster 1: Preparing for the Task

      Days 1-3

      1. Inspectional Reading

      Ability to identify structural components of the seminar text.

      Labeled Text and Paraphrase

      Label the five parts of the text while the teacher reads the Gettysburg Address aloud, and identify the five sections.

      Structural features of the text are visible and clear; correctly identifies five sections.

      • Each student has a copy of the printed text of the Gettysburg Address.
      • Read the five identified sections (see Graphic Organizer in Appendix to this module) aloud for students while they mark the sections.
      • (See Adler & Van Doren, pp. 31-44.)
      • RI 9-10.4


      2. Essential Vocabulary

      Ability to identify and master terms essential to understanding a text.

      Vocabulary List

      In your notebook, list words and phrases essential to the texts.  Add definitions and (if appropriate) notes on connotation in this context. Where and how does Lincoln define “democracy”?

      Lists appropriate phrases.

      Provides accurate definitions.

      Answers question.

      • Ask some students to share definitions of terms.
      • Provide direct instruction as necessary and guide a close reading to work through key phrases.
      • RI 9-10.1 & 2

      Days 2-3

      3. Analytical Reading & Note Taking

      Ability to read text for basic understanding.  

      Short Response

      Mini-task: Generate descriptive notes within a graphic organizer (see Appendix to this module).

      Organizer is completely filled in with appropriate examples.

      • Having completed the Inspectional Read, guide students to do a second, closer reading and complete the graphic organizer as follows: 
      • Divide the class into five groups and assign each section of the speech to a group.  Ask that each group compose a clear paraphrase of that section, using a dictionary and vocabulary notes (see previous mini-task) as needed.  Then have each group share its paraphrase in turn, and guide a brief discussion of that section, stressing common surface understanding of each section in turn.  
      • Allow students time to fill in their paraphrase boxes in their own words on their individual copies of the graphic organizer.  (Remind students to bring the graphic organizer along with their marked copies of the text to the seminar discussion.)
      • Students respond to guiding questions to build on understanding of vocabulary within the context of the speech. Questions address essential facts about text. 
      • RI 9 – 10.1,2,5,6 ; W 9 – 10.9; SL 9 – 10.1; and L 9 – 10. 4-6
  • Skills Cluster 2: Dialogue Process (Paideia Seminar)
    • Pacing Skill and Definition Mini-Task Instructional Strategies
      Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...)

      Skills Cluster 2: Dialogue Process (Paideia Seminar)

      Day 4

      1. Pre-seminar Process

      Ability to reflect on personal communication habits and select appropriate speaking and listening goals.


      Based on the list of Speaking and Listening behaviors, write a goal for your personal participation in the upcoming dialogue.

      Chooses appropriate individual process goal based on past seminar performance.

      • See Speaking and Listening Rubric and sample “Seminar Process Assessment” in Appendix.
      • Teachers should take each of the Process steps of Paideia Seminar including: definition and purpose for having the dialogue, role and responsibility of facilitator and participants, steps to guide personal and group process goals. (See Teaching Thinking Through Dialogue for examples of pre- and post-seminar process “scripts” embedded in sample seminar plans.)
      • Be sure to have students complete Paideia Seminar Speaking and Listening Skills Self-Assessment
      • Teacher should identify appropriate speaking and listening goals for the group. The group participation goal is discussed and posted where all can see.  

      Day 4

      2. Seminar

      Ability to think critically and collaboratively in a group about concepts and ideas of a text through a structured Paideia Seminar or other discussion-based strategy.


      Participate in the seminar and focus on your goals.

      Teacher-produced seminar “map” documents spoken participation by individual students.

      • Teacher should use the Gettysburg Address Seminar Plan in Appendix for scope and sequence of prepared Seminar Questions.
      • RI 9 – 10.1; RI 9 – 10.6 & 8; SL 9 – 10

      Day 4

      3. Post-seminar 

      Ability to self-assess on speaking and listening skills practiced in the seminar and note relevant communication goals for future discussions.


      Reflect back on your participation goal, then finish filling out the Seminar Process Assessment form; write a short reflective work on your seminar performance in detail.

      Answers task by filling in form completely.

      Writes in detail about seminar participation.

      • See Appendix. Have a few representative students share their goal for speaking and listening and their performance.  Likewise, may ask the entire group to reflect on the entire dialogue process, i.e. the group effort.   In whatever format is preferred, both individual and group reflections should be archived for reference at the beginning of the next seminar. 
      • See Teaching Thinking Through Dialogue: See pages 44-48.
  • Skills Cluster 3:Transition to Writing
    • Pacing Skill and Definition Mini-Task Instructional Strategies
      Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...)

      Skills Cluster 3:Transition to Writing

      Day 5

      1. Task Analysis

      Ability to understand and explain the task’s prompt and rubric.

      Short response

      In a quick-write, write your first reaction to the task prompt.  Add some notes of things you know about this issue.

      No Scoring

      • Display module task prominently in the classroom.  Discuss what is being asked of the writer and potential audiences for the essay.
      • Share examples of compositions students will produce (either from past students or from professional writers).
      • Ask students to identify key features of examples by making a bullet list.
      • Pair students to compare, revise, and clarify their individual bullets.  Display: TEACHING TASK RUBRIC (ARGUMENTATION)
      • Discuss CCSS W 9-10.1 and 5
  • Skills Cluster 4: Writing Process
    • Pacing Skill and Definition Mini-Task Instructional Strategies
      Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...)

      Skills Cluster 4: Writing Process

      Day 6

      1. Claim

      Ability to establish a claim and consolidate information relevant to task.

      Opening Paragraph

      Write an opening paragraph that includes a claim and sequences the key points you plan to make in your composition.

      Composes a clear, coherent claim and paragraph

      • Teach a model format for note taking.
      • Check that early student work is in the assigned format (or in another format that gathers the needed information effectively). 
      • W 9 – 10.1,4,9

      Day 7

      2. Planning

      Ability to develop a line of thought and text structure appropriate to an argumentation task.


      Prepare a blueprint (draft outline) for a 4-5 page essay. 

      Develops a blueprint that is on-task and includes key points for cause-effect essay.

      • Model blueprint method.
        Display model for reference.
      • Discuss function of each paragraph in template. 
      • W 9 – 10.1,4,9

      Days 8-10

      3. Development

      Ability to construct an initial draft with an emerging line of thought and structure.

      Initial Draft

      Write an initial draft complete with opening, development, and closing; insert and cite textual evidence. 

      Provides direct answer to main prompt requirements.

      Identifies key points that support development of argument.

      • Offer several examples of opening paragraphs.
      • Ask class to discuss what makes the opening paragraphs strong or weak.
      • Review the list that students created earlier to identify needed elements (from Cluster 1, Skill 2).
      • W9-10:1,4 

      Days 10- and 12

      4. Revision

      Ability to refine text, including line of thought, language usage, and tone as appropriate to audience and purpose.

      Multiple Drafts

      Refine composition’s analysis, logic, and organization of ideas/points. Use textual evidence carefully, with accurate citations. Decide what to include and what not to include.

      Provides complete draft with all parts.

      Supports the opening in the later sections with evidence and citations.

      Improves earlier edition.

      • Sample and model useful feedback that balances support for strengths and clarity about weaknesses.
      • Assign students to provide each other with feedback on those issues.
      • See Appendix packet for more strategies. 
      • W9-10: 5

      Day 13

      5. Editing

      Ability to proofread and format a piece to make it more effective.

      Correct Draft

      Revise draft to have sound spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar.  Adjust formatting as needed to provide clear, appealing text.

      Provides draft free from distracting surface errors.

      Uses format that supports purpose.

      • Briefly review selected skills that many students need to improve.
      • Teach a short list of proofreading marks.
      • Assign students to proofread each other’s texts a second time. 
      • W9-10:5,6

      Day 14

      6. Completion

      Ability to submit final work that addresses the task.

      Final Work 

      Turn in your complete set of drafts, plus the final version of your work.

      Demonstrates that composition is focused and ready for evaluation.

      Celebrate! NOTE: Remind students throughout the process that their work will be anthologized in an online collection of essays evaluating the impact of the Gettysburg Address on our common concept of American democracy.
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