Discipline: Humanities

Grade Level: 9-10 

Course: English/ History

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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Government of the People
  • Background to Share With Students
    • Democracy has been considered an ideal form of government across centuries and continents. However, we may take for granted that we know what democracy as a form of government means. Often, attempts to define democracy have been made in times of crisis, frequently by a leader fighting for a nation’s survival.  This module involves examining three such leaders (Pericles, Lincoln, and King) who provided portraits of democratic government in the form of famous speeches.

  • Task/Text
    • Teaching Task

      What is a “government of the people”?  After reading and discussing (our excerpt from) “Funeral Oration” and the Gettysburg Address,” write a fully developed essay that compares the speeches and argues which leader (Pericles or Lincoln) delivers the most rhetorically compelling definition of democracy.  Be sure to support your position with evidence from the texts.

      Reading Texts
      • Main Seminar Text: The Gettysburg Address
      • Additional Texts: excerpt from “Funeral Oration”
      • Classroom Assessment Text: “I Have a Dream”
      Extension (Mandatory in a Paideia module)

      Teacher and students will work together to collect the finished essays into an electronic classroom anthology, in which student writing on the idea of democracy from the entire year will be collected for ongoing reference by future teachers and students. In addition, module teachers will self-assess their evolving seminar planning and facilitation skills using the Seminar Reflection Guide found in the module Appendix.

  • Content Standards
    • Standards Source: Number: Content Standards:

      North Carolina Course of Studies (State Standards) for Grade 9

      Goal 5 ELA

      The learner will demonstrate understanding of various literary genres, concepts, elements, and terms. (5.01)

      Goal 3 ELA8

      The learner will examine argumentation and develop informed opinions. (3.01)

      Goal 1 HS Social Studies

      Historical Tools and Practices - The learner will identify, evaluate, and use the methods and tools valued by historians, compare the views of historians, and trace the themes of history. (1.01)

  • Reading Standards for Argumentation
    • "Built-In" Reading Standards "When Appropriate" Reading Standards (applicable in black)
      • 1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
      • 2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
      • 4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone.
      • 10. By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently. 7. Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums, determining which details are emphasized in each account.
      • 3. Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced …
      • 5. Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).
      • 6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose. 10. By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
      • 7. Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums, determining which details are emphasized in each account.
      • 8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
      • 9. Analyze seminar U.S. documents of historical and literary significance, including how they address related themes and concepts.
  • Writing Standards for Argumentation
    • "Built-In" Writing Standards "When Appropriate" Writing Standards (applicable in black)
      • 1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
      • 4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
      • 5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
      • 10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audience.
      • 2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
      • 3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well- structured event sequences.
      • 6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
      • 8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
  • Speaking and Listening Standards for LDC/Paideia Modules
    • “Built In” Speaking and Listening Standards “When Appropriate” Speaking and Listening Standards
      • 1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on others’ ideas and express their own clearly and persuasively.
      • 4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
      • 6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grades 9-10 Language standards 1 and 3.)
      • 2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
      • 3. Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.
      • 5. Make strategic use of digital media in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
  • Scoring Rubric
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