Literacy 

Tools

Understand the framework, learn how to use the models, and view sample units based on the templates created by the LDC.

This channel presents the work of the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC).

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Ready to explore an example of an argumentation module? Visit this bank of teacher-created, sample LDC tasks, designed to develop students' skills in argumentative writing across subject areas.
Comparing Economic Systems
Lesson: Literacy Module
*EXEMPLAR MODULE* Every society operates with a mixed economic system, combining the influences of market and command models in order to form a functioning economy and government. Individual countries have unique combinations of the market and command influences depending on how countries prioritize different economic goals. Students will learn the characteristics of the market and command systems and evaluate the benefits and consequences of each system.
Extended Metaphors in Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!”
Lesson: Literacy Module
“O Captain! My Captain!” is one of Walt Whitman’s most famous poems. Whitman not only expresses his own grief over the loss of Abraham Lincoln, but also represents the somber feelings of many Americans during a time when they otherwise would have been celebrating the Union’s Civil War victory. Whitman uses a number of extended metaphors – most notably comparing Lincoln to the captain of a ship – to speak for the nation. Using Template Task 2, 8th grade students determine if Whitman was justified in his comparisons.
Ideologies of the 19th Century
Lesson: Literacy Module
As 9th grade students engage in this history module, they apply what they previously learned in a unit on political ideologies in Europe in the 19th century to answer Template Task 2. The module reinforces students’ ability to develop a historical essay through the research and writing processes.
Government of the People
Lesson: Literacy Module
*EXEMPLAR MODULE* This argumentation module asks 9th and 10th grade students in a humanities class to read two famous speeches regarding the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. Students are challenged to closely analyze these speeches in terms of language structure and democratic ideals by answering Template Task 4. The instructional sequence in this module includes independent and supported reading, conceptual dialogue, writing a comparative analysis essay, and Paideia Seminar discussion. Ultimately, students practice a series of interrelated literacy skills while gaining a deeper understanding of the historical rhetoric of two iconic leaders. The classroom assessment builds on the comparative analysis writing practice and challenges students to expand their thinking about rhetoric in contemporary American democracy.
Cryobiology
Lesson: Literacy Module
*EXEMPLAR MODULE* This module is nested within a larger unit on states and properties of matter in a physical science class. Eighth grade students expound upon these topics by examining the field of cryobiology, which is the study of living things at very low temperatures. Students will examine the pros and cons of the techniques used, as this science relies on a number of controversial and cutting edge technologies, and formulate an argument based on scientific facts using Template Task 2.
Alexander the Great: Was He or Wasn’t He a Great Military Leader?
Lesson: Literacy Module
*EXEMPLAR MODULE* Throughout history, military leaders have led conquests in an effort to increase their own or their country’s power. Some of the most exceptional of these leaders have been assigned the label “great” and continue to be featured in lessons on both history and military strategy. Students read a variety of informational and persuasive texts to analyze Alexander the Great’s success in battle and the influence that his success had on countless military commanders who followed, arguing the degree of greatness of this young Macedonian king by answering Template Task 2.
A Reading of the Gettysburg Address
Lesson: Literacy Module
In this argumentation module, 9th and 10th grade students perform a close reading of the Gettysburg Address, participate in a Paideia Seminar on the text, and write an essay in which they evaluate Lincoln’s definition of democracy based on the speech using Template Task 6. This unit merges American history content with Common Core literacy skills.
Good Readers and Good Writers
Lesson: Literacy Module
Targeted for 10th grade English Language Arts students, this unit uses texts at different levels of difficulty to reach readers of varying ability levels. Students examine four texts to determine what qualities one must have to be considered a "good reader" and a "good writer." This module uses Template Task 2."
The Cold War
Lesson: Literacy Module
Students will read primary sources to help gain understanding of the Cold War from 1945 to 1975. Major themes explored in the unit include political decisions and actions of the U.S. and foreign governments, military strategies, and reactions of American Society. Students will use the knowledge of the time period and evidence from primary source documents to write a rough draft of an argumentation essay in response to the teaching task. Students will complete the teaching task in preparation for a final classroom assessment task. Students will learn most of the content first and complete the literacy module at the end of the unit.
The British Industrial Revolution
Lesson: Literacy Module
*EXEMPLAR MODULE* By addressing Template Task 2, 10th grade social studies students answer the question: Were the achievements and growth experienced during the Industrial Revolution era worth the cost to society? This module sits inside a global history unit in which students study the Age of Revolution, focusing on the British Industrial Revolution.

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