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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Review these teacher-created LDC social studies examples to see how you can incorporate literacy standards in your social studies lessons.
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.
The Individual and the Community: My Responsibilities in a Time of Crisis
Lesson: Literacy Module
This is a middle school social studies module that addresses the relationship between the individual and society (one and many): specifically, what are the individual’s responsibilities with regard to the “social good”? This module is built around the Paideia method and the Socratic seminar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why Canadians Live Where They Live: The Impact of Geography on Population Density in Canada.
Lesson: Literacy Module
Sixth grade social studies students learning about world cultures and geography explore the impact of geographic characteristics on the population density of a post-industrialized nation (Canada). Students are asked to determine which factor — climate, location, or the distribution of natural resources — has the biggest impact on population density by addressing Template Task 6.
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.
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.
Julius Caesar: Hero or tyrant?
Lesson: Literacy Module
The Roman Empire was the largest and most enduring empire in the ancient world. The Romans had highly organized political, social, religious, technological, and economic systems that enabled them to control the territories and people within their borders. This 7th grade world history unit is embedded in the study of empires and the management systems they used. Students use both primary and secondary resources in their research on Julius Caesar. Using Template Task 2, students will investigate Caesar as an emblem of the Roman Empire's strengths and weaknesses and argue whether he should be considered a hero or a tyrant.

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