Unit 7, The Blessings of Liberty: Voices for Social Justice and Equal Rights in America, focuses on movements for justice, rights, and freedom in the United States by addressing historical subjects through language arts. It examines the dialogue that has evolved between the ideas enshrined by the Constitution of the United States and subsequent political, social, and legal movements and texts. The unit asks students to consider the ways in which the United States has lived up to its ideal of creating a “more perfect union” and calls attention to areas where it has fallen short. In particular, students will focus on the issues of racial and gender discrimination and equality, with an emphasis on voting rights for Black Americans and women.
In terms of literary skills, students will focus on identifying and correcting vague pronouns, frequently confused words, prefixes and suffixes, and root words derived from Latin and Greek. Students will also write and present a persuasive speech. This unit promotes the idea that free speech and the discussion of ideas are powerful tools in the creation of a “more perfect union” and gives students the opportunity to research, draft, listen to, and speak about political, social, and moral issues as part of wider debates.
Students will read selected texts from the Core Knowledge Reader The Blessings of Liberty: Voices for Social Justice and Equal Rights in America. These texts include essays, speeches, and articles written about injustice or discrimination against groups and individuals left out of the promises of freedom and equality for all made by the U.S. Constitution and its amendments.