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The Blessings of Liberty, Volume 1

Grade Level Grade 6
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards

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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.

Standards

Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not”).
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 discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.
Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., audience, auditory, audible).
Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources.
Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

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