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The Heritage of Ancient Greece and Rome

Grade Level Grades 5-7
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards, State-specific

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Unit 4, The Heritage of Ancient Greece and Rome is an informational unit included to provide context for the literature unit that precedes it (Unit 3, The Iliad, the Odyssey, and Other Greek Stories) and the literature unit that follows it (Unit 5, William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar). Together, Units 3–5 are designed to give students a nuanced view of ancient Greek and Roman culture.

In this unit, students will focus on differentiating sentence structures, correct sentence punctuation, and Greek and Roman roots and affixes in the English language.

Students will also write a research essay in this unit. Students can enhance their presentation by incorporating a multimedia element into their presentation.

During this unit, students will read parts of The Heritage of Ancient Greece and Rome. This unit begins with the origins and development of the ancient Greek city-states. Particular attention is given to Athens and Sparta. Athens is rightly regarded as “the birthplace of democracy.” While falling short of today’s standards of inclusion and civil rights, the city-state of Athens introduced ideas of citizenship and “government by the people” that were advanced for the time and remain standard in American and many other Western governments today. While influenced to some extent by these same ideas, Sparta contrasted with Athens in its focus on militarism. These two city-states had a complicated relationship, mostly adversarial, but at times united in opposition to a common enemy. The ancient Greek civilization peaked with the 300-year Hellenistic Period, during which its culture infused much of the region between the Eastern Mediterranean and India. The Roman Republic further shaped the democratic principles that define our present government in the United States. Our nation’s founders paid particularly close attention to the structures of both Greek and Roman governments when laying out our constitution.

Standards

Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
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.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others’ writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.
Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.
Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
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.
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
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.
Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.
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.
Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.
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.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
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.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
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).
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).
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
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.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.
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.
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.
Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
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.
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.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
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.

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