Monday, March 3, 2014

CCSS Middle Grades ELA/SS Lesson on "Freedom!"


I've got so many songs and movie clips that pop into my mind when I think of the word, "freedom." Middle grades students love this word, because what adolescent doesn't want some freedom. They don't want to hear teachers screeching in their ears! They want freedom to learn!

So, as I approach my lesson for tomorrow, I shall keep that in mind...

To get their minds hopping, we are going to have an open dance session to the song, "Freedom" by George Michael, because honestly, the song keeps playing in my head, so why not use it. There aren't any bad words in the song, so it seems fine to use.

Next, we will have a quick 5 minute free write in which the students write on "freedom" means to them, and we will share for a few minutes as a class.

We will quickly revisit how our feelings of freedom compare to the feelings of our founding fathers: George Washington, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin from the research we did on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights last week.

This will lead into learning and comparing/contrasting the 13th and 15th Amendments of the Constitution.

The students will read, and annotate two documents found at the following links.

13th Amendment

15th Amendment

They will use a T-Chart, writing textual evidence examples from each article, independently, they will discuss with a partner, and then as a whole class.

Videos to support text:
Abraham Lincoln- The Emancipation Proclamation-
America the Story of Us: Lincoln
Let Freedom Ring Martin Luther King

Finally, the students will return to their free write, and compare their own feelings of wanting freedom to the lives of the slaves, and their desire and struggles for equality. Students will write an argumentative essay answering the question, "What is freedom?" citing textual evidence from the articles.

Common Core Standards Mastered:
RI.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. (Read closely)
RI.6.3: Analyze how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced in a text
RI.6.7: Integrate information presented in different media formats to develop coherent understanding of the topic or issue.
W.6.1: Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
SL.6.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing them clearly.

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