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COMMON CORE IN AMERICAN HISTORY



One of the strengths of the new ELA Common Core Standards is their focus on important non-fiction texts from American History. A standard for "reading informational text," for example, asks to students to, "Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington's Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt's Four Freedoms speech, King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"), including how they address related themes and concepts."
 
In English 10 this year, students have spent time working with both The Gettysburg Address and The Declaration of Independence, reading, discussing and writing about these works' significance as sources and expressions of core American ideals.  Students have also worked on memorizing and reciting sections from the documents; it has been exciting to see young people struggling to gain control over the language of their 18th and 19th-century forefathers. Eleanor Roosevelt once wrote about the important relationship between education and "the ideals and standards of American citizenship."  Surely the close reading of texts such as these can play a role in fostering that relationship.  -  Peter Pfarrer, English 10

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NEWFIELD CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
Dr. Cheryl Thomas, Superintendent
District Office
247 Main Street
Newfield, NY 14867

Phone: (607) 564-9955
Fax: (607) 564-0055
www.newfieldschools.org


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