8th Grade Historical Literacy consists of two 43 minute class periods. Writing is one 43 minute block and reading is another. The teacher has picked themes based on social studies standards, and a read-aloud novel based on social studies serves as the mentor text for writing and reading skills. More social studies content is addressed in reading through teaching nonfiction reading skills and discussion. Standards reflect CCSS ELA, Reading, and Social Studies Standards for History.
This three-session lesson focuses on characterization. Students determine how a character's traits reveal particular character traits, using a list of adjectives as a guide. Then, they write descriptions of those characters. Characters from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone are used for modeling.
In this series of lessons, students read newspaper articles obtained from newspaper websites. Students then identify journalism's "5 Ws and 1 H" (who, what, when, where, why, and how) and complete a template with the corresponding information they have found in the article. Finally, students use their notes to write a 20-word summary called a GIST. Once students have mastered writing a GIST using newspaper articles, the strategy is then applied to content area texts to support comprehension and summarizing skills.
In this module, students will develop their ability to read and understand complex text as they consider the challenges of fictional and real refugees. In the first unit, students will begin Inside Out & Back Again, by Thanhha Lai, analyzing how critical incidents reveal the dynamic nature of the main character, Ha, a 10-year-old Vietnamese girl whose family is deciding whether to flee during the fall of Saigon. The novel, poignantly told in free verse, will challenge students to consider the impact of specific word choice on tone and meaning. Students will build their ability to infer and analyze text, both in discussion and through writing. They then will read informational text to learn more about the history of war in Vietnam, and the specific historical context of Ha’s family’s struggle during the fall of Saigon. In Unit 2, students will build knowledge about refugees’ search for a place to call home. They will read informational texts that convey universal themes of refugees’
Students explore the legal and ethical dimensions of respecting creative work. First, they learn a basic foundation of legal principles and vocabulary related to copyright. They understand how such factors as the rules of copyright law, the values and intent of the original creator, and the audience and purpose should affect their decisions about using the creative work of others. Using the Mad Men Student Handout, students then apply these principles to a simulation activity in which they act as advertising executives who have to choose a photo for an ad campaign.