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Grade 11  Unit 2

A New Nation

This six-week unit, the second of six, examines the writers and documents associated with the founding of the new American nation, as well as some of the poetry and other prose of the time.



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OVERVIEW

    • Building on the themes explored in Unit One, students trace the movement toward revolution and the colonists’ desire to establish a new government, noting the differences in opinions between federalists and anti-federalists and how their arguments were made. Students compare the radical purpose and tone of the Declaration of Independence to the measured and logical tone of the Preamble to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They analyze the expressions of conflict and/or cooperation between colonists and the British government, between colonists and Native Americans, and between colonists and slaves. They begin to recognize the emerging theme in American literature of “American exceptionalism.” Works of visual art from the period will be examined for their treatment of similar themes.

Note:  This unit in particular could be taught in collaboration with an American history teacher, given its emphasis on America's founding documents.



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FOCUS STANDARDS

    • These Focus Standards have been selected for the unit from the Common Core State Standards.

      • RL.11-12.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

      • RI.11-12.5: Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.

      • RI.11-12.8: Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).

      • RI.11-12.9: Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

      • W.11-12.1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

      • SL.11-12.4: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range or formal and informal tasks.

      • L.11-12.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.        

Common Core State Standards, ELA



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SUGGESTED OBJECTIVES



      • Identify defining themes in American literature, such as “American exceptionalism.”

      • Identify and explain the historic and literary significance of America’s founding documents.

      • Analyze how tone is established in persuasive writing.

      • Analyze the use of literary elements in persuasive writing.

      • Compare and contrast points of view in arguments presented on related issues.

      • Analyze the qualities of an effective argument (i.e., examine the truthfulness and validity of the argument, as well as its rhetorical devices).

      • Apply knowledge of effective arguments when writing one of your own.



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SUGGESTED WORKS reviewable

    • (E) indicates a CCSS exemplar text; (EA) indicates a text from a writer with other works identified as exemplars.

LITERARY TEXTS

      • Poetry

        • “The Indian Burying Ground” (Philip Freneau)

        • “The Star-Spangled Banner” (Francis Scott Key)

        • “The Wild Honeysuckle” (Philip Freneau)

INFORMATIONAL TEXTS

Autobiographies



      • Equiano’s Travels: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African(Olaudah Equiano)

      • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Benjamin Franklin)

Nonfiction

      • 1776 (David McCullough) (E)

      • Benjamin Banneker's Letter to Thomas Jefferson (August 19, 1791)

      • Common Sense or The Crisis (Thomas Paine) (E)

      • Declaration of Independence (Thomas Jefferson) (E)

      • Democracy in America (Alexis de Tocqueville) (E) (excerpts)

      • Federalist No. 1 (Alexander Hamilton) (E)

      • Federalist No. 10 (James Madison)

      • Letter to John Adams (August 1, 1816) (Thomas Jefferson) (EA)

      • Letters from an American Farmer (J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur) (selections)

      • Preamble to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (E)

      • The Complete Anti-Federalist (Herbert J. Storing) (selections)

      • “The Way to Wealth,” Poor Richard’s Almanack (Benjamin Franklin) (selections)

      • Thomas Jefferson's Letter to Benjamin Banneker (August 30, 1791) 

      • Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (Thomas Jefferson) (EA)

Speeches

      • "Farewell Address" (George Washington) (E)

      • "What to the Slave Is the Fourth Of July? An Address Delivered in Rochester, New York, on 5 July 1852" (Frederick Douglass) (E)

      • Speech to the Virginia Convention (March 20, 1775) (Patrick Henry) (E)

ART, MUSIC AND MEDIA

      • Art

        • Auguste Couder, Siège de Yorktown (ca. 1836)

        • Emanuel Leutze, Washington Crossing The Delaware (1851)

        • Gilbert Stuart, James Monroe (ca. 1820-1822)

        • Gustavus Hesselius, Lapowinsa (1735)

        • John Copley, Paul Revere (ca. 1768)

        • John TrumbullDeclaration of Independence (1819)

        • Thomas Pritchard Rossiter, Washington and Lafayette at Mount Vernon (1859)



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SAMPLE ACTIVITIES AND ASSESSMENTS reviewable

    • Note:  After reading and discussing a work or pairing of works as a class, students prepare for seminars and essays by reflecting individually, in pairs, and/or in small groups on a given seminar or essay question. In this way, students generate ideas. (Seminar and essay assignments may include more than one question. Teachers may choose one or all of the questions to explore in the course of the seminar; students should choose one question for the essay.) Seminars should be held before students write essays so that they may explore their ideas thoroughly and refine their thinking before writing. Textual evidence should be used to support all arguments advanced in seminars and in all essays. Page and word counts for essays are not provided here, but teachers should consider the suggestions regarding the use of evidence, for example, to determine the likely length of good essays.

Scoring Rubric for Seminar

Language Usage

Examine one of the founding documents for variety in sentence structure. (Teacher will select passages and highlight three sentences.) With guidance from your teacher, diagram the three highlighted sentences. Then rewrite each sentence in "contemporary” prose. (L.11-12.3)



Argument Writing

Imagine that you are an early American colonist. Write a letter to a family member or friend persuading him or her to join your fight for American independence. Use at least three pieces of textual evidence to support your position. Your teacher may give you the opportunity to post your first draft on a shared spreadsheet and receive feedback from classmates before publication. (W.11-12.1, W.11-12.9b)



Art, Speaking and Listening

Examine the artworks listed. How did artists portray historical figures and events from the founding of America? Why might an artist choose to depict such events or figures? Examine each artwork for imagery detailing the founding of America and identify ways in which artists use history for inspiration. In addition, compare the Leutze and Trumbull paintings. How does the artist share each narrative with you? What visual clues lead you to discover what is happening in each scene? Why might these paintings inspire viewers during the time period as well as future viewers? (SL.11.2, SL.11.3)



Reading Informational Text, Argument Writing

Do the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution share similar tones? Why or why not? Use at least three pieces of textual evidence to support your argument. Your teacher may give you the opportunity to share your initial thoughts on the classroom blog in order to get feedback from your classmates. (RI.11-12.9, W.11-12.9b, SL.11-12.1)



Oral Presentation, Multimedia Presentation

Students will prepare and give a formal summary (oral or mixed-media presentation) of the research paper, fielding questions from peers. (SL.11-12.3, SL.11-12.4)



Reading Informational Text, Informational Writing

Write an essay in which you explain Madison’s use of the term faction in Federalist No. 10. Use at least three pieces of textual evidence to support an original thesis statement. Your teacher may give you the opportunity to post your first draft on a shared spreadsheet and receive feedback from classmates before publication. (RI.11-12.4, W.11-12.2, W.11-12.9b)



Speaking and Listening

Reflect on seminar questions, take notes on your responses in your journal or on a shared spreadsheet, and note the page numbers of the textual evidence you will refer to in your seminar and/or essay answers. Share your notes with a partner for feedback and guidance. Have you interpreted the text correctly? Is your evidence convincing? (RL.11-12.1, SL.11-12.1)



Research, Reading Informational Text, Informative Writing

(This essay could be assigned in collaboration with an American history teacher.) Select one of the Founding Fathers and conduct independent research, defining and refining the research question independently. The final informative/explanatory essay should include the following sections:



      • Biographical information

      • Analysis of a document that the founder wrote, including its historical significance

      • The Founder’s unique contribution to the new nation

      • The long-term importance of the Founder

The essay should reflect your reasoned judgment about the quality and reliability of sources consulted (i.e., why you emphasize some and not others), a balance of paraphrasing and quoting from sources, and proper citation of sources. Your teacher may give you the option of adding a multimedia component to your paper, either by creating a digital slide presentation to highlight key points, or a movie in which your paper becomes the narration. (RI.11-12.1, W.11-12.7, W.11-12.8, W.11-12.9, SL.11-12.5)

Research, Reading Literature, Reading Informational Text, Informative Writing

Select one of the texts studied and write a research paper in which you trace the enduring significance of the work through contemporary American history. Cite at least three secondary sources to support an original thesis statement. The essay should reflect your reasoned judgment about the quality and reliability of sources consulted (i.e., why you emphasize some and not others), a balance of paraphrasing and quoting from sources, and proper citation of sources. Your teacher may give you the option of adding a multimedia component to your paper, either by creating a digital slide presentation to highlight key points, or a movie in which your paper becomes the narration. (RI.11-12.1, W.11-12.7, W.11-12.8, W.11-12.9, SL.11-12.5, RI.11-12.7)





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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES reviewable



      • The Declaration of Independence: "An Expression of the American Mind" (National Endowment for the Humanities) (RI.11-12.2, RI.11-12.5)

      • Africans in America (Part 2) (PBS) (RL.11-12.1, RI.11-12.1, LS.11-12.2)

      • Jefferson vs. Franklin: Revolutionary Philosophers (National Endowment for the Humanities) (RI.11-12.1)

      • Jefferson vs. Franklin: Renaissance Men (National Endowment for the Humanities) (RI.11-12.5)



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TERMINOLOGY



      • Anti-federalism

      • Aphorism

      • Deism

      • Federalism

      • Heroic couplet

      • Maxim

      • Natural law

      • Salvation

      • Separation of church and state


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