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Ideas for Classroom Use

The Capture of the Amistad

Research Project - Languages in Sierra Leone

The captives on La Amistad did not speak or respond to Spanish, raising doubts about the Cuban claims that they were slaves born in Cuba. Conduct a short research project into the languages spoken by native tribes in Sierra Leone and the captives who were aboard La Amistad. Discuss how linguistic knowledge could be used to prove or disprove their homeland.

Common Core State Standards Connections

Reading for Informational Text, Grades 3-5

Standard 1 – Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Standard 6 – Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

Standard 9 – Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgably.

Writing, Grades 3-5

Standard 2 - Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

Standard 7 – Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

Standard 9 - Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Speaking and Listening, Grades 3-5

Standard 4 – Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount and experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

Writing, Grades 6-12

Standard 1 – Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

Standard 2 – Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts and information through the selection, organization and analysis of relevant content.

Standard 7 – Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

Standard 9 – Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Speaking and Listening, Grades 6-12

Standard 4 – Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

Writing for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Grades 6-12

Standard 7 – Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Standard 8 – 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.

Standard 9 – Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Timeline Project

Create a timeline from 1776 - 1876 which displays how opinions on slavery and race were changing at that time. Include events and historical figures such as the Amistad Trial, the Emanicpation Proclamation, the Civil War, John Quincy Adams and Booker T. Washington. Include at least 5 additional points on your timeline which are important in understanding the changing cultural landscape of early America. Be able to present your timeline to the class.

Common Core State Standards Connections

Reading for Informational Text, Grades 3-5

Standard 1 – Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Standard 9 – Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgably.

Writing, Grades 3-5

Standard 1 - Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

Standard 2 - Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

Standard 7 – Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

Standard 9 - Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Speaking and Listening, Grades 3-5

Standard 1 – Engage in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade-level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Standard 4 – Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount and experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

Reading for Information, Grades 6-12

Standard 7 – 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.

Writing, Grades 6-12

Standard 1 – Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

Standard 7 – Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

Standard 9 – Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Speaking and Listening, Grades 6-12

Standard 1 – Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade-level topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Standard 4 – Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

Reading for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Grades 6-12

Standard 3 – Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g. how a bill becomes a law, how interest rates are raised or lowered)

Writing for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Grades 6-12

Standard 1 – Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.

Standard 2 – Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/eperiments, or technical process.

Standard 7 – Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Standard 8 – 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.

Standard 9 – Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

As you read this broadside, fill out the Document Analysis worksheet located in the sidebar.  As you read further into the broadside, do you find your answers change?  Allow students to analyze the document as though they are detectives, taking time to figure out more and more information about the author, subjects, and audience .

Common Core State Standards Connections

Reading for Informational Text, Grades 3-5

Standard 1 – Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Standard 2 – Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

Speaking and Listening, Grades 3-5

Standard 1 – Engage in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade-level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Standard 2 – Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Speaking and Listening, Grades 6-12

Standard 1 – Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade-level topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Standard 4 – Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

Reading for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Grades 6-12

Standard 1 – Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the evidence.

Standard 2 – 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.