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Ideas for Classroom Use

Maud Maxson Letter

Classroom Discussion

If Maud had traveled in 1915 instead of 1870, would she still have taken the same route, going around Cape Horn? Was there an easier way?  Allow this discussion to lead into learning about the history and impact that the Panama Canal had on travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Common Core State Standards Connections

Writing, Grades 3-5

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

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 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.

Research Project

Maud mentions seeing Chinese immigrants when she arrived in San Francisco.  Why were they there?  Did their immigration impact the cultural landscape of the west coast?  Is there evidence of this today?  Are these communities still thriving?  Present your research in a paper or presentation.

Common Core State Standards Connections

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 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 8 – Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.

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.

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

Standard 1 (Grades 9-10) Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to  such features as the date and origin of the information.

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.

Standard 7 (Grades 6-8) Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Writing standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies

Standard 1 (Grades 6-12) Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.

Standard 2 (Grades 6-12) Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.

Standard 7 (Grades 6-12) 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 (Grades 6-8) 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.

Worksheet Activity: Document Analysis

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

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.