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Ideas for Classroom Use

Stephen Bolles Letter

Creative Writing Assignment

Working in groups, have students prepare the front page of a newspaper from either the North or the South during this time period. Imagine what headlines, images and advertisements might have appeared.

Common Core State Standards Connections

Writing, Grades 3-5

Standard 3 - Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

Standard 8 – Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

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

Writing, Grades 6-12

Standard 3 – Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well structured event sequences.

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.

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

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.

Creative Writing Assignment

Imagine you are Amelia, writing a letter back to your parent. What could you report to your mother or father about what is happening in our country during this time? How do you think you would feel about the country splitting in two?

Common Core State Standards Connections

Writing, Grades 3-5

Standard 3 - Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

Standard 8 – Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

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

Writing, Grades 6-12

Standard 3 – Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well structured event sequences.

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.

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

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.

Creative Writing Assignment

Children in Amelia’s time had many chores to do. Her father suggests she start sewing him a bed quilt. Write an entry in your diary telling what you have done to help your family.

Common Core State Standards Connections

Writing, Grades 3-5

Standard 3 - Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

Standard 8 – Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

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

Writing, Grades 6-12

Standard 3 – Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well structured event sequences.

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.

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

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.

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.