Teachers across the nation are stepping up the rigor for student by applying the new Common Core Initiative standards. Application of these benchmarks does leave room for creativity on the side of the educator especially with the wealth of free electronic resources at our disposal.
Here is a student-centered lesson plan idea that can get you started on Language Arts Literacy Standard One for Key Ideas and Details
The Common Core Initiative expects that by the end of tenth grade, students should be able to ” Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information. “
This rudimentary standard can be high or low tech depending on the resources of your classroom. It is fundamentally requesting students to sift through the vast resources of the internet and determine the initial stages of resource credibility and validity. The standard mentions analysis, but reserves this part for other standards I’ll address in a future article.
Prior Knowledge Needed
Firstly, pre-assess student understanding of the standard by checking both their knowledge of the words and to demonstrate desired citation with a primary or secondary document. Once the information is analyzes and aggregated, you can now plan who requires the greatest level of assistance as students make their way through this student-centered lesson.
Step One: Begin with a newspaper clipping or online article from a reputable source such as CNN, Fox News, BBC, etc. Have students write a bibliographical entry for the document. Students should cite the author, publication date, and publishing agency. Lastly, have students identify and explain why it is either a primary or a secondary resource. An example of an initial resource could be a cite like this from National Public Radio.
Step Two: Repeat the above process with a scholarly journal. These can be found on EBSCOHost, JSTOR or through free government libraries like PubMed through National Institute for Health.
Step Three: Repeat the process with a section of a primary document found in a source such as the collection provided by Hofstra University.
Step Four: Repeat the process with a historically relevant picture that has publication information provided. Sample pictures can be found in online art museum archives such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Here is a sample.
Step Five (Higher Level Synthesis): Allow students to research examples of primary and secondary works and demonstrate effective bibliographical citations. Have them find and cite two divergent differences of primary and secondary sources.
Students can demonstrate in an exit slip upon leaving class what they learned about the value of effective citation and its elements. You could also ask students to predict why properly citing sources will be valuable in other disciplines like science, math, technical studies, etc.