Thursday, February 02, 2012

Close Reading the Close Reading Exemplar Objectives

I'm trying to figure out the close reading exemplars from David Coleman and friends' new website.

Here is a list of the objectives of the exemplars, whittled down to the key nuggets (in the order listed, grade level in parentheses):

  • to use the reading and writing habits (8)
  • to give students practice in reading and writing discover the rich humor and moral lesson (7)
  • to observe the dynamic nature of the Constitution through the close reading and writing habits (8)
  • to use the reading and writing habits... to discover the rich language and life lesson (11-12)
  • to use the reading and writing habits... to explore the historic Great Fire of Chicago (6)
  • to guide students and instructors in a close reading of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” (9-10)
  • to give students the opportunity to explore the point of view of a man who survived slavery (8)
  • (to) allow students to participate in critical discussion of two stories that illuminate important, yet divergent, experiences of war and conflict... to think critically about the experience of wartime as felt by both soldiers and civilians as they navigated specific trials that were a part of their direct or peripheral involvement in WWII... (to) practice existing skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening as they apply them to new understandings about overarching historical themes (7)
  • to use the reading and writing habits... to absorb deep lessons from Richard Feynman’s recollections of interactions with his father (6)

Of the above, the parts that actually address the Common Core ELA standards can be boiled down to "practice reading and writing habits." That's pretty much the 6-12 English curriculum called for by the standards. Otherwise, you're looking at content for history class or addressing the hoary, mostly unspoken traditional English curriculum: importing moral or life lessons. Somehow I'm not surprised we've ended up back there.

See also Stories don’t need morals or messages.

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