In this multi-lesson unit, students explore perspective and its role in their understanding of history. Students also develop and demonstrate narrative writing skills.
“You can’t get a straightforward history of America…because everyone has their own version of every character and event. There’s no consensus.” - Timberlake Wertenbaker, author of Jefferson’s Garden
The learning activities are sequential; however, educators can stop at any point that best fits time available. The unit begins with an exploration of primary sources that provide a British and an American perspective on the Boston Massacre. The Boston Massacre is the exemplar event here, but the learning activities could be used with a variety of historic events in a curriculum. To develop narrative writing skills and to demonstrate understanding, students create an original piece of writing from a distinct point of view. To culminate the unit, students discuss how employing multiple perspectives shapes our understanding of history.
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Common Core Literacy Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.3Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.9Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.1Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.6Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.