American Lit: The American Dream


ELAGSE11-12RI1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

ELAGSE11-12RI2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.

Learning Target(s): ✓ I can cite evidence from a text in order to answer questions about complex ideas

Opening Session: For this unit we will be exploring the overarching question: What is the American Dream? Have the students watch a video/listen to a song with lyrics in front of them (Such as Madonna’s American Life, America by Simon and Garfunkel, West Side Story (America), Pink Houses by John Cougar Mellancap etc.) and write on postit notes afterwards what they think the American dream entails. Facilitate a classroom discussion.

Work Session
Ask for a definition for Patriotism * Differentiation ELL & SWD use frayer model *Regular & Advanced Define the term as Exemplification, Function, Classification, Negation

Review how to do a brief constructed response:

Choose a clip from a movie (The Patriot, Saving Private Ryan & Forrest Gump etc.)

Constructed Response: How does the character in the movie fit the definition of a patriot? Model on board

Model: Forrest Gump is an example of a patriot because he risks his life for his country by fighting in a war and risking his life to save other Americans. In the movie, Forrest’s platoon is attacked by enemy fire in the jungles of Vietnam. Also in the movie, Forrest is able to get away from enemy fire but decides to turn around in order to bring other injured American soldiers out of harm’s way. By risking his own life in a war fought by his country and saving others, it shows he is a patriot—he loves his country. People
say they love their country all the time but very few are willing to act as Forrest did in this movie, making patriotism rare among most people.

Closing Reminder: Revisit the learning target. Constructed Response: Read Veterans Day How does McCain exemplify a patriot as we have defined it?

Assessment Strategies: Formal: product assessment/writing

Differentiation: See above graphic organizer.

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