#11 Content Area

One of the current focus areas in teaching English Language Arts is nonfiction text. Nonfiction is what most of high school students are required to read under the Common Core Standards. As students move on to college and the workplace it continues to become more necessary for students to be able to read and comprehend Informational Text.

One of the concepts that is taught in Informational Text is (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.9)
“Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance  (e.g., Washington’s Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech, King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”), including how they address related themes and concepts.”

I would consider using the following resources from PBS Learning Media while planning a unit. This resource provides a video guiding students in a close reading of “Letter From Birmingham Jail”


There are also several videos available on YouTube related to the subject to help students understand and interact with the content. Brain Pop has an excellent video the puts the information on MLK Jr in an accessible format that students will find entertaining. Another great choice is from Kid President, it provides students relevant information in an entertaining medium.

Go to Resource

Best Practice (CITW): Summarizing and Notetaking – Best Practice Recommendations for Summarizing & Notetaking: Teach students rule-based summarizing strategy, Use summary frames, Engage students in reciprocal teaching.

ISTE Teacher Standard 2: Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments Teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessments incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the Standards•S. a. Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity b. Develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress c. Customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources d. Provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology standards, and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching. 

ISTE Student Standard 7: Global Collaborator – Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.