- About the Initiative
- View Topical Index of Curriculum Units
- Search Curricular Resources
- View Volumes of Curriculum Units from National Seminars
- Find Curriculum Units Written in Seminars Led by Yale Faculty
- Find Curriculum Units Written by Teachers in National Seminars
- Browse Curriculum Units Developed in Teachers Institutes
- On Common Ground
- League of Institutes
- Video Programs
Have a suggestion to improve this page?
To leave a general comment about our Web site, please click here
"I read the words, but just didn't couldn't get any pictures in my head while I was reading." How can a teacher of reading help students visualize unfamiliar contexts? This unit offers an approach to using historical fiction in a middle-school English class to support and expand on what students are learning in Social Studies and vice versa. Forge, a young-adult novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, set during the American Revolution, puts a teen escaped slave, Curzon, in the context of a war, the contentious culture of slavery in a newborn country, and his conflicted feelings for a young slave girl, Isabel, whose own story of escape and rebellion is told in the companion book, National Book Award Finalist, Chains. Teachers might be tempted to pre-teach the historical context for this or other novels, but should they? This unit addresses new Common Core State Standards' recommendations in English Language Arts to downplay or eliminate the practice of "frontloading" reading with pre-reading lessons. Additionally, assignments in this unit are designed to help students critically evaluate the hypocrisy of our slave-owning Founding Fathers, while retaining empathy for them, some of whom appear in Forge, whose culture believed that only some "men are created equal."
(Developed for English Language Arts, grade 8; recommended for English Language Arts and possibly Social Studies, grades 6-8)
Sixteenth Intensive Session
July 6-17, 2020
Public School Teachers Named Yale National Fellows
View New Topical Index of Curriculum Units.
Search Curricular Resources written by teachers in National Seminars and Local Teachers Institute seminars.
View the Photo Gallery of Participants at Yale.
Explore the archive of News and Feature Stories.