Connecticut Core Standards

Grade 11: Making Evidence-Based Claims – "The Souls of Black Folk" W.E.B. DuBois

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Common Core Standards

Reading for Information

RI.11-12.1  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.

RI.11-12.2  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.

RI.11-12.3 Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.

 RI.11-12.9  Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.


W.11-12.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. 

W.11-12.9 (b) Apply grades 11-12 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., "Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning [e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court Case majority opinions and dissents] and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy [e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses]". 

Speaking and Listening

SL.11-12.1  Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Description of Unit

This Grade 11 unit titled “Making Evidence-Based Claims – The Souls of Black Folk” W.E.B. DuBois” from odelleducation.com is part of a developing core proficiencies program that is intended to be completed in two to three weeks of direct ELA/Literacy instruction.  The unit’s primary instructional focus is on making evidence-based claims as readers and writers. Activities are scaffolded to build the skill from the ground up. Students first learn the importance and elements of making evidence-based claims through close readings of text. Instruction leads to students writing evidence-based claims that are clear and compelling, well-supported by textual evidence, coherent and organized, and that show control of language and grammar. In addition to reading and writing, the unit incorporates many structured collaborative activities to develop key speaking and listening proficiencies. As a culminating assessment, students independently write a final evidence-based writing piece.


Connecticut teachers should be aware that due to the rigor required for student success, additional supports for students who are ELL, have disabilities, or read well below the grade level text band may be required. Instruction in language and grammar assessed on the rubric is not directly observable in the unit and may need additional instructional time.  Before this unit is used in a history/social studies course, some modifications will be necessary including: the replacement of the ELA CCSS listed above with the English Language Arts Standards in History/Social Studies that are targeted in this unit, additional history/social studies content to meet grade-specific content standards, and possible assessment and/or rubric revision.

Rationale for Selection

The design of this unit is exemplary; files, including detailed daily lesson plans, are organized so that teachers can easily browse through the materials. It includes a clear and explicit purpose for daily rigorous instruction that integrates reading, writing, speaking and listening so that students apply and synthesize advancing literacy skills. In addition to reading and writing, the plan incorporates many structured collaborative activities to develop key speaking and listening proficiencies. The unit includes a progression of learning where concepts and skills advance and deepen over time; it gradually removes supports and requires students to demonstrate their independent capacities. Several strategies for teaching academic and disciplinary vocabulary are embedded in instruction. Varied modes of assessment with an aligned rubric provide guidance for interpreting student performance.