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Teacher's Edition: Fusion: Literary Elements & Historical Thinking
By 9th grade, students should have theoretically mastered basic literary analysis. To ensure this mastery, in this unit, students review literary elements, as they will be asked to complete literary analysis for the remainder of the year. Once students have completed this review activity, they begin to apply their knowledge to historical documents. Simultaneously, students have learned about sourcing, corroboration, close-reading, and visual analysis. Students are provided with United States historical documents, as they are familiar from previous 8th grade curriculum. Students utilize all of their newly acquired and reviewed skills and apply while completing a station learning activity. The final assessment combining both skills is included in the Teacher Edition.
Teacher's Edition: Fusion: Memoir
Memoir is designed specifically to be the first major unit of the year. During this unit, students are able to hone their writing skills, while teachers can collect baseline data. Additionally, at this time, students are working with multiple drafts, organizers, and a rubric. This provides students opportunity to understand the format and procedure of all future writing assignments. Ultimately, this unit allows teachers to get to know each of their students as individuals, as well as create a community within the classroom. This truly sets the stage for a classroom of educational risk-taking and positive relationships with students that last throughout the year. Memoir models are included included in the student workbook.
Teacher's Edition: Fusion: Mesoamerican Civilizations & Exploration
Within this unit, students will analyze key aspects of life for the Mesoamerican Civilizations of the Aztecs, Inca, and Maya. They will complete stations, focusing on each civilizations’ geography, religion, government, and inventions. Next, the students will delve into intriguing information on the Age of Exploration. They will analyze key motivations for exploration, technological innovations that led to exploration, and the social hierarchy that was set in place as a result. Students will also participate in a visual analysis activity, in which they will analyze how Africans were treated during this time period.
Teacher's Edition: Fusion: Africa, Asia, & Literature Circles
There are so many rich literary texts that provide students a historical understanding of Africa and Asia. Additionally, students often have difficulty with historical analysis in English language arts, as they have been accustomed to the barrier between subject areas for so long. During this unit, students participate in literature circles and learn about obtain content specific information about Africa and Asia simultaneously. This provides students the opportunity for deeper analysis, while increasing engagement as they discuss characters that are similar in age and internal conflict.
Teacher's Edition: Fusion: Early Civilizations & Lois Lowry's The Giver
This unit was designed to provide students with a connection between early civilizations and Young Adult (YA) works of fiction. The Giver by Lois Lowry was selected as it is a dystopian text, providing numerous discussions that connect the past with a discourse about the potential future. However, any fictional text would be appropriate to use in order to fit the needs and interests of your students. Additionally, this selection allows students to see the connections between historical and literary analysis very early in the school year. Students analyze the characteristics of early civilizations-- Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China. Then, students analyze The Giver using the same characteristics. Some characteristics are straightforward, but many provide students the opportunity to use inference and critical thinking skills. Although any text is acceptable for this unit, The Giver by Lois Lowry is a high interest text for secondary students, written at an elementary reading level. Therefore, struggling students remain engaged with both the content, as well as the ability to read and comprehend the text. Additionally, higher level students will benefit from the inferences embedded in the text.
Teacher's Edition: Fusion: The Middle Ages, Byzantine Empire, & Poetry
This unit provides students the opportunity to experience the Middle Ages/ Byzantine Empire time period through first-person accounts while making connections to modern day culture. This unit begins with the introduction of Hemingway’s poetry, as many of the moods and tones in his work are comparable to the emotion during this time period. Additionally, students, especially adolescents, tend to relate to much of Hemingway's poetry as it relates to times of hardship, personal confusion, and overcoming obstacles. Tone and mood are generally the most difficult literary concepts for students to grasp. This unit focuses on returning to these literary elements, as human emotion is such a central part of the Middle Ages. To keep students engaged and connected throughout the entire unit, a song journal activity is provided . The song journal allows students to take any modern day song or poem and relate it to the time period discussed. Students are expected to annotate the poem, provide historical reasoning, and specify the tone and mood. This provides students a memory strategy as well, which assists them on their assessment, as well as for overall retention. The final assessment includes critical thinking questions, a writing task, and a personal poem related to information obtained throughout the unit.
Teacher's Edition: Fusion: Renaissance, Reformation, & William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a play that is traditionally taught in grade 9. This fits well with the global curriculum, as the Renaissance content is taught toward the end of the year. While designing this unit, we focused on using the play as a text that fits into this historical time period, rather than the unit centering on the text itself. During this unit, we use both the modified and original version of the play to increase comprehension. Based on the needs of your individual students, a modified version may be determined and used. This unit focuses specifically on the time period, a prologue analysis, comprehension questions, and a passage analysis of important lines within the play. Additionally, students study the historical background of the play, which then allows them to use a historical lens when discussing author’s purpose and writing their final assessment paper.
Teacher's Edition: Fusion: The Neolithic Revolution & Introduction to Annotation
To introduce this unit, we focused on how to properly annotate a text. This is a skill that students must use for the remainder of the year, so the texts that were chosen for this unit were specifically chosen with the objective for students to master that skill. During this unit, students are guided with the assistance of the teacher, paragraph by paragraph, in order to ensure mastery of the skill, as well as mastery of the content. Students are then gradually released from teacher assistance, eventually completing annotation on their own.
Teacher's Edition: Fusion: Classical Civilizations
Classical Civilizations is taught in conjunction with the continuation of close reading strategies. Students are provided passages on Classical Greece, Rome, India, and China. During this unit, students revisit their annotation marks in order to thoroughly read and comprehend the varied passages. Additionally, students focus on using comparison, comprehension, and visual analysis skills. At the end of this unit, the students are given the task of writing an Enduring Issues essay, based on the NYS Regents task.
Teacher's Edition: Fusion: Belief Systems
In today’s world, teaching belief systems can be both difficult and controversial. Students may have an idea of world religions, but often confuse fact with opinion. We designed this unit to offer students insight on the foundations of each religion, and the comparisons among them. This was not only informative, but offered opportunity for character education. Students end this unit with a culminating thematic essay and are assessed in analyzing historical content, proper structure, organization, and word choice.
Teacher's Edition: Fusion: Absolutism, Enlightenment, and Text Analysis
This final unit includes multiple opportunities for students to analyze the major changes that took place from the Age of Absolutism and the Enlightenment. Students will begin by comparing the absolute rule of Louis XIV and Peter the Great. They will participate in many writing and visual activities throughout this unit. They will also analyze both primary source documents from Enlightenment philosophers and firsthand accounts from Enlightened despots during this time period.
Teacher's Edition: Fusion: The Ottoman Empire and the Ming Dynasty
Within this unit, students will analyze the lives of people within the Ottoman Empire and the Ming Dynasty. Students will participate in multiple map analysis activities. They will also develop visuals and write creatively, based on the information they have learned from the text. Students will also reflect on their learning by summarizing the key information they have learned about both of these societies. Toward the end of this unit, the students will complete an Enduring Issues Document Analysis, which will include information from previous units. The unit will conclude with an Enduring Issues Essay Task, which the students will write as they follow the Essay Outline provided.