Authors: Emily Mofield, Ed.D., Tamra Stambaugh, Ph.D.
Product Code: 4911
ISBN: 9781618214911
Pages: 226
Availability: In stock.

Finding Freedom invites students to follow America's journey toward finding freedom by examining multiple perspectives, conflicts, ideas, and challenges through seminal historical texts. This unit, developed by Vanderbilt University's Programs for Talented Youth and aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), features close readings of some of the most famous American political speeches from notable Americans, presidents, and minority voices.

To sharpen historical thinking, students analyze arguments for freedom, examine dissenting perspectives, and reason through multiple viewpoints of historical issues through debates and interactive activities. To develop advanced literacy skills, students evaluate effective rhetorical appeals, claims, supporting evidence, and techniques that advance arguments. Students synthesize their learning by comparing speeches to each other, relating texts to contemporary issues of today, and making interdisciplinary connections. Lessons include close readings with text-dependent questions, choice-based differentiated products, rubrics, formative assessments, social studies content connections, and ELA tasks that require argument and explanatory writing.

Ideal for pre-AP and honors courses, the unit features speeches from Patrick Henry, Frederick Douglass, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lincoln, Kennedy, Johnson, George W. Bush, Obama, and others.

Learn more about the advanced curriculum units from Vanderbilt University.

Grades 6–8

Webinar About the Vanderbilt Units

Differentiate Instruction, Add Complexity, and Build Critical Thinking Skills With the Advanced Units From Vanderbilt University from Prufrock Press on Vimeo.


Average Rating:
(based on 3 reviews)

Showing 3 Reviews:

by Fair, Sherrie
on 2/10/2016
from Smyrna,Tennessee
Finding Freedom
As a 6th grade ELA teacher in a magnet middle school, I found this book incredibly helpful in developing higher level thinking in the classroom.  This book helps middle schoolers grapple with big concepts which promote in-depth Socratic discussions, helping to stretch and challenge students’ minds.  Finding Freedom has appropriate depth/complexity embedded within class activities and assignments and is easily modified according to the learners in your classroom.  The most exciting aspect of this book for an ELA teacher is the ability to use in conjunction with novel studies whose settings take place in specific time periods in our history.  By using the lessons along with the text analysis wheels, I have found success teaching not only complex texts, but enhancing our social studies curriculum with these timeless speeches from our history.  I highly recommend this book to ELA teachers of gifted and advanced learners, and also for middle school social studies.
by Jeanne Nowicki
on 2/3/2016
from White House Middle School
Finding Freedom
Finding Freedom is very helpful in teaching gifted student Social Studies with Literacy skills.  The units are very well organized and are user friendly for educators.  I was also very impressed at the high level of thinking skills the units involved to meet the needs of my gifted students.  The units also allow for variation of activities and methods to reach various learning styles.  
by Lea Bartch
on 1/10/2016
from Murfreesboro, TN
Critical Thinking for ALL
As a Coordinator of Gifted Services, our teachers have found this book and the tools to be beneficial beyond "Finding Freedom."  Teachers can use the lesson format, sample questions, and analytical tools to pattern the thinking of students and increase effectiveness of instruction. The utilization of universal themes and conceptual connections push students to grapple with the real world of past and present while strengthening ELA skills. There are many options and choices with each lesson.  Critical thinking is not optional through these lessons.  Everyone...students AND teacher... will be engaging in the critical thinking process. Definitely worth the struggle!  
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Review by: Ian Byrd, - April 14, 2017
My favorite thing about these books is their organization around abstract themes and their use of classic literature and art to support the theme. Fantastic use of differentiation strategies that go broad as well as deep.

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