Standard 1 : Key Ideas and Details (Archived)

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General Information

Number: LAFS.68.RH.1
Title: Key Ideas and Details
Type: Cluster
Subject: English Language Arts - Archived
Grade: 68
Strand: Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies 6–12

Related Standards

This cluster includes the following benchmarks
Code Description
LAFS.68.RH.1.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
LAFS.68.RH.1.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
LAFS.68.RH.1.3: Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Lesson Plans

Name Description
Ice Cream at Mount Vernon:

In this short lesson plan, students will explore and analyze a variety of interactive sources (texts and visuals) to answer the compelling question: Why was ice cream an exclusive treat at Mount Vernon long ago?

The lesson is presented as a module for students to navigate through on computers. Text resources, assessments, answer keys, and rubrics for students and teachers are attached.

The New Room: Place as a Primary Source:

In this lesson plan, student will analyze as primary sources the objects and furnishings in George Washington's "New Room" at his Mount Vernon estate. Take a virtual tour of the New Room at

Students will attempt to answer the question: "What message did George and Martha Washington want to convey to their guests in the New Room?"

Two Faces of Greece: Athens and Sparta:

During the 5th century BC, Greece was dominated by two main powers: democratic Athens and the military oligarchy of Sparta. Using comparative tables of data, students investigate the differences and similarities between democratic Athens and the military aristocracy of Sparta.

Exploring Ancient Greece with Play Dough Mountains:

Through this lesson, students will use play dough to create a relief map of Greece. Through personal investigation and class discussion, they will draw conclusions about the impact of the geography of Greece on daily life and culture in Ancient Greece. Graphic organizers and a recipe for homemade play dough are provided.

Meet the Queens of Ancient Egypt:

In this lesson, students will focus on learning about some of ancient Egypt's great queens Nefertiti, Tiy, and Nefertari. Students will learn about what made these women powerful as well as how they influenced the lives of the common people by being held in such high regard by their husbands, the pharaohs.

The Salem Witch Trials Decoded: Understanding the Trials:

In this web resource from EDSITEment!, a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, students will explore the characteristics of the Puritan community of Salem, Massachusetts, learn about the Salem Witchcraft Trials, and try to understand how and why this event occurred.

1860-1861: The Country Goes To War:

This web resource, from the Civil War Trust, helps students examine the state of the nation and the sequence of events leading to the Civil War. A thorough PowerPoint and graphic organizer are included to ensure students are fully engaged while learning. Supporting activities include questions putting students in the shoes of the citizens of the time, giving them a unique perspective and an exit ticket to help reinforce what they just learned.

The Effects of the Civil War:

This lesson is intended to help students identify and discuss the effects of the American Civil War, with an emphasis on helping students summarize the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, examine John Wilkes Booth's assassination of President Lincoln, and understand the terms reconstruction and reunification.

Choosing the Best Magnet Program for a High School:

In this MEA, students will try to decide which magnet program they would choose for a high school.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Great Leaders of Ancient Egypt: In this lesson, students will learn about seven of Egypt's most famous pharaohs. They will discuss leadership styles and draw conclusions about the success of each of these pharaohs. After learning about the personality and life of each pharaoh, students will break into groups to create in-depth projects about one of these seven pharaohs and will teach others in the class about this leader.
U.S. Immigration with Mixed Citizenship Families:

In this lesson developed by the PBS documentary series POV (Point of View), students will explore how the United States' immigration policy affects families with mixed citizenship status. They will first discuss the challenges faced by a mixed-status family when U.S. immigration authorities schedule undocumented parents to be deported. Students will also explain how the circumstances of such families could impact the United States politically, socially and economically. Finally, they will analyze public policies that address the needs of mixed-status families.

This lesson features a clip from the film Sin País (Without Country), a documentary that tells the emotional story of a family with members of mixed citizenship status who separate when the undocumented parents are deported from the United States and their teenage children stay behind to continue their education.

A Day in the Life of an Egyptian: In this lesson, students will learn about the daily lives of ancient Egyptians from every social class. Life varied dramatically for people based upon their rank in the social order, and students will examine how people from all walks of life lived. Students will use creative means to present what they have learned about the lives of Egyptians from all social classes.
Close Reading Exemplar: Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution:

The goal of this one to two day exemplar from Student Achievement Partner web resources is to give students the opportunity to observe the dynamic nature of the Constitution through the practice of close reading and writing habits. By reading and re-reading the passage closely, and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussion about the text, students will explore the questions Monk raises and perhaps even pursue additional avenues of inquiry. When combined with writing about the passage, not only will students form a deeper appreciation of Monk’s argument and the value of struggling with complex text, but of the Preamble of the Constitution itself.

Frederick Douglass’s Speech “The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro” Social Studies LP:

The purpose of this lesson is to give students studying the causes of the Civil War an opportunity to consider the difficult subject of abolition from multiple viewpoints. They will do this by analyzing a primary source document. This document will be analyzed using two strategies, the "SOAPStone" and a "Chalk Talk". The former is designed to generate a basic understanding of the text and the latter to consider the document in greater depth. This lesson should be implemented at a point where the students have already learned the history of slavery both in the North and the South.

Analysis of a Political News Article:

Students will read a news article on an immigration policy being presented by the President just prior to election. Students will determine the essential message of the article, examine the information presented to determine author intent, and write a written response citing evidence from the text.

Close Reading Exemplar: "Unbroken" and "Farewell to Manzanar":

As students will have previous exposure to the historical themes and factual information about the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the United States involvement in WWII, and the internment of Japanese in camps throughout the western United States, this lesson exemplar will allow students to participate in critical discussion of two stories that illuminate important, yet divergent, experiences of war and conflict. This lesson exemplar will push students to think critically about the experience of wartime as felt by both soldiers and civilians as they navigated specific trials that were a part of their direct or peripheral involvement in WWII.

Close Reading Exemplar: The Long Night of Little Boats:

In this lesson, students will analyze a rich literary nonfiction text illustrating the rescue of British soldiers at Dunkirk in 1940. Through use of repeated readings, text dependent questions, class discussion, and two writing tasks, students will examine the miraculous nature of what happened at Dunkirk and how shared human values played a part in the outcome of this event. This lesson was designed originally for use in a middle school Social Studies curriculum, where teaching students to go beneath a surface understanding of historical events is at a premium. Although this exemplar was designed to be used in a middle school Social Studies curriculum, it is appropriate for use in an ELA class as well.

Teaching Ideas

Name Description
Landmark Supreme Court Cases Gallery Walk:

This teaching idea presents a way for students to interactively research 16 different Landmark court cases (14 Supreme Court and 2 state court level cases) and share their findings through presentations and a gallery walk. Requires background knowledge about levels of courts, the appeals process, and judicial system vocabulary.

The Battle of Gettysburg through Many Eyes:

This teaching idea on the Battle of Gettysburg is part of Gilder Lehrman's series of standards–based teaching resources. These resources were written to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. Students will demonstrate this knowledge by writing summaries of excerpts from several key primary source documents and articulate their understanding of the various views of the Battle of Gettysburg. Through this step-by-step process, students will acquire the skills to analyze any primary or secondary source material.

Text Resource

Name Description
How the Civilian Conservation Corps Worked:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the Social Studies content area. It is most appropriate for 6th-8th grade students enrolled in a U.S. History class. In this essay, the author details the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, explaining to readers how the organization formed, functioned and operated during its heyday in the 1930s.

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Name Description
George Washington: First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of Countrymen :

Through this three-lesson unit examining George Washington's role in the French and Indian War, at the Federal Convention, and as chief executive, students will analyze a variety of primary source documents to help evaluate whether Washington's actions were characteristic of good leadership. The unit includes focus questions that may be used in Socratic seminars, cooperative learning, individual, and group work.


Name Description
Traveling the Ancient Silk Road WebQuest: This WebQuest provides students with an interactive experience as they learn about Ancient China. Students will "travel" along the Silk Road in Ancient China assuming the role of National Geographic journalists. They will research stops along the Silk Road, ultimately drafting an informative article. Links to webpages, videos, and maps are included for students to use along their journey. Detailed teaching plans and rubrics are included to support teachers' scaffolding of the content.