Crusades Against Ignorance: Educating Citizens to Create Change

Duration: 90-120 min

Students will be using Primary Source Analysis tools and prepared excerpts of various letters from Thomas Jefferson on the subject of education. Through the facilitation of discussion and questioning techniques students will use their analysis to write an open letter to Americans.

This lesson will be part of a launch for an Expeditionary Learning Unit titled “Rock the Vote,” which focuses on the various aspects of voting as well as national, state, and local elections.

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Handouts (PDF Format)
  • Crusades Against Ignorance -MEATyWriting     View  |  Download
  • Crusades Against Ignorance - TheMostPowerfulTool     View  |  Download
  • Crusades Against Ignorance - TheMostPowerfulTool-DefinitionSheet     View  |  Download
  • Crusades Against Ignorance - TheMostPowerfulTool-ExtensionQuotes     View  |  Download

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Grade Level

Middle School, High School

Type of Lesson

Document Analysis

Common Core Standards

Era4.1.8.6 Evaluate the historical significance of individuals, groups, and events CCRA.R.1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 CCRA.W.1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10 CCRA.SL.1, 2, 4 D2.His.3, 11, 17.6-8
CG.6.AH.7-8.1 Analyze the role of government and public policy on social concerns in Arkansas over time (e.g., unemployment, education, poverty, immigration, culture)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Author Info

Name: Ashleigh Gillespie
School: Butterfield Trail Middle School
School Address (opt): 310 N. 11th Street
City: Van Buren
State: Arkansas