Responses to The Communist Manifesto: Individual Assessment

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SWBAT demonstrate their ability to read and comprehend literary nonfiction by proficiently completing a brief reading assessment based on The Communist Manifesto.

Big Idea

We've been reading in groups. Now students need to show what they can do independently with this complex text.


10 minutes

We will start class with ten minutes of reading time. I will read with my students during this time.

Communist Manifesto Assessment

30 minutes

To make sure that students are independently capable of reading and analyzing difficult texts like the Communist Manifesto (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.10), I will ask students to show what they can do on a brief assessment of skills today.

This quiz will require students to do two things. First, they will be asked to analyze how a particular passage develops Marx's ideas or claims (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.5). To do this, they will have to choose a quote to analyze using a series of guiding questions. My goal was to assess CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.8 here, but I realize that the questions I am asking only hit half of this standard. While I did not focus on identification of fallacious reasoning, I do think that my students should be able to provide a pretty clear evaluation of specific claims/argument of the text as well as identifying Marx's purpose on the whole.

Second, I will ask students to do some bigger picture analysis of the text and, hopefully, ask them to reflect on why we read this when we did. These synthesis questions are meant to be bridging questions for later discussion.

I anticipate that they will skim the surface of these standards, so depending on how well they do with this assessment, I will probably have to circle back to teach this chunk of the skills a little more explicitly.

Connecting Industrialism to Imperialism

15 minutes

Depending on how long it takes for students to complete their quiz, I will use the remaining chunk of time to introduce our next reading/thematic focus, which is imperialism in Africa. Our next text will be an excerpt from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, which I hope will help students to see how industrialism was a cause of imperialism in the late 1800s.

Marx mentions this in The Communist Manifesto, though I'm not sure my students have enough contextual knowledge to see the connections. I will structure this time as a whole class discussion asking students to make predictions about the impacts of industrialization (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1). Since my teaching partner introduced imperialism earlier this week, I will ask students to brainstorm key ideas, people and events that show the inherent overlap between these two historical movements.