A Balanced Approach

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Subjects Image: 
Grades: 9th - 12th Grade
Lesson: 4
Unit: 3: Contemporary American Indian land issues
Subject: English Language Arts
Achievement Goal: Students will learn about local fire policies and write a formal argument through research. Students will choose a position, incorporate appropriate persuasive tactics using evidence, and demonstrate correct source citation.
Time: Multiple class periods
Lesson Resources:

Lesson Description:
States Image: 

Students will read to synthesize and analyze primary documents and nonfiction (expository) sources; students will research and support an argument for or against the use of fire as a land management tool; students will have a deeper understanding of the local tribes’ use of fire in order to formulate an argument.

Teacher Background:

American Indian traditional land and natural resource stewardship have their roots based on thousands of years of land tenure. Fire management was an on-going practice for the Hupa, Karuk, and Yurok tribes; fire perpetuated a balanced ecological process that supported food sources, reduced harmful insects, and lessened the amount of fuel that caused more intense fire situations. The use of fire as a land management tool was used by local tribes since time immemorial. It was used in conjunction with ceremonies, various religious aspects, and for the overall health and well-being of both the people and their natural environment. Fire suppression came with the onslaught of non-natives.


ELA Common Core Content Standards

Reading Standards for Literature 1, 7

Reading Standards for Informational Text 1, 7, 8

Writing Standards 1, 4,7,8,9

Speaking and Listening Standards 1, 2, 4

Language Standards 6

Reading Standards for Literacy in Science 1,2,7,9

Teacher Preparation Resources:
Student Activity:resource icon

Day 1:

Hand out writing prompt and rubric. Discuss expectations. Begin research in a computer lab, classroom, and school/local library.

Days 2-5:

Time for research at school and/or daily speakers. Actual writing will take place as homework; fishbowls and peer revision will be during class time; second drafts turned in for editing/proofreading by teacher; final drafts to be published in class and possibly in local newspapers.

Tentative Timeline:

Day 5: Typed Works Cited page due for editing/checking in

Day 7: First drafts due for peer revision

Day 9: Second drafts for teacher editing/proofreading

Day 12: Final draft due

  • Evaluation based on rubric.
Lesson Resources:

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