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Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Speech:A Common Core Nonfiction Unit

Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Speech:A Common Core Nonfiction Unit
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Speech:A Common Core Nonfiction Unit
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Speech:A Common Core Nonfiction Unit
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Speech:A Common Core Nonfiction Unit
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Speech:A Common Core Nonfiction Unit
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Speech:A Common Core Nonfiction Unit
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Speech:A Common Core Nonfiction Unit
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Speech:A Common Core Nonfiction Unit
Product Description
79 page unit plan — Roosevelt’s address to Congress, otherwise known as the “Four Freedoms Speech,” is one of the defining speeches of our nation. In it he realized that America’s geographical isolationism was no longer possible. Nor was it smart. To wait until the rest of the world’s democracies had fallen to dictators, to accept a policy of appeasing those dictators, would lead to a loss of the fundamental freedoms America represented. It was time to fight for those essential liberties, and although he stopped short of recommending America enter WWII, from his words we can infer that he believed war was inevitable.

After reading this speech, some of my students expressed that they had gained a much better understanding of this part of American history than they had learned from their textbooks. Such is the power of primary documents. Through them students get into the minds of some of the greatest leaders in the world, understand how powerful words are and that the right words can change the course of history, learn to think critically and take a position on some of the most important arguments in our history, experience excellent models which can only improve their own writing, and feel like they are actually there, in this case sitting in Congress with the senators or listening on the radio with millions of Americans.

Our focus at UnCommon Core is to provide comprehensive, charter, and home school teachers with standards-based lessons that will engage and motivate students. Each lesson in our unit plan covers a variety of ELA Common Core Standards for Grades 9-12, including Reading Standards for Informational Texts, Informative/Explanatory and Narrative Writing Standards, Speaking and Listening Standards, and Language Standards. We have included technological resources and instructional support with our main lessons. Our unit also challenges students to use diverse media to convey their understanding of the text.

The 5-8 day, 79 page unit is divided into Focusing Strategies, Close Reading Strategies, and Text Dependent Activities as well as scaffolding for advanced learners. The following is a list of all activities included in the unit:

Four Freedoms Vocabulary Activity
Four Freedoms Vocabulary Quiz
Four Freedoms Vocabulary Test Key
Isolation Wall Activity
Blank Wall Note Taking Handout
Isolation Wall Pinterest Sample
WW II Armaments Research Presentation
WW II Armaments Research Presentation Rubric
The Four Freedoms Speech
Visual Call to Arms Close Reading Activity
Visual call to arms Close Reading Activity Key
Visual Call to Arms Sample
Repetition Graffiti Wall
Repeated Words Key
Paragraph Outline and Model
Four Freedoms Quiz and Key
Norman Rockwell Project and Rubric
Presidential Press Conference Activity and Rubric


The FDR Four Freedoms Unit by Janet Mason is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.uncommoned.com.
Total Pages
79 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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