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Nonfiction Close Reading Practice with Alexander Hamilton-PARCC and Common Core

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Nonfiction is increasingly becoming more and more represented on standardized tests, and these questions can be tricky—especially on tests such as PARCC or AP. So, I sought out to create STANDARDIZED TEST prep “close reading” questions in MULTIPLE CHOICE format in order to model standardized tests because I saw that I needed more resources such as this for my own students.

This product contains excerpts from Alexander Hamilton's "Famous Report on Manufactures" from 1790. The text comes from the public domain.

It is important that students practice reading the diction and style of American "foundational texts" and authors because they are included on the "Simulated Research" portion of the PARCC exam. Hamilton's report is quite a challenging read and is accompanied by 18 multiple-choice close reading questions that use Common Core/ PARCC question stems.

This close reading activity will target comprehension and analytical skills while exposing students to the types of documents they will analyze on the PARCC exam. Have your students try it individually and then with a group to compare answers.

Hamilton's report also lends itself to any study of texts surrounding the periods of Industrial Revolution in America or abroad, as he vehemently argues AGAINST manufacturing and supports an agriculture based economy for the United States. As an extension activity, have your students debate the pros and cons of manufacturing versus farming.

Answer key included.


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