Bell Ringer’s Agreement: Reading a Historic Document
This lesson provides students with an opportunity to read, decipher, and analyze a primary source document from colonial Boston. It guides them through the unique issues these types of sources raise, utilizing the Old North’s original Bell Ringer’s Agreement ca. 1750. However, this lesson plan can be adapted to any historical document or primary source.
Meets the Following Common Core English Language Arts Standards:
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI/RL.4.1 – Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when daring inferences from the text.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2 – Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3 – Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why based on specific information in the text.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.4/5.4 – Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI/RL.5.1 – Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI/RL.6.1 – Cite textual evidence to support analysis of why the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI/RL.6.2 – Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distance from personal opinions or judgments.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.4 – Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1 – Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2 – Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summer of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.6-8.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.6-8.6 – Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 – Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawing from the text.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 – Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
- 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.R.6 – Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.