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Expanding Comprehension in U.S. History

Girl reading textbook
Build a curriculum based on a U.S. history text that students love.
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Expand comprehension with close-reading strategies for the page-turning text, Joy Hakim's Freedom: A History of US

U.S. History Pack

People, not events, make history most memorable. A great text makes history exciting by connecting events and themes to the fascinating individuals who started it all.

Pair a highly engaging U.S. history text with a program for developing specific close-reading skills that support comprehension and memory. When students have the desire to understand the text, there is no limit to the skills you can teach them to better analyze and enjoy the content.

Freedom: A History of US
Life in Ancient Egypt-STP610
Freedom Summer-STP421
Freedom: A History of US
30 pack
Conquering Close Reading
Volume 1 & 2

"The historic personages, great and small, are all alive, real people, and the idea that history might ever be thought of as a chore has clearly never crossed [Joy Hakim's] mind."
—David McCullough, Pulitzer-prize winning historian on Joy Hakim's Freedom: A History of US

3 students walking on campus
Freedom: A History of US-Z215

Freedom: A History of US

  • For history to be memorable, it must present the ordinary and extraordinary people who made things happen and tell their best stories. In Freedom: A History of US, these human stories share a common thread.
  • The theme of freedom has carried our unique story from the beginning of the nation up to the modern era, and this text will have students waiting to find out where it's headed next.




Conquering CLose Reading Open
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Conquering CLose Reading Open
Conquering Close Reading open p332-333
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Conquering Close Reading open p332-333

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Primary sources on nearly every page

  1. Award-winning author and historian Joy Hakim’s dedication to fact-based history is apparent with her use of multiple primary sources on nearly every page.
  2. The colorful visuals in the form of photos, cartoons, ads, posters, (and even a telegram), prompt students to practice visual literacy skills as they read.
  3. Extra context is provided by frequent quotations from key figures and excerpts from speeches or writings from the time, providing endless opportunities for text analysis.
Girl reading book in Library
Reconstruction to President Obama
Indepenence to Immigration

VOL 1: Independence to Immigration
VOL 2: Reconstruction to President Obama

Conquering Close Reading

  • Develop students' analytical skills so they can truly dig into U.S. history using close-reading activities centered around brief excerpts from Freedom: A History of US.
  • These readings and activities can function as stand-alone exercises or as supplements to the main text.




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Flexible, focused activities

  1. Text is included so that activities can be used
    as stand-alone exercises, warm-ups prior
    to reading the main text, or as a follow-up
    after reading.
  2. Exercises prompt immediate interaction
    with the text by providing clear,
    straight-forward instructions.
  3. Each activity clearly articulates which
    close-reading strategies it develops.
Students practice close-reading strategies
  • Craft and structure
    examining how authors use syntax to
    convey messages
  • Evidence
    finding evidence to corroborate an argument or position
  • Five-word summary
    identifying the five most important words
    in an excerpt
  • Frame of reference
    identifying values or judgments that impact
    the writing
  • "Read with a pencil"
    marking key points and annotating text
    while reading
  • Rhetorical précis
    writing a four-sentence synthesis of an
    informational text
  • Thesis
    assessing a statement to be proven as the central idea of a work
  • "Wrecking the text"
    rewriting a passage in one's own words
Let us expand comprehension in your high school U.S. history curriculum