Grade 12 ELA Module 3

Gun, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond is one of the seminal works of historical nonfiction from the late 20th century. Use the author's claims and supporting evidence to guide your high school seniors through their own research project, culminating in a multimedia journal. The first unit of the module focuses on Diamond's arguments and prompts your class to choose one to evaluate based on textual details in a unit assessment. Next, learners synthesize the skills they have honed in a larger research project in the second unit, which offers several topics and sources to evaluate, investigate, and take positions for or against after participating in an inquiry-based learning experience.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Work with your school's computer science department to design a cross-curricular project between language arts and/or social science, and have your class work on the digital parts of their project in a computer lab or tablet cart
  • If you don't have time for all 41 lessons in the module, use the second unit as a focus on research and presentation skills 
Classroom Considerations

  • You will need a class set, or access to ebooks, of Guns, Germs, and Steel
  • Does not include a table of contents, which may make the 621-page resource difficult to navigate; use your computer's search function to locate key terms and concepts
Pros

  • Emphasizes proper MLA citation
  • Research, evaluation, writing, and multimedia skills are applicable to other disciplines, and are especially helpful for college-bound seniors
  • Provides worksheets and graphic organizers that you could use with other projects
Cons

  • None