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Federalist Papers Extra Credit

Posted in AmGov Projects

Federalist Papers Extra Credit:

There are 85 Federalist Papers.  In class we covered three of the most famous ones, but that leaves 82 of them for extra credit opportunities.  The Papers are (as you already know, if you survived the Federalist Papers Jig-Saw) difficult documents for high-school students but, (as you also already know) can be conquered/understood with patience and effort.  The Federalist Papers extra credit project is designed to continue practice in the same decoding and interpreting skills utilized in the work on #10, #51, and #78.  While not easy to do, the skill of close reading is a valuable one.  Much of this extra credit project reflects the processes used in the jig-saw.  The total project is worth up to 40+ points.

Step 1 - Go to the Emory Site and Pick a Paper:  There are only three papers you are not allowed to choose:  #10 ,  #51, and #78.  The rest are fair game.  Some are long, some are easier to understand, some tie in to current events, some are of little interest.  It is up to you to select which paper you want to work on for the extra credit project.  All of the Federalist papers are easily accessed here.

Step 2- Print out a Copy:  You will need to print a full copy of the Paper you have chosen and turn it in as part of the project.  You will be annotating (writing comments on) this copy so be sure to keep it in reasonably wrinkle- and stain- free condition.

Step 3 - Prepare a "Skim Rubric" (in which you Identify Critical Themes):  In the original Jig-Saw we skimmed individually and pooled our knowledge to come up with a context for understanding the Papers we were working on.  Your task, on a separate sheet is to identify (after several skimmings) all the key terms and phrases students might come up with if they were asked to skim, looking for these five categories -

     (1) Who? - what individuals, types, or groups get mentioned

     (2) When? - does it reference a time of day? a year?  dates?  seasons?

     (3) Where? - is there a setting?  Are places or buildings or natural features mentioned?  Specific rooms?  General areas?  Cities?  Regions?  Nations?

     (4) What (Vocabulary/Key Words)? - what words seem to come up often (whether or not you understand them does not matter yet)?  Are there repeated phrases or images?  Are themes discernible?  (usually not with simply skimming)

     (5) Genre? - is it a play?  poem?  shopping list?  essay? rant?  blog?

Be sure to write these down, identifying all the possible answers which could be reasonably derived by a class of students skimming the Paper you have chosen.  Title this section "Skim Rubric. (5 points)

Step 4 - Identifying Phrases and Vocabulary: Once you have prepared the "skim rubric" for the paper, hunt for words and phrases you feel would be difficult for many high-school students seeking to understand your paper.  Underline these words or phrases on your own copy.  You are required to come up with a minimum of 20 words or phrases which you can expect high-school students might have difficulty understanding.  They may or may not be words/phrases you yourself know/understand.  In any case, once you have marked your paper and indicated the 20+ items (highlighted or underlined), prepare a separate list - in the order in which they are found on your Paper - of the difficult terms.  Then, fill in the list with the definitions and synonyms which will help students understand the Paper's terminology in context.  You may need to use a dictionary or thesaurus.  In the original project it was critical that you placed your definitions on the original paper.  For this project you will title the list (on a separate sheet): Key Phrases and Vocabulary.  20 + points

Step 5 - Prepare a 100 Word Summary: At the end of all your work on the Paper, prepare a simple, single paragraph 100 word summary of the Paper in which you outline the main concepts and ideas of that specific paper.  This is known as an "Abstract."  (Do not simply speak in general terms of the Federalist Papers - address the issues in your paper specifically.)  Although this is one of the later sections you will prepare, it will be the first you have in your packet you submit for extra credit.  Title this section: "Abstract."  5 points

Step 6 - Prepare a Quiz or Test:  Prepare a quiz or test of up to 10 - 12 questions, NOT about vocabulary, but about concepts of the Paper you have chosen.  Quiz questions should be able to, when discussed, guide the reader to a better understanding of the Paper itself.  They should be critical thinking questions, not simply: "What is the third word of the second sentence in the paper?"  If the authors are creating a specific definition of a term for the Paper, then you may create a question on that (since that is not simply a vocabulary question, but is rather a question of authorial definitions).  Be sure to write both the questions and the answers, including variants of the answers as needed.  Also indicate if you feel the quiz or test should be open note or no-note.  Title this section "Quiz".  (10 points)

Step 7 - Double-Check: Check to make sure that you have all the parts of the project in the following order:

 Abstract 5 points
"Skim Rubric" 5 points
 Vocabulary 20 points
 Quiz 10 points
 Copy of Paper 0 pts. but required

Step 8 - Turn it in! - Remember - you get even more credit if it is typed! Good luck on all of it, and post any questions you may have about the project on the Message Board.