Grade Level: ELL 9th-10th
Number of class periods: 2
Common Core State Standards:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-101 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-102 Determine the central ideas of information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
This lesson is meant to teach students how personal relationships are utilized to help them achieve their goals and aspirations.
In what ways can personal relationships be developed to enhance opportunities for success?
Tell the students that they will be learning about the impact that a letter of recommendation can have toward a person’s desires and goals by reading the text of a letter from the Governor of Hungary in 1859 written for a Hungarian man seeking refuge in the United States.
Secondly, you will be asking them to write a letter of recommendation for a friend. They must be able to substantiate their ideas in the letter by using true and real life examples. The letter must be written in standard letter writing form utilizing the essential elements of letter writing.
Common Core State Standards: http//www.corestandards.org
Neil Diamond music, song lyrics: “Coming to America”
Primary source document: Letter of reference by Lajos Kossuth, Dec. 3, 1859. Gilder Lehrman Collection
Reading log graphic organizer—significant ideas, new vocabulary, summation
Poster-Chart: Essential Components of a Letter
Differentiation: samples of additional letters of reference
bearer, consent, intention, adoptive, acquainted, Representatives, signalized, resolute, patriotism, democratic, principles, emigrate, intolerable, lively, respectability, honourable, certificate, inclined, deserving, arduous, exertions, hereafter
Procedure (Instruction and Assessments)
1. Opening hook: Students will read and listen to the music and song lyrics of Neil Diamond: “Coming to America” as they complete a cloze activity handout. (listening assessment)
2. All students are given a copy of the reference letter text: “An Immigrant from Hungary, 1859”
3. 1st read: Students will stand and participate in a “reading walk about” as they alternately read aloud the text of the reference letter: An Immigrant from Hungary, 1859
4. 2nd read: Students will pair-share read aloud the text with a partner.
5. Students will complete the reading log handout. (reading assessment)
6. Students will use the model chart “Essential Components of a Letter” and label the components on the text handout.
7. Students will write a letter of reference.
An Immigrant from Hungary, 1859
The bearer Mr. Alexis Ludvigh native of Hungary; County of Szepes, is going to the United States America with the consent of his parents, and the intention to make the States his adoptive home. I am well acquainted with his father, who being one of the Representatives of the people to the National Assembly of Hungary 1848 has so much signalized himself by his resolute patriotism, and firm democratic principles, that I selected him to the important trust of a Civil Commissioner of the Government with the main army. He is now in exile like myself; and prefers to see his son emigrate to America, than leave him, under the intolerable rule of Austria. From the friendship I bear to the father, I take a lively interest in the concerns of the son; desire this to testify to his respectability, honourable purposes, and ability, and shall rejoice in learning that this my certificate may have served him as a recommendation, with those in the U.S. who might be inclined to favour with their protection a deserving young gentleman, in the arduous task of getting a start by his own honorable exertions in a foreign land, hereafter his home.
London December 3d. 1859
Late Governor of