Item description for THE ELEMENTARY COMMON SENSE OF THOMAS PAINE: An Interactive Adaptation for All Ages by Mark Wilensky...
Overview Presents an adapted version of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" along with lesson plans, activities, a chronology of events leading up to the publication of the pamplet, and adapations of other important petitions.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Dec 5, 2007
Publisher Savas Beatie
ISBN 1932714367 ISBN13 9781932714364
Availability 0 units.
More About Mark Wilensky
I'm a classroom teacher, and the most important thing I can tell you about myself is the philosophy behind writing this book. In other words, let's skip to the good stuff.
This book IS adapted founding documents. Four whoppers. Yet, these four had generally been ignored; and I had never met anyone who had read the originals. (Lots of schools, students and adults are reading them now.) These documents, Boston Port Act, Olive Branch Petition, King's Proclamation on Suppressing Rebellion, and Thomas Paine's Common Sense, were all critical to the founding of our country. And I wanted my students to read them. I wanted students everywhere to read them. However, in their original forms it was tough going.
Most of us know that we learn best, and continue to learn more, when we have prior background knowledge of a subject or event. Textbooks, for the most part, don't excite too many people, and the subject matter generally pops out your head once you scramble for a bookmark. Ok, in honesty, most history curriculum is bland, sanitized and uninspiring. And yet, our country's history is the farthest thing from bland.
But reading America's founding documents in today's language puts primary source documents in your hands, and they are very exciting. You don't have to worry about those S's that look like F's (there is even a chapter in the book about those oddities). Grammar and spelling have changed quite a bit in the last couple of centuries, and I won't even bring up punctuation and paragraph changes. Moreover, finding indentation is a fool's quest. However, with this book, all of those hindrances have been given a thorough updating. In other words, these four documents have been adapted in today's language for all ages.
To read Paine's Common Sense is an astounding American adventure. When you are done, you will wish you had written a similar letter to your worst enemy. Common Sense is an amazing persuasive essay, full of metaphors and figurative language. It's a rant against monarchy, a list of caustic complaints against King George III, and an amazingly incisive summary of the strengths, gifts, values, and emerging culture of future America. But most importantly, at the tipping point of Colonial America, Common Sense became a roadmap for revolution. And, it was published 176 days before the Declaration of Independence.
Thank goodness I found my publisher, Savas Beatie. Out of literally dozens of publishing houses, they were the only company that truly understood the philosophy behind the text. And thanks to them, this book went from just my classroom, to living rooms and classrooms across the country. It seems that people of all ages have wanted to read our most cherished history.
If you get a chance, go to the book's website: NewCommonSenseBook.com. No advertising there, just additional history content and all the activities in the book can be downloaded for free. You can even make your own wanted poster of King George III.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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Reviews - What do customers think about THE ELEMENTARY COMMON SENSE OF THOMAS PAINE: An Interactive Adaptation for All Ages?
Review of Elementary Common Sense Aug 3, 2008
This was recommended to me by my local book store as I was recently trudging through an on-line college American History class, and was required to read Paine's Common Sense. It has been years since I've been in school and this was perfect for a quick and easy to understand reference to the document. Plus the original was included too. It was a life saver.
Perfect Connection for my Students Mar 17, 2008
As a 5th grade teacher that has to teach all subject areas to a self-contained classroom, I am always trying to find a way to link lessons from various subjects together.
For Social Studies I am required to teach American history from the early colonies through the Revolutionary War. I ran across this book and asked my school librarian if she could buy a few copies to see if I could use them for guided reading discussions during my students' literacy time (by the way, the book includes guided reading questions after each chapter). I was amazed at how well it made the issues we were discussing in Social Studies come alive.
This book is an easy read for my students and I love it because it gives them access to what I have always thought to be one of the most important pieces of writing from early American history. After having several of my students read the book, two of them actually went online and downloaded the audio-book of Paine's original version (these kids and their iPods!) and three others became so excited and inspired by Paine's arguments that they wrote their own version of Common Sense and presented it to the class during one of our Revolutionary War simulations in Social Studies. Paine, one of them said, was a true American hero for standing up for what was right even if others disagreed with him. Almost all of the students who read this really got into all the activities this book offers online (there is an icon on several pages that asks readers to go online for interactive activities that correspond with the text on that particular page) and for the first time in a long time, I had students getting on their computers at home to - get this - READ HISTORY.
Wow. All of that from bringing this book into my classroom. I have since ordered a classroom set and it will be a part of what I do for years to come.
If you're a teacher of early American history, this book is a "must-have" in your classroom. It teaches, it enriches, and it inspires. Wonderful.
An Amazing Introduction to the Overlooked Founding Document Feb 21, 2008
What? Paine's Common Sense adapted for all ages? That was the question I asked myself when I came across this book for the first time. I was one of the first reviewers on the last edition (5 stars) and became extremely curious on why a larger publisher had picked it up. Happily, and even surprisingly, the new version is a stunner. Clocking in at 216 pages (this site shows it at 192, which is wrong) the original version was a mere 100 pages. Philosophically, this new book is much more expansive and ambitious, adding in adapted versions of The Boston Port Act, The Olive Branch Petition, and King George III's Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition. Every one a major contributing factor to the start of the American Revolution. Brilliant inclusions, because these documents are subtly referenced in Thomas Paine's rant against the Monarchy in his Common Sense pamphlet. I had never read the Olive Branch Petition or Port Act before, mainly because of "Olde English"...although, I had read about their tremendous effect on the colonists. All are fascinating, in their purpose and historical context. Next, I loved the humorous illustrations in the book, and happily--there are more of them in this edition. They clarify much of the text in key areas. (Look for the logo on the chamberpot in the Quartering Act cartoon, I'm still laughing.)
A stranger and more entertaining history book probably does not exist. But I can't imagine any age group not learning a lot about American History, and the effect of Paine's Common Sense on galvanizing revolution, through these adaptations. This book adds more depth to the understanding of early American documents, and history, than most others I have ever seen. And, like Paine's purpose in 1776, this book too is written in language for everyone. PLUS, the original Common Sense is included as well...so you can compare the two and better understand the original.
PS: The website that goes with the book has a game where you get to be a Colonial Police Sketch Artist and design a King George III Wanted Poster. I have no idea how to critique it, nor should I probably try, but I was very entertained.