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It was my great privilege to work with the teachers at Central York School District and be involved with their Teaching with Primary Sources Library of Congress Grant. During our video conference we discussed how a teacher might use my book The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon (Carolrhoda 2011) in the classroom in ways that align with the Common Core State Standards.

My passion as a nonfiction author is using primary sources in accurate and interesting ways that will make the text come to life for the reader. During the time I had with the teachers, I focused on one specific scene in the book. I chose a little-known moment in the life of twenty-one-year-old George Washington, when he nearly drowns in the Allegheny River. On that day, George Washington was accompanied by one man, Christopher Gist. Both men wrote in their journals about the same experience. These two primary sources are easily accessible (links below.) Using these two amazing primary sources, along with these two pages in my book as a secondary source, teachers can accomplish almost every CCSS Anchor Standard in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language.

By using one small section (pages 28-30) from The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon as a mentor text, a teacher can demonstrate how to dissect nonfiction writing in order to teach critical thinking, content, word choice, what is stated explicitly and what is inferred, and many other goals defined by the CCSS.

1. Library of Congress, Journal of George Washington Vol. I. 1748-65 (pp. 213-214)
2. Journal of Christopher Gist
Video of Carla discussing the book on C-Span

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