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THE ELEMENTARY COMMON SENSE OF THOMAS PAINE: An Interactive Adaptation for All Ages Paperback – March 4, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Savas Beatie,LLC - Publisher -2008
I was not sure how I felt about this book when it arrived on my doorstep. It was about Thomas Paine's writing of "Common Sense" which I was eager to explore and hopefully expand my understanding of Paine himself, but a whole book on the writing that would fit into modern books 30 or so pages?
What I found was an easy to understand portrait of not only the man himself but of the environment in which brought about the reasons for the writing. This book not only explores the Acts and Petitions between England and the Colonies but also the economic, social and moral aspects of times from both points of view.
Another thing I really enjoyed about the book is that it goes to great lengths to make sure you can understand the context of the writing with definitions on the same page, and it also includes tons of historical quotes by other notable characters of the time. This is meant to be an elementary book, but I would think that the grade level should be starting about fourth grade to get a good understanding of it. However Mark Wilensky has taken another step, which is rare to the aspects of historical books written for the mainstream and not educational focused publishing's and has packed this book and corresponding website with games, audio, activities and timelines that could include almost any age or grade.
In terms of my review and the mentioning of the grades and ages that I referenced, don't be misled this book is for anyone, young or old from eight to a hundred and eight. It should be on a shelf in every classroom and on your shelf at home as well.... Why?
Because, most of us today do not know the origins of our history, our story. Have you ever just read the Declaration of Independence, Poor Richard or Common Sense? I would bet that most have not. I could go on a tangent here but I won't. I will in closing recommend this book whole heartedly; it's clean concise and easy to understand. It crosses all the generational boundaries and is very interesting read. Pick up a copy, you will not be disappointed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Common Sense in itself lends to the young mind more insight into our base freedoms and inspiration as a people.Read more