TEACHING LINKS Common Core State Standards Correlations and Activities for The Alger Hiss Trial

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Be the Judge/Be the Jury: The Alger Hiss Trial

Author: Doreen Rappaport
Subject: Social Science/History
Suggested Grade Levels: 7-8

Common Core Links


  • RI.8.3 Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
  • RI.7.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.
  • RI.7.9 Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.


  • W.8.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence
  • W.8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3.)
  • W.7.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

Speaking and Listening

  • SL.8.3 Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.


  • L.7.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 7 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

Teaching Links
Ideas to extend the learning with Common Core links:

  • Have students create a time line to show significant events through time using pictures and captions to support their thinking.
  • Have students consider the purpose of this text. What did the author want to teach the reader? Was it effective? Ask them to write a paragraph giving their opinion about this text using information from the selection to support their thinking.
  • Ask students to create a Venn Diagram comparing two versions of this case using evidence from the text to support their thinking.