English & History Common Core Non-Fiction Texts

Essential Questions for Inquiry-based learning

NYCDOE Social Studies Scope & Sequence Social Studies HS

United States History

What sparks a revolution?

In what ways does revolution transform society?

What do a country’s laws reveal about its culture?

How real are heros?

How does art influence history? To what extent does art reflect history or shape it?

Why are precedents turning points?

How do actions born of necessity transition or develop into lifestyle choice?

Early America

John Winthrop ‘We shall be as a city upon a hill’ (1630)

Winthrop's Sermon on the Reasons for a Puritan Colony

The concept of manifest destiny is as old as the first New England settlements. Without using the words, John Winthrop articulated the concept in his famous sermon, the Arbella Covenant (1630), when he said: " ... for we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; ..." Winthrop exhorts his listeners to carry on God's mission and to set a shining example for the rest of the world. From this beginning, the concept has had religious, social, economic, and political consequences. The words manifest destiny were first used by editor John L. O'Sullivan in 1845.
Reuben, Paul P. "PAL: Appendix T: Manifest Destiny."
PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide.

Study Guide for Thomas Paine's Rights of Man

Rights of Man full-text online


Study Guide for the U.S. Constitution

National Archives Exhibit "Charter of Freedom" - Constitution (full-text online)


Study Unit Philosophy of the American Revolution


Study Unit Foundations of American Government

"'Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death'." Inside American History

In arguably the most famous speech of the American Revolution, Virginian Patrick Henry moves that Virginia arm its militia in anticipation of war.

Alexis de Tocqueville on American Democracy

The Federalist, Number 1

The Federalist , Number 10

Alexander Hamilton ‘The thing is a dream’ (June 1788)

Useful Resources

Inside American History

World History

World History Study Units

"Socrates 'No evil can happen to a good man' (399 BC)." The Penguin Book of Historic Speeches

Apology  also known as The Death of Socrates  ca. 399–387 BCE

Book of the Dead (excerpts) also known as  pert em hru  1567–1085 BCE

The Canterbury Tales 1386–1390

Code of Hammurabi 18th Century BCE

Edict of Milan ca. 313

Magna Carta 1215