The Self-Evident Truth Series: Statements of Equality

The Self-Evident Truth Series: Statements of Equality Series Cover

This is an extraordinarily useful series that crosses over into the subjects of English, social studies, and history. The books are also a fascinating read in themselves.

As companion study books to the MCT grammar, vocabulary, writing, and poetics programs, this trilogy of books by Michael Clay Thompson looks at the three great statements of equality in American history: those by Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A fourth addition to the series is An Issue the Nation Cannot Ignore: Barack Obama's Speech on Race by Thomas Milton Kemnitz.

These books not only provide important insights into American history and culture, but they also show children the pay-off for the intensive study of language: how grammar is truly a "magic lens" into thought, how word choice can be based on rhythm and meter, how authors use vocabulary and other poetic devices to establish meaning and impact in their writing.

The three books by Michael Clay Thompson have teacher manuals available for purchase. The book by Thomas Kemnitz stands by itself and does not need an implementation manual. All four of the books show how language can change the world.

This is an extraordinarily useful series that crosses over into the departments of English, social studies, and history, and it can be a valuable addition to gifted programs. The books are also a fascinating read in themselves.

As companion study books to the MCT grammar, vocabulary, writing, and poetics programs, this trilogy of books by Michael Clay Thompson looks at the three great statements of equality in American history: those by Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A fourth addition to the series is An Issue the Nation Cannot Ignore: Barack Obama's Speech on Race by Thomas Milton Kemnitz.

These books not only provide important insights into American history and culture, but they also show students the pay-off for the intensive study of language: how grammar is truly a "magic lens" into thought, how word choice can be based on rhythm and meter, how authors use vocabulary and other poetic devices to establish meaning and impact in their writing.

The three books by Michael Clay Thompson have teacher manuals available for purchase. The book by Thomas Kemnitz stands by itself and does not need an implementation manual. All four of the books show how language can change the world.

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Jefferson's Truths

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; American History; Declaration of Independence; Jefferson, Thomas

Age: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Order code: 6546

Price: $17.50
Website price: $13.00

Also an iBook from iTunes

Class sets: 25 or more: $10.00 each.
Order code: 6546S

Jefferson's Truths Cover

The Declaration of Independence is a revolutionary document. Its function was to announce to the world that the war in progress in North America was revolutionary in aim. And during the centuries that followed, it has proven to be a statement that has changed the world as men and women have tried to live up to it.

In this volume Thompson shows just how revolutionary were the concepts of the Declaration by relating them to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He then focuses on the language and grammar that Jefferson used to announce that revolution. He contrasts the extraordinary dignified tone of the Declaration with other more inflammatory language used in the Revolutionary War, and he shows precisely how Jefferson used grammar and vocabulary to achieve the ends he sought.

On July 4, 1776, King George III wrote in his diary, "Nothing of importance happened today." He was wrong about that, but it was not simply by chance that he was wrong about it. A great deal of thought and effort went into making him wrong about it. In this book, Thompson shows students the brilliance of Jefferson's execution of Congress' charge to write the Declaration of Independence.

Sample pages (pdf files): page 26 page 32 | page 61

The Declaration of Independence is a revolutionary document. Its function was to announce to the world that the war in progress in North America was revolutionary in aim. And during the centuries that followed, it has proven to be a statement that has changed the world as men and women have tried to live up to it.

In this volume Thompson shows just how revolutionary were the concepts of the Declaration by relating them to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He then focuses on the language and grammar that Jefferson used to announce that revolution. He contrasts the extraordinary dignified tone of the Declaration with other more inflammatory language used in the Revolutionary War, and he shows precisely how Jefferson used grammar and vocabulary to achieve the ends he sought.

On July 4, 1776, King George III wrote in his diary, "Nothing of importance happened today." He was wrong about that, but it was not simply by chance that he was wrong about it. A great deal of thought and effort went into making him wrong about it. In this book, Thompson shows students the brilliance of Jefferson's execution of Congress' charge to write the Declaration of Independence.

Sample pages (pdf files): page 26 page 32 | page 61

Jefferson's Truths Cover

Jefferson's Truths, Teacher Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Order code: 6554

Price: $14.99
Website price: $13.00

Jefferson's Truths, Teacher Manual Cover

The teacher manual includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain important points and tips for the instructor. The implementation section includes a list of things students can do, a list of study questions based on Bloom's Taxonomy, and helpful suggestions for implementation.

The teacher manual includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain important points and tips for the instructor. The implementation section includes a list of things students can do, a list of study questions based on Bloom's Taxonomy, and helpful suggestions for implementation.

Jefferson's Truths, Teacher Manual Cover

Lincoln's Ten Sentences: The Story of the Gettysburg Address

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; American History; Gettysburg Address; Lincoln, Abraham; Civil War

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Order code: 6503

Price: $17.50
Website price: $13.00

Also an iBook from iTunes

Class sets: 25 or more: $10.00 each.
Order code: 6503S

Lincoln's Ten Sentences: The Story of the Gettysburg Address Cover

Four months after the Battle of Gettysburg, on that bloody battleground, a solemn ceremony was held to dedicate for the National Soldiers' Cemetery the seventeen acres where Confederate and Union soldiers had fought and lost their lives in the battle that decided the unity of the United States. The North’s most scholarly and illustrious orator, Edward Everett, was to give the major address, sharing the platform with Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, who had been invited to set apart the grounds formally for their sacred use "by a few appropriate remarks after the oration."

Compared to the esteemed Everett, the press had been portraying Lincoln as a “baboon” and as having an “untutored” mind. In fact, Lincoln’s formal education totaled only one year.

Lincoln’s address lasted somewhat over a minute. He used only ten sentences, 267 words. Although it was not a poem, he used poetic devices to increase the power of his words. So perfect was Lincoln’s speech that the great orator Everett, who was a past U.S. Senator, President of Harvard, and Phi Beta Kappa poet, requested a copy of it from Lincoln, saying, “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.”

In Lincoln’s Ten Sentences, Michael Clay Thompson thoroughly explicates the noble Gettysburg Address and introduces the reader to accomplished poet Abraham Lincoln and his use of detail, his controlled use of sound and meter, his repetition of key words, and his strategic grammar, diction, and vocabulary.

Sample pages (pdf files): page 47 | page 58

Four months after the Battle of Gettysburg, on that bloody battleground, a solemn ceremony was held to dedicate for the National Soldiers' Cemetery the seventeen acres where Confederate and Union soldiers had fought and lost their lives in the battle that decided the unity of the United States. The North’s most scholarly and illustrious orator, Edward Everett, was to give the major address, sharing the platform with Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, who had been invited to set apart the grounds formally for their sacred use "by a few appropriate remarks after the oration."

Compared to the esteemed Everett, the press had been portraying Lincoln as a “baboon” and as having an “untutored” mind. In fact, Lincoln’s formal education totaled only one year.

Lincoln’s address lasted somewhat over a minute. He used only ten sentences, 267 words. Although it was not a poem, he used poetic devices to increase the power of his words. So perfect was Lincoln’s speech that the great orator Everett, who was a past U.S. Senator, President of Harvard, and Phi Beta Kappa poet, requested a copy of it from Lincoln, saying, “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.”

In Lincoln’s Ten Sentences, Michael Clay Thompson thoroughly explicates the noble Gettysburg Address and introduces the reader to accomplished poet Abraham Lincoln and his use of detail, his controlled use of sound and meter, his repetition of key words, and his strategic grammar, diction, and vocabulary.

Sample pages (pdf files): page 47 | page 58

Lincoln's Ten Sentences: The Story of the Gettysburg Address Cover

Lincoln's Ten Sentences: The Story of the Gettysburg Address, Teacher Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Order code: 6511

Price: $17.50
Website price: $13.00

Lincoln's Ten Sentences: The Story of the Gettysburg Address, Teacher Manual Cover

The teacher manual includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain important points and tips for the instructor. The implementation section includes a list of things students can do, a list of study questions based on Bloom's Taxonomy, and helpful suggestions for implementation.

The teacher manual includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain important points and tips for the instructor. The implementation section includes a list of things students can do, a list of study questions based on Bloom's Taxonomy, and helpful suggestions for implementation.

Lincoln's Ten Sentences: The Story of the Gettysburg Address, Teacher Manual Cover

Free at Last: The Language of Dr. King's Dream

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

Subjects: Language Arts; Civil Rights; American History; African-American Issues; King, Dr. Martin Luther

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-88092-652-2

Order code: 652X

Price: $17.50
Website price: $13.00

Also an iBook from iTunes

Class sets: 25 or more: $10.00 each.
Order code: 652XS

Free at Last: The Language of Dr. King's Dream Cover

Free at Last is the third book of the Self-Evident Truth series by Michael Clay Thompson, which continues his study of the language used in important statements of equality in American history. Free at Last examines Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech, looking at the poetry, grammar, and vocabulary of the most important modern statement of America's commitment to the equality of its citizens.

Free at Last examines how powerful emotion is enhanced by repeated ideas and words. King's vision of the future and great call to freedom were further achieved by carefully chosen vocabulary conjured by metaphor; by the poetics of meter, alliteration, and assonance; and by other carefully selected grammatical devices. The speech is a masterpiece, and this book explores its construction in depth. 

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place on August 28, 1963. Its purpose was to draw attention to the injustice of segregation and to push for jobs and economic equality. The statue of Lincoln was chosen as the backdrop for the speeches, and Dr. King began with the words that echoed the beginning of the Gettysburg Address: "Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation…but one hundred years later, the Negro is still not free."

Sample page (pdf file): page 3

Free at Last is the third book of the Self-Evident Truth series by Michael Clay Thompson, which continues his study of the language used in important statements of equality in American history. Free at Last examines Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech, looking at the poetry, grammar, and vocabulary of the most important modern statement of America's commitment to the equality of its citizens.

Free at Last examines how powerful emotion is enhanced by repeated ideas and words. King's vision of the future and great call to freedom were further achieved by carefully chosen vocabulary conjured by metaphor; by the poetics of meter, alliteration, and assonance; and by other carefully selected grammatical devices. The speech is a masterpiece, and this book explores its construction in depth. 

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place on August 28, 1963. Its purpose was to draw attention to the injustice of segregation and to push for jobs and economic equality. The statue of Lincoln was chosen as the backdrop for the speeches, and Dr. King began with the words that echoed the beginning of the Gettysburg Address: "Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation…but one hundred years later, the Negro is still not free."

Sample page (pdf file): page 3

Free at Last: The Language of Dr. King's Dream Cover

Free at Last: The Language of Dr. King's Dream, Teacher Manual

Author: Thompson, Michael Clay

ISBN: 978-0-88092-653-9

Order code: 6538

Price: $17.50
Website price: $13.00

Free at Last: The Language of Dr. King's Dream, Teacher Manual Cover

The teacher manual includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain important points and tips for the instructor. The implementation section includes a list of things students can do, a list of study questions based on Bloom's Taxonomy, and helpful suggestions for implementation.

The teacher manual includes the full text of the student book plus special boxes that contain important points and tips for the instructor. The implementation section includes a list of things students can do, a list of study questions based on Bloom's Taxonomy, and helpful suggestions for implementation.

Free at Last: The Language of Dr. King's Dream, Teacher Manual Cover

An Issue This Nation Cannot Ignore: Barack Obama's Speech on Race

Author: Kemnitz, Dr. Thomas Milton

Subjects: Language Arts; Civil Rights; American History; African-American Issues

Age: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

ISBN: 978-0-89824-648-3 l

Order code: 6483

Price: $17.50
Website price: $13.00

An Issue This Nation Cannot Ignore: Barack Obama's Speech on Race Cover

President Barack Obama's speech on race, given on the 18th of March, 2008, in Philadelphia, was not just a campaign speech; its theme was an issue that the nation cannot ignore, and it is the contention of this book that the speech is in the tradition of the great American statements of equality that began with the Declaration of Independence and include Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech.

Thomas Milton Kemnitz places Obama's speech in its political and historical context, sees it as part of a national conversation about race, analyzes the six parts of the speech, and breaks down how Obama conveyed his meaning by analyzing the vocabulary, grammar, poetic devices, and structure.

Obama described the issues of anger and bitterness that have led to the present situation. He discussed the common goals and aspirations of white and black communities, as well as the path along which Americans must travel to achieve unity and a better future for all.

This book provides insight not only into Obama as a speechmaker but also into Obama's approach to questions of race, to social and political conditions and problems, and to the way forward for the nation. The speech is distinguished by its adult and nuanced approach to the topics he discussed and by its respect for the intelligence of the voting public. Dr. Kemnitz believes that the speech will resonate and be remembered for many years to come.

This is a worthy addition to the Royal Fireworks Press Self-Evident Truths Series.

View sample pages and read excerpts here: Obama on race, where you can also view excerpts from a talk given by Dr. Kemnitz at Mt. St. Mary College, New York.

Update: 26 June 2015: Obama's Eulogy in Charleston

President Barack Obama's speech on race, given on the 18th of March, 2008, in Philadelphia, was not just a campaign speech; its theme was an issue that the nation cannot ignore, and it is the contention of this book that the speech is in the tradition of the great American statements of equality that began with the Declaration of Independence and include Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech.

Thomas Milton Kemnitz places Obama's speech in its political and historical context, sees it as part of a national conversation about race, analyzes the six parts of the speech, and breaks down how Obama conveyed his meaning by analyzing the vocabulary, grammar, poetic devices, and structure.

Obama described the issues of anger and bitterness that have led to the present situation. He discussed the common goals and aspirations of white and black communities, as well as the path along which Americans must travel to achieve unity and a better future for all.

This book provides insight not only into Obama as a speechmaker but also into Obama's approach to questions of race, to social and political conditions and problems, and to the way forward for the nation. The speech is distinguished by its adult and nuanced approach to the topics he discussed and by its respect for the intelligence of the voting public. Dr. Kemnitz believes that the speech will resonate and be remembered for many years to come.

This is a worthy addition to the Royal Fireworks Press Self-Evident Truths Series.

View sample pages and read excerpts here: Obama on race, where you can also view excerpts from a talk given by Dr. Kemnitz at Mt. St. Mary College, New York.

Update: 26 June 2015: Obama's Eulogy in Charleston

An Issue This Nation Cannot Ignore: Barack Obama's Speech on Race Cover

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