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School districts across the country are enjoying success with Eureka Math. Two stories from Louisiana and Florida, below, show how Eureka Math implementers are seeing test scores go up and students thrive. You can find more data about Eureka Math here.
Lafayette Parish School System, Louisiana’s fifth-largest school district, was among the earliest and strongest implementers of Eureka Math. From 2014 through 2017, the district saw steady increases in the percentage of students scoring Mastery or Above on the LEAP and iLEAP state standardized math tests in Grades 3–8. Read more about their success here. Lafayette Parish is known nationwide for its strong implementation and its generosity in sharing its experiences and resources with other districts.
More-recent Eureka Math implementers are also seeing success. For example, Pasco County, Florida, piloted Eureka Math across the district in Grades K–5 this year. A senior instructional specialist there said, “Students in these schools, who tend to be the highest-needs students in the district, were keeping up with or outperforming students in our top-tier schools.” Read more here.
Great Minds is eager to partner with school districts to analyze how Eureka Math affects student learning. To participate in a randomized controlled trial or quasi-experimental study, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do not specify a homework routine, we allow for teacher discretion to customize homework assignments and routines that meet the specific needs of an individual classroom. In making decisions about how to assign and manage homework, consider the following:
Students’ performance in class, particularly on the Exercises and Examples and exit tickets, will provide the teacher with valuable information that should drive homework decisions.
A set of problems is provided on the daily Problem Set. This bank of problems, directly tied to the day’s lesson, should be assigned thoughtfully by the teacher.
It is not necessarily appropriate to assign the entire Problem Set for homework. It is also not necessarily appropriate to assign the same problems to all students. The classroom teacher is in the best position to know what is right for the class, both collectively and individually.
The classroom teacher is in the best position to know which homework items their students will be able to complete successfully and independently. Thoughtfully customized homework assignments will minimize the amount of valuable instructional time that needs to be devoted to homework the following day, allowing the mathematical story to continue moving forward. On our website, we provide grade-level specific Pacing and Preparation Guides, which are intended to provide teachers with a process to customize and prepare for instruction. This includes adapting the lesson to meet the needs of individual students. It could similarly be applied to homework.
We understand that parents are their child’s chief advocate and most essential teacher – at homework time and always. To assist in this crucial role, we have assembled a parent support page that contains a variety of helpful resources, including:
Parents can also download a PDF version of our curriculum, free of charge, to reference. More detailed information can be accessed within the curriculum’s module overviews and topic openers within each lesson.
The Eureka Math curriculum is available in an APH Braille and large print files and NIMAC Braille file.
Contact Number: 502.899.2217/800.223.1839, x217 Fax: 502.899.2219
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Customers seeking new books not currently in APH’s catalog should follow this link: http://www.aph.org/tests-and-textbooks/
We currently offer print editions of our Student Edition workbooks, Teacher Editions, and Packets for grades K—8 in Spanish. Contact our sales team for more information.
A selection of Eureka Math Parent Resources is also available in Spanish to assist with continued instruction outside of the classroom. These resources include a Parent Letter, a Fact Sheet, and Grade Roadmaps that can be found here.
Wheatley Portfolio Maps feature the ingredients for a great curriculum. Since 2010, schools across the country have consulted the texts and activities suggested in the Maps to create their own unit and lesson plans. A subscription to our Maps also gives educators access to our text studies, which include text-dependent questions and a suggested performance assessment to explore deeply one featured text found in the Wheatley Portfolio. Educators use these resources to craft their own unit and lesson plans.
Wit & Wisdom is a full curriculum. Each grade includes four modules. There are approximately 30 lessons in each module that build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language instruction. Teachers are encouraged to modify each lesson to fit the needs of their classrooms, but the lessons and modules are carefully sequenced to systematically build student knowledge and skills. Our teacher-writers consulted the text lists found in our Maps as they developed Wit & Wisdom and have included many of the favorites in the Wheatley Portfolio and our history resource, the Alexandria Plan.
We take great care in selecting texts for inclusion in our Wit & Wisdom curriculum. We consider content, craft, and complexity in our text selection.
Teachers make the Wit & Wisdom curriculum come alive, and our implementation support focuses on helping teachers craft and execute lessons that fit the goals of their classrooms. Our virtual webinars will focus on the texts, building on specific aspects of the instructional design, such as the process for closely reading selected texts. Teachers will receive guidance on how to execute effective lessons and implement best practices. Subsequent sessions will include time to reflect on previous lessons and how to use those reflections to inform subsequent lesson planning thus establishing a cycle of planning, execution, and reflection that hones and develops the teacher’s craft.
Participants will access our virtual professional development sessions via the same website that hosts curriculum modules. Great Minds will also establish a dedicated Facebook page for our educators to share lesson planning resources, ideas, and tips.
We include formative and summative assessments in each module. Formative assessments include:
Summative assessments include:
When selecting texts for Wit & Wisdom, we looked for texts that teach students knowledge about themselves and the world in a way that is engaging and interesting. Some texts are old favorites (Hatchet by Gary Paulson), while others are new selections (The Crossover by Kwame Alexander). Students encounter fiction and nonfiction texts that help them build knowledge about the world and cultivate a love of reading.
Some selected texts feature characters or settings that will be familiar to students, serving as a mirror to their own lives. Other texts illuminate people, places, or experiences from long ago or far away that expose students to elements of our world that might be unfamiliar. As a result, students both recognize themselves in our selections and also gain exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences.
Nonfiction texts explore elements of science or history that contribute to students’ knowledge of our world. Grade 2 includes Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro, which can boost students’ exploration of weather and seasons that they might do during science. Eighth graders read The Great Fire by Jim Murphy and use their understanding of Chicago’s epic fire to understand how the economic, political, and social realities of American cities have impacted historical events. Reading done as part of Wit & Wisdom will often connect to students’ readings in other classes thereby deepening students’ knowledge and understanding of the world.
Great Minds has selected texts that both adults and children will enjoy reading and rereading. We invite parents to read these titles at home with their children whenever possible. Students will benefit from discussing these texts with their parents, providing the opportunity to explore ideas and themes together.
Because we find texts that are widely available whenever possible, many of our featured titles are available at public libraries. Our team is also eager to collaborate with parent groups who might want to purchase additional titles for school or home use. Contact Sarah Woodard at email@example.com if you are interested in acquiring our texts.
When students know a lot about a topic and know the vocabulary associated with that topic, they become stronger readers who can more easily learn new information. To build students’ knowledge, each Wit & Wisdom English module provides resources for 6–8 weeks of deep study of one topic, considered from multiple perspectives.
There are countless topics worth studying. When our team considered what knowledge would best empower students to access and understand the world, we honed in on literature, science, and history topics that would provide a solid foundation on which students can build.
Literary texts featured in the Wit & Wisdom English curriculum draw students into engaging stories told in exemplary ways. Kindergarteners enjoy Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, learning how rhythm and rhyme bring a text to life. Fourth graders explore how poetry can unleash powerful emotions in Love That Dog by Sharon Creech. Fifth graders explore Shakespeare’s Elizabethan England through a close read of Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood, and eighth graders dive into A Midsummer Night’s Dream to understand the bard’s genius. Through the exploration of poetry, prose, novels, and short stories, the depth of what literature can offer deepens students’ understanding of the world and inspires a love of reading.
Scientific topics in selected texts illuminate the realities of our world. Topics range from weather (Grade 1) to the circulatory system (Grade 4) to epidemics (Grade 7). Students closely read texts on scientific topics that deepen their understanding of the experiments and scientific study they do as part of their science classes.
Students explore American history in each grade, K–8. Kindergarteners learn about the construction of the White House, third graders read about the experiences of immigrants at Ellis Island, and fifth graders explore the reality of the Civil War. Informational texts on these topics are integrated with engaging literature to complement and reinforce knowledge building.
Parents can take advantage of students’ growing knowledge with trips to local museums, science centers, and historical sites. Students are often excited to demonstrate their growing expertise, which can spark exploration of new and interesting areas that all family members can enjoy.
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Overview: This is a brief description of the unit. It explains the unit’s theme and provides a summary of what students will learn. It explains the structure, progression, and various components of the unit. It may offer some guidance regarding the selection of texts. The unit descriptions illuminate the connections between the skills identified in the standards and the content of the suggested works.
Essential question: The “essential question” highlights the usefulness, the relevance, and the greater benefit of a unit. It is often the “so what?” question about material covered. It should be answerable, at least to some degree, by the end of the unit, but it should also have more than one possible answer. It should prompt intellectual exploration by generating other questions. Here’s an example from eighth grade: “How does learning history through literature differ from learning through informational text?”
Focus standards: These standards are taken directly from the CCSS and have been identified as especially important for the unit. Other standards are covered in each unit as well, but the focus standards are the ones that the unit has been designed to address specifically.
Suggested student objectives: These are the specific student outcomes for the unit. They describe the transferable ELA content and skills that students should possess when the unit is completed. The objectives are often components of more broadly-worded standards and sometimes address content and skills necessarily related to the standards. The lists are not exhaustive, and the objectives should not supplant the standards themselves. Rather, they are designed to help teachers “drill down” from the standards and augment as necessary, providing added focus and clarity for lesson planning purposes.
Suggested works: These are substantial lists of suggested literary and informational texts. In most cases (particularly in the middle and high school grades), this list contains more texts than a unit could cover; it is meant to offer a range of options to teachers. Several permutations of the list could meet the goals of the unit. The suggested texts draw heavily from the “exemplar texts” listed in the CCSS. Exemplars are works the CCSS identified as meeting the levels of complexity and rigor described in the standards. These texts are identified with an (E) after the title of an exemplar text. An (EA) indicates a work by an author who has another work cited as an exemplar text.
Art, music, and media: These sections list works of visual art, music, film, and other media that reflect the theme of the unit and that a teacher can use to extend students’ knowledge in these areas. Each unit includes at least one sample activity involving the works listed under this heading. In some cases, a prompt also has been provided. ELA teachers who choose to use this material may do so on their own, by team teaching with an art or music teacher, or perhaps by sharing the material with the art or music teacher, who could reinforce what students are learning during the ELA block in their classroom. The inclusion of these works in our curriculum is not intended to substitute for or infringe in any way upon instruction students should receive in separate art and music classes.
Sample activities and assessments: These items have been written particularly for the unit, with specific standards and often with specific texts in mind. Each activity addresses at least one standard in the CCSS; the applicable standard(s) are cited in parentheses following the description of each activity. The suggested activities or assessments are not intended to be prescriptive, exhaustive, or sequential; they simply demonstrate how specific content can be used to help students learn the skills described in the standards. They are designed to generate evidence of student understanding and give teachers ideas for developing their own activities and assessments. Teachers should use, refine, and/or augment these activities, as desired, in order to ensure that they will have addressed all the standards intended for the unit and, in the aggregate, for the year.
Reading foundations: To help kindergarten through second-grade students master the skills necessary to become strong readers, Great Minds offers a consolidated pacing guide of instructional goals for the teaching of the CCSS reading Foundational Skills.
Additional resources: These are links to lesson plans, activities, related background information, author interviews, and other instructional materials for teachers from a variety of resources, including the National Endowment for the Humanities and ReadWriteThink. The standards that could be addressed by each additional resource are cited at the end of each description.
Terminology: These are concepts and terms that students will encounter—often for the first time—over the course of the unit. The list is not comprehensive; it is meant to highlight terms that either are particular to the unit, are introduced there, or that play a large role in the work or content of the unit. These terms and concepts are usually implied by the standards, but not always made explicit in them.
Interdisciplinary connections: This is a section included only in our curriculum for the elementary grades. Here we very broadly list the content areas the unit covers and then suggest opportunities for “making interdisciplinary connections” from the curriculum to other subjects, including history, civics, geography, and the arts. We hope this section will be particularly helpful for K-5 teachers, who typically teach all subjects.
Sample Lesson Plan: One unit in each grade includes a supplementary document that outlines a possible sequence of lessons, using one or more suggested unit texts to meet focus standards. These sample lessons include guidance for differentiated instruction.
Sample lesson plans can be found in the following units: Kindergarten Unit 3, Grade One Unit 3, Grade Two Unit 3, Grade Three Unit 3, Grade Four Unit 2, Grade Five Unit 1, Grade Six Unit 5, Grade Seven Unit 3, Grade Eight Unit 3, Grade Nine Unit 6, Grade Ten Unit 4, Grade Eleven Unit 1, Grade Twelve Unit 6.
Standards Checklist: Each grade includes a standards checklist that indicates which standards are covered in which unit—providing teachers an overview of standards coverage for the entire school year.
Our Great Minds Wheatley Portfolio contains:
The Common Core State Standards call for the new standards to be taught within the context of a “content-rich curriculum.” But the CCSS do not specify what content students need to master, as this fell outside the scope of the standards-setting project. Here is how this is explained in the introduction to the CCSS:
[W]hile the Standards make references to some particular forms of content, including mythology, foundational U.S. documents, and Shakespeare, they do not—indeed, cannot—enumerate all or even most of the content that students should learn. The Standards must therefore be complemented by a well-developed, content-rich curriculum consistent with the expectations laid out in this document.
Responsibility for developing such a curriculum falls to schools, districts, and states. The Great Minds Curriculum for English is designed to meet the needs of the teacher, principal, curriculum director, superintendent, or state official who is striving to develop, or to help teachers to develop, new ELA curricula aligned with the CCSS. The curriculum can also serve as a resource for those endeavoring to conduct professional development related to the standards.
Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (Washington, DC: Common Core State Standards Initiative), 6.
Great Minds shoulders considerable costs to maintain the integrity of the curriculum. The membership fee helps us to fund those costs, which include providing comprehensive professional development, making ongoing revisions to reflect member feedback, reviewing submitted lesson plans, and maintaining the general quality, reliability, and security of the website.
In instances of financial hardship you may write to Great Minds to request that the fee be waived and we will respond within 30 days.
Alexandria Plan is a strategic framework for identifying and using high quality works of non-fiction and historical fiction as resources for meeting the expectations of the CCSS. This Plan is not meant to supplant ELA instruction—but rather to show how such instruction can be integrated with, and draw from, informational texts on topics in history. The Plan helps teachers to pose questions about featured anchor texts on a wide range of topics in United States and world history. Topics range from the caves at Lascaux to King Tut’s tomb, Chief Joseph to Kubla Khan, and the birth of democracy to fall of the Berlin Wall. These books tell stories that will thrill students. Accompanying text-dependent questions (TDQs) will drive student learning to a deeper level of understanding. Please read below for detailed descriptions of each component of this new curriculum tool.
Alexandria Plan is the second in a suite of curriculum materials Great Minds has developed to help educators implement the CCSS-ELA. In 2010 Great Minds released its Curriculum Maps in English Language Arts, now titled Wheatley Portfolio. Wheatley Portfolio is a coherent sequence of thematic units, roughly six per grade level, K–12. Wheatley Portfolio connects the skills delineated in the CCSS with suggested works of literature and informational texts and provide sample activities that teachers can use in their classrooms.
Alexandria Plan organizes United States and world history in to 36 eras (18 each for US and world), providing historical summaries, grade-span-based learning expectations, suggested anchor texts, text studies (comprised of TDQs, student responses, and assessments based on a featured anchor text), and more select resources for each era. The Plan currently provides instructional materials customized for the “lower elementary” (Kindergarten – 2nd grade) and “upper elementary” (3rd-5th grades) grade spans. In the future, we expect to add materials for middle and high school.
ERA SUMMARIES: Each of the 36 eras contains a concise and compelling summary of the history of that time period—highlighting the people, events, places, and ideas that are essential knowledge for students. Drawn from exemplary state social studies standards, the summaries were written by a historian with expert knowledge of those standards. They were also vetted by other historians who checked and rechecked this work for accuracy. These concise, easy-to-read narratives contain what college and career-ready high school graduates should know about each era. The summaries also make it convenient for teachers to review the history of the era in preparation for lesson-planning and deeper research.
LEARNING EXPECTATIONS: This is the portion of the era summary that our teachers have identified as being appropriate and necessary for students in each grade band. So, for each era, we have indicated what knowledge is essential for students in “lower elementary” (most likely Kindergarten through 2nd grade) and “upper elementary” (3rd grade through 5th grade). It is this knowledge that students would need to master in order to be prepared for later learning expectations.
SUGGESTED ANCHOR TEXTS: For each grade span of each era, we provide a list of up to 10 anchor texts that can be used to teach essential knowledge found in the era summaries and learning expectations. We provide teachers with text recommendations on an array of topics in the era, so that educators can select what is best suited to their individual classroom. These carefully curated selections include exceptional works of narrative nonfiction, informational texts, and historical fiction. Each text is rich in historical content, well-written, fair in its presentation of history, and often beautifully illustrated, allowing for the development of text dependent questions that illuminate both the historical content as well as the author and illustrator’s craft. These texts may also serve as very good mentor texts for students’ own writing.
TEXT STUDIES: The “text study” is the portion of these materials that provides teachers detailed guidance about how to lead students through a close, patient reading of a featured anchor text. The text studies contain The Alexandria Plan’s central feature: sets of text-dependent questions, sample student responses, and performance assessments. The text studies provide support for an instructional process that is promoted by the writers of the CCSS as an effective means of teaching close reading of complex texts through a carefully crafted sequence of text-dependent questions. These TDQs are followed by at least one comprehensive performance assessment for each study. Both the TDQs and the performance assessments require students to support conclusions or opinions about aspects of the text with specific evidence from the text.
FEATURED ANCHOR TEXT: One of the suggested anchor texts has been selected as the “featured anchor text” for each grade span in an era. It is for this text that we have created a “text study,” comprising a rationale for the selection of the particular text, TDQs, performance assessments, and extensions. Each text study also includes CCSS citations for nearly every one of the TDQs, performance assessments, and extensions, along with explanations of how they help address CCSS standards for literacy.
TEXT-DEPENDENT QUESTIONS: Each text study includes a set of TDQs that guide students to a comprehensive understanding of a particular component of the history outlined in the learning expectations. The questions lead students through a close read of the text; they require students to use evidence directly from the text to explain/support their answers. Such close reading leads students to absorb key historical knowledge while honing essential CCSS literacy skills. Sample student answers are provided for each question. Connections to the CCSS also are provided for nearly every text-dependent question. Please note that our citations for the standards follow the format established by the CCSS; when a question or assessment could apply to multiple grade levels—or just to a particular grade level within a band—the standards are listed in “K-2” or “3-5” chunks in the following way: strand.gradeband.number.
PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS: Each text study culminates in performance assessments that allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the key ideas, historical events, and figures discussed in the featured anchor text. These performance assessments flow naturally from the progression of TDQs about the featured anchor text.
MORE RESOURCES: Finally, we also include a list of related resources, including works of historical fiction, art and music, primary sources, and multimedia resources that can be incorporated into lessons or used to extend or enrich instruction. They may also use them simply to build their own content knowledge. Teachers often ask for quality primary sources that they can use in elementary grades, so Great Minds sought out engaging, relevant, accessible primary sources for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Sources of essential geographic knowledge are incorporated where appropriate. Like our suggested anchor text selections, these resources have been carefully selected—curated—in order to save teachers countless hours searching for resources to extend students’ knowledge of history.
Teacher-writers with decades of classroom experience reviewed countless nonfiction texts and selected the most engaging, content-rich, informational books that would convey an essential aspect of the history addressed in the learning expectations for each era. The list of texts is neither comprehensive, nor exhaustive. In other words, a text has not been selected for every aspect of the history contained in the era summaries, nor do we imagine that we have identified all of the great texts available that are relevant to an era. The list represents a great start—and one that we look forward to building with Plan users over time.
We were looking for rigorous, accurate, well-written, and wonderfully illustrated texts that would enliven historical events in ways that nurture children's innate curiosity; make teaching more fun, by engaging the teacher in compelling history; and serve, in their quality and complexity, as exemplars for teaching the literacy skills defined in the CCSS.
Criterion One: The text should enliven historical events in ways that nurture children's innate curiosity.
We sought texts that bring to life the historical setting, events, and story being told. While our focus was the selection of rich, complex, content-rich texts, we also recognized that the texts needed to be age-appropriate. Much consideration was given to readability, and whenever possible, we have placed texts in appropriate bands, based on their Lexile level. Where Lexile levels may pose ostensible challenges for teachers, we have explained how teachers might approach instruction; for example: through read-alouds and the scaffolding of reading.
We have geared our questions and answers to the upper level of each grade band. Teachers will have to use the questions that are appropriate for their students and anticipate the answers that are appropriate for their students, building their capacity over time. Teachers who have piloted these materials have reported sometimes being surprised at how successfully students mine and appreciate these texts, even when they were at first considered “too hard.” They have told us—and we believe—that it is important not to underestimate what students can do when they are presented with compelling, high-quality texts.
Criterion Two: The text should make teaching more fun, by engaging the teacher in compelling history.
One of the key instructional shifts called for in teaching to the CCSS in English language arts is the significant increase in the amount of time and attention students are asked to spend in evidence-based analysis of what they are reading. Rather than focusing on meta-cognitive reading strategies at the expense of content, teachers can now focus on the content of the text, confident that it lends itself well to the kind of analysis demanded in the CCSS, but also giving them a chance to immerse themselves in the content, making the teaching more interesting for them.
Criterion Three: The text should serve, in its quality and complexity, an exemplar for teaching the literacy skills defined in the CCSS.
The third important criterion for text inclusion was that it was significantly complex enough to support the rich text study, including the focus on important English language arts standards. If the texts weren’t well-written and compelling, they simply would not lend themselves to the kind of analyses that the CCSS demands – and that teachers and students enjoy. These texts, by celebrated authors including Peter Sis and Diane Stanley, exhibit the power of narrative history, the efficacy of great illustrations, the effect of figurative language in informational text, and the strength of arguments that are supported with clear evidence.
Yes. Teachers from rural, urban, charter and private schools across the country piloted a selection of the materials and shared their experience. Just fewer than 100 teachers participated, including new teachers, National Board Certified teachers, and veterans who have been recognized by their districts for excellent teaching. Their generous feedback helped us to improve these materials, and to more clearly explain how to use the features of Alexandria Plan. Rather than speak for them, here are two testimonials from piloters:
“The map made it very easy for the teacher by giving information about the book as well as historical information. The direction of the lesson was centered around the character of Christopher Columbus and the vocabulary used to describe him—brave, studious, curious, patient, dreamer. The students described Columbus and were able to defend their answers. I never really thought about the character of Columbus and all that he went through to make his dreams come true. He was a true leader. Our school is a "Leader in Me" school and this lesson illustrated several of the habits (character traits) we want our students to exhibit.”
—Trudy Phelps, Kindergarten Teacher, Dolby Elementary School (LA)
“The text was the core of the social studies lesson. I worked from the text out. In most social studies lessons you start from the outside and move in. Students related to the characters and seemed to feel they were there. They simply had a better understanding of the history behind the text. The text, with a well-balanced set of questions, made the experience easier as they developed an understanding of the history.”
—Jayne Brown, Kindergarten Teacher, Avery’s Creek Elementary School (NC)
If a teacher wishes to use one of the Featured Anchor Texts, but feels it is too difficult for his or her children, “stair stepping” of texts might be considered. This strategy involves doing a read aloud of a somewhat easier text to prepare the student to tackle the more difficult text. Following is an example of how to “stair step” up to the Featured Anchor Text for US Era 11, Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, Leader, Legend, recommended for the lower elementary grades.
At a Lexile level of 790, this text is certainly at the upper range for the age level, and we are not suggesting students in the K-2 range read this book independently. Instead, we suggest that they follow along (with their own copy or using a document camera) as the teacher reads it aloud. Even still, some of the vocabulary and concepts might best be introduced first through easier “building up” books, such as:
Each of the books tells interesting stories about Lincoln as a person and a leader, creating a whole reservoir of background knowledge. This mounting knowledge creates curiosity in the children for more information. By the time the teacher is ready to share the more challenging Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, Leader, Legend, the students know that Lincoln stored important things in his hat, grew whiskers because a young girl thought it would make him more dignified, stood tall while making hard decisions, and practiced his stump speeches in the woods.