1. To introduce unit on
slavery and abolitionism, the teacher will announce in the
morning to students that all their rights and freedoms in
the classroom have been taken away. Teacher elaborates on
what the students can and cannot do. The students are now
slaves and are owned by another human being.
students “What is slavery?” and enable discussion. Pose the
question “Has there ever been a time in our country’s
history that people were slaves?”. Develop KWL chart on
what students know about American slavery.
Students will watch the
interactive video The Melrose Interactive Slavery
Students will explore the estate from the perspective of the
men, women, and children who were enslaved there. In
reader’s response notebook, students will write a journal
diary from the point of view of one of the slaves. Students
will reflect on what life must have been look for slaves.
if the issue of slavery alone was a good enough reason to
start the “War Between the States.”
a class discussion on individual rights. What are rights?
Can our laws support the rights of all people every time?
Teacher creates a Venn Diagram to facilitate a compare and
contrast analysis of the privileges students have today
compared to the child slaves in 1725. Students will compare
and contrast life as they live it today and life as
African-American children lived in the past.
groups, students will look at a primary document of a
political map of the United States (http://www.sonofthesouth.net/slavery/slave-maps/map-free-slave-states.htm).
They will analyze the map and infer what the colors on the
map mean. Discuss the existence of free states and slave
states and it’s implications on slavery.
reads the Abolitionist Hymn
Discussion will follow about the poem. Teacher will teach
mini-lesson on text features of hymns and poems. Students
will then work on their own hymns/poems.
8. Students will view
Slavery and the Making of
movie will allow students to closely examine the
abolitionist movement and the roles of Frederick Douglas,
John Brown, and other significant abolitionists. In
reader’s response notebook, students will review the
political map and answer the question “How did slavery cause
conflict in the United States?”
9. Students will
listen to an excerpt of Bound for the North Star: True Stories of Fugitive Slaves.
(This book vividly depicts the horrors of slavery and the
high value of freedom. It also focuses on important
developments such as the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and the
British Parliaments outlawing of slaves in 1834.) Have
students work in groups to brainstorm how the rights of some
people were taken away. Students will create a newspaper
containing articles concerning this time period.
10. Read If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad by Ellen
Levine. This book is in a question/answer format in which
the students are introduced to what the underground railroad
was and how it was used between 1830-1860 to help slaves in
America escape to the North. Students will take notes in
their journal about the most important information gathered
in the book.
11. Explain to
students that the story Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt took place the last years when slavery existed
in our country. Thousands of slaves tried to escape to
freedom in the North and were often helped along a secret
route called the Underground Railroad. Using a map of the
United States, ask students if they can name any of the
slave or free states. Have students locate Canada on the
map. Read aloud Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt
by Deborah Hopkinson. What did Clara’s opportunity cost
when she chose to run away? Why did she think her choice
was better than what she gave up? How do you think the
plantation owners felt about runaway slave?
12. Read Follow the Drinking Gourd
or any other books on the Underground railroad.Then
provide students with a map of the United States
(alternative outline map) and ask them to trace the route of
the Underground Railroad from Alabama to Canada. Encourage
students to map some additional routes slaves from other
states might have used. For reference, students can look at
this site for routes of the Underground Railroad (http://education.ucdavis.edu/NEW/STC/lesson/socstud/railroad/Map.htm).
13. In groups of 3-4,
ask students to brainstorm other ways that slaves could have
escaped. Create a chart of ideas. Then read aloud Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine about a man who
mailed himself to freedom. Discuss how Henry used his used
ingenuity to escape from slavery. Students will go back to
their groups to rework or invent new ways to escape.
14. Ask students to note the leading
figures in the abolitionist movement as they explore an
online slave auction (http://school.discovery.com/schooladventures/slavery/witness.html).
Students will break into groups and research famous
abolitionists such as Harriet Tubman, Fredrick Douglass,
Sojourner Truth, etc. Students will use online resources,
trade books, references, and magazines. Each group will
write a short summary about their abolitionist.
15. Give students copies of the
Emancipation Proclamation (http://www.historynow.org/12_2005/pdf/Emancipation%20Proclamation.pdf).
In groups, students will work together to fill out the
worksheet that will help them analyze Abraham Lincoln’s
Have class discussion on document and discuss how people
would view it from different perspectives.
16. Examine the Bill of Rights (http://billofrightsinstitute.networkats.com/Instructional/Resources/FoundingDocuments/Docs/TheBillofRights.htm)
and discuss why the Bill of Rights were created. Explain
that at the end of the Civil War, three more amendments were
added to guarantee the rights of African Americans or former
slaves. Discuss the effects of the Emancipation
Proclamation on the Bill of Rights. Three groups will be
formed to analyze the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth
Amendment. Groups will choose one of the amendments and
complete Venn Diagram comparing the amendment to the
17. Amendment groups
will look at the amendments and provide a summary to share
with the whole class. On chart paper, each group will write
their summary for each amendment. They will then provide
examples of how these rights are protected.
18. In reading
response journals, students will answer the question “Did
these four documents “give” freedom and rights to African
Americans, or did they “recognize” the freedom and rights of
African Americans? Explain your answer.”
19. The groups will work
together to write an essay in which they describe what might
have happened if the Civil War had not happened and if the
Emancipation Proclamation and the four amendments had not
20. In reading response
journals, students will answer the question “How did
slavery and abolition change our country and our society?”
Students can choose any format they like to answer the
21. Ask students if
slavery exists today. If it does, where and how does it
exist? Students will act out a situation in which a person
becomes a bonded laborer (http://www.antislavery.org/breakingthesilence/main/Activities/09_NoWayOut.pdf).
Discussion questions will be answered in small groups and
discussed in whole groups.
22. Abolitionists were
groups of people who worked together to help abolish
slavery. They were able to help change our society.
Students will think about change and how people can bring
about change in the present as they once did in the past.
Working in small groups, students will look at case studies
and comment on how the situations could have been