Antebellum Period Teacher Resources

Find Antebellum Period lesson plans and worksheets
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Writing the History of African American Slave Women

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Students examine experiences by African-American women during the Civil War. Reading letters and autobiographies, they gain insight into how they dealt with slavery and losing their children. They create a model in which to evaluate the...
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Antebellum Freedom

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
From indentured servitude to involuntary race-based servitude, slavery has taken many forms in American history. Class members examine three manumission petitions that reveal how the rights of African Americans and African American...
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The Fabric of History

For Teachers 5th - 12th
African-American history is an integral part of what America is. Learners examine important events, read informational texts, and create quilts depicting specific eras in African-American history. Each image created for the quilt will be...
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The Colonization of Liberia

For Teachers 8th - 12th
Students analyze how slavery shaped social and economic life in the South. They study methods of passive and active resistance to slavery, and the similarities and differences between African-American and white abolitionists.
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Slavery and Freedom

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
How do nineteenth-century texts by African American and Native American writers contribute to the country's ideals of freedom and individuality? Learners explore the topic by watching and discussing a video, reading biographies, writing...
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African Americans: 1800 - 1870

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Students explore living and working environment of both slave and free African Americans from places throughout the United States.
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Antebellum Era: Daily Lives of Slaves

For Teachers 8th - 10th Standards
New ReviewLearners evaluate primary sources from the antebellum era to determine the accuracy of textbooks. They examine narratives from enslaved people, then compare them to their own text. Extension activities include the opportunity to write a...
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African American Community and Culture

For Teachers 11th
Eleventh graders explore areas of concern to the African American community in the 1820's.  In this American History lesson, 11th graders examine how the establishment of the nations first African American newspaper addressed these areas...
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Social Studies: The Ideology of Slavery

For Teachers 10th - 12th
Learners examine the development of racial stereotyping beginning with the antebellum years. They research how blackface minstrel songs reinforced the antebellum mindset of African-Americans. Secondly, students investigate "Uncle Tom's...
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After the American Revolution: Free African Americans in the North

For Teachers 11th
Eleventh graders explore how one-third of Patriot soldiers at the Battle of Bunker Hill were African Americans Census data also reveal that there were slaves and free Blacks living in the Nort
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The Exceptional Life of Benjamin Banneker

For Students 6th - 12th
Introduce your class to Benjamin Banneker, self-taught mathematician and scientist, with a short video that details some of the many accomplishments of the son of freed slaves and contemporary of Thomas Jefferson.
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The African Grove Theater

For Teachers 8th - 12th
Students study the African Grove Theater in New York. In this African American history lesson, students examine the evolution of race relations in the United States as they research the theater and its history.
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African American Community and Culture

For Teachers 8th
Eighth graders explore the community of enslaved African Americans.  In this American History lesson, 8th graders evaluate the importance of cultural expression in the black community.  Students study the contributions made by the...
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Slave Narratives: Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and the Columbian Orator

For Teachers 7th - 12th Standards
Young historians practice in-depth, quality analysis of primary source texts in this three-lesson unit, which examines excerpts from the slave narratives of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and Caleb Bingham. 
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Building New York

For Teachers 11th
Eleventh graders examine the role African Americans played in the expansion of New York.  In this American History lesson, 11th graders compare and contrast the images of a wealthy, free black against a black who was poor and enslaved. ...
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Antebellum Revivalism and Reform

For Teachers 8th - 11th
A gold mine for American history teachers, this presentation cascades through the middle of the 19th century with the central themes of moral and social reform. Between the blossoming Mormon church, the tightening of the Temperance...
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Slavery: Acts of Resistance

For Teachers 9th - 11th Standards
Historical accounts of various events have proven to differ depending on the point of view of the person documenting the event. Learners read and analyze two first person accounts of acts of slave resistance seen at a southern...
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The Forced Migration of Enslaved People 1810-1860

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Slavery not only involved the forced migration of African people from their homes, it also meant the forced removal of people within the United States. Using data and interactive graphics, scholars see how the tragedy of human slavery...
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A Clear Signal for Change: Multiple Interpretations and Nat Turner’s Rebellion

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Was Nat Turner a hero or a violent criminal? Using primary sources and images that discuss the rebellion of enslaved people he led in antebellum Virginia, scholars consider the question. Then, they create memorials to Turner and...
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Slave Resistance

For Teachers 7th - 11th
Students examine slavery and slave resistance.  In this history lesson, students read several excerpts on slavery then work in small groups to reflect and answer questions on the readings. 
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Downing's Oyster House: Building New York

For Teachers 4th
Fourth graders explore African American contributions to New York City. In this antebellum New York lesson, 4th graders research the accomplishments of Thomas Downing. Students explore primary and secondary sources about Downing's oyster...
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Indians and African Americans 1780-1820

For Teachers 7th - 12th
Students explain that opportunities for African Americans remained severely limited by slavery until 1783. They examine the 1783 Massachusetts abolishment of slavery and its impact.
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A Look at Virginians During Reconstruction, 1865-1877

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
The transition between rebellion to reunification was not smooth after the Civil War. Young historians compare primary and secondary source documents in a study of the Reconstruction era in Virginia, noting the rights that were not...
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Sojourner Truth

For Teachers 6th - 8th
Students research Sojourner Truth. In this African-American history lesson, students read the speech "Ain't I A Woman?" and brainstorm descriptive words that describe Sojourner Truth. Students discuss why her acts were considered...