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1,990 reviewed resources for slavery

Lesson Planet

Frederick Douglass’s Narrative: Myth of the Happy Slave

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
The firsthand accounts of what it was like to be an enslaved person in the mid-1800s riveted a nation and the issue ultimately led to civil war. Using excerpts from Frederick Douglass's autobiography, budding historians examine what it...
Lesson Planet

Analyzing the Cotton Gin Patent

For Teachers 6th - 12th
Decode primary sources in a fast-paced activity. A quick guessing game helps pupils use visual clues to understand primary sources. Academics look at a picture of the cotton gin and must guess what it is without other knowledge or clues....
Lesson Planet

From Dred Scott to the Civil Rights Act of 1875: Eighteen Years of Change

For Teachers 10th - 12th Standards
What do a photo of Abraham Lincoln, a map for the Battle of Antietam, and the Dred Scott decision all have in common? Learners consider the broader question as they examine documents related to civil rights during the Civil War and...
Lesson Planet

How Effective were the Efforts of the Freedmen’s Bureau?

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
The legacy of Reconstruction and the Freedman's Bureau is complicated. Using an interactive web resource, learners literally weigh the evidence using an online program in primary sources such as labor contracts and marriage records to...
Lesson Planet

Juneteenth General Order

For Teachers 7th - 12th Standards
While Juneteenth was more than 150 years ago, today Americans debate whether it should be a national holiday. Using a military declaration proclaiming the last of the enslaved people in Texas free, individuals look at the significance of...
Lesson Planet

Letter to President Abraham Lincoln from Annie Davis

For Teachers 6th - 8th Standards
What freed enslaved people? The answer, it turns out, is complicated. Using a set of online documents and writing prompts, young historians examine a series of primary sources, including a letter from a woman asking if she was freed and...
Lesson Planet

A Petition for the Cotton Gin

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
While almost forgotten today, the cotton gin could be seen as one of the causes of the Civil War. The innovation led to more cotton production, which in turn undermined political power balances in the 1800s. Individuals unpack the...
Lesson Planet

Comparing Civil War Recruitment Posters

For Teachers 7th - 12th Standards
African Americans fought in the Civil War, and they were recruited by both the Union and the Confederacy! By comparing the wording of posters—one directed at freedmen and another to the owners of enslaved people—young historians discover...
Lesson Planet

U.S. v. Amistad: A Case of Jurisdiction

For Teachers 11th - 12th
Just what is jurisdiction and why does it matter? A helpful activity takes academics on a journey to understand how judicial jurisdiction works. Scholars read excerpts from the Constitution and court documents to understand the process...
Lesson Planet

Spirits Across the Ocean: Yoruban and Dahomean Cultures in the Caribbean Brought by the Slave Trade

For Teachers 6th - 12th
Much of Latin American music owes its origins to the slave trade. Peoples from the Yoruban and Dahomean cultures brought with them the distinctive rhythms, time signatures, and eighth note patterns that now characterize Caribbean music....
Lesson Planet

The Vocal Blues: Created in the Deep South of the U.S.

For Teachers 6th - 12th
Bring the sounds of the deep South vocal blues to the classroom with a Smithsonian Folkways lesson. In preparation, scholars listen to and count the 12 bar blues patterns in several works and identify the I, II, IV, and V chords as well...
Lesson Planet

Oh Freedom! Sought Under the Fugitive Slave Act

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
Using the harrowing story of the Crafts, a couple enslaved in the South who escaped to freedom, young historians trace the story of the Fugitive Slave Act. After examining documents, including affidavits and arrest warrants for the...
1 In 1 Collection
Lesson Planet

Lesson 1: Journaling with Songs of Freedom

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
There's more to music than a memorable tune. The songs of those who were enslaved reveal the harsh realities of their lives. Using both songs and slave narratives, historians uncover this hidden history. The lesson incorporates a variety...
1 In 1 Collection
Lesson Planet

Lesson 4: Escape

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Some enslaved people decided to run for their liberation. Using lyrics of songs they sang, young historians look at these anthems of freedom. An assessment asks them to write the story of escape from the perspective of an enslaved person. 
1 In 1 Collection
Lesson Planet

Lesson 5: Coded Spirituals, Metaphor in African Spirituals

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
If a picture is worth a thousand words, song lyrics also can communicate many meanings. Using the lyrics of spirituals, young historians analyze them for coded messages about freedom. Resources include a chart to help individuals track...
Lesson Planet

Discover the Mary Ann Shadd Cary House

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
Mary Ann Shadd Cary was an extraordinary woman, no matter the time period. Academics research the life and achievements of Mrs. Cary, who was born a free African American in 1823. The lesson uses primary sources, worksheets, written...

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