Grade 9 ELA Module 4, Unit 1, Lesson 17

How did the Demerara Rebellion of 1823, the death of Reverend John Smith, and the Emancipation Bill of 1833 that abolished slavery throughout the British Empire change the sugar industry? Class members examine how the authors of Sugar Changed the World link these events to reveal the ongoing struggle between economic and human rights.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Have groups investigate and report on the Demerara Rebellion, the sourcing of indentured workers, and John Gladstone
Classroom Considerations
  • The lesson requires individual copies of Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos' Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science as a central text
  • The focus of the unit is on helping writers develop the skills they need to develop well-crafted arguments supported by strong evidence
  • The 17th in a 29 lesson unit designed to directly address Common Core reading and writing standards for grade 9
  • The 12-page packet includes a detailed plan and discussion questions with suggested responses


  • All the lessons in the unit follow the same pattern