Lesson Plan

The Self-Empowerment of Harriet Jacobs

In a hands-on learning activity, pupils read about and recreate the experience of Harriet Jacobs, author of one of the most famous slave narratives of all time in which she describes her years of hiding from her master in a confined crawlspace.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Set the right tone as learners recreate the experience of living in the confined space. Approach the activity with sincerity and focus questions to prepare those who may not take the experience seriously
  • Use this lesson during your class study of slavery or Black History Month
Classroom Considerations
  • Young learners will need a fair amount of guidance and support as they consider how they can empower their lives today. Be sure to give various examples to help them understand the many positive ways they can effect change in their lives
  • All handouts and materials included, such as discussion prompts, informational texts on the life of Harriet Jacobs, and a short video dramatizing Jacob's escape
  • Teaching tips and extension activities provided
  • None