Abolitionist Movement Teacher Resources
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The Abolitionist Movement
Middle schoolers examine the Abolitionist Movement in Delaware. In groups, they examine a petition presented to the general assembly and an anti-slavery broadside. They compare and contrast the two documents and develop their own broadside to share with the class.
This comprehensive resource for teaching about the abolitionist movement will make your life easier and benefit your class. It includes standards, essential questions, necessary materials, background activity, the main activity, and final project. Ultimately, individuals or pairs of students will make a "digital picture frame," which is a three-to-five minute scene depicting the life of their chosen abolitionist.
John Brown and the Underground Railroad
Students analyze John Brown's attitudes and actions against slavery and the differences between his views and those of other people who were active in the abolitionist movement. They write journal entries from an abolitionist point of view.
Get On Board
Eighth graders view a documentary highlighting the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad. They are given the worksheet called Timeline Dates, 8th graders use the dates to construct a timeline. Pupils research a person from the abolitionist movement, they create a poster highlighting the person.
Militancy and the Abolitionist Movement
Young scholars analyze the methods and goals of the Abolitionists. Using primary source documents, they compare and contrast the supporters and opponents of the movement. They also evaluate the extent to which the military helped or hurt the cause.
Militancy and the Abolitionist Movement
Eleventh graders analyze the methods and goals of the Abolitionists in their crusade against slavery. In this American History lesson plan, 11th graders compare and contrast opinions of supporters and opponents of abolitionism. Students evaluate the extent to which militancy helped or hindered the abolitionist cause.
The Abolitionist Movement: A Fight for Freedom
Sixth graders investigate the Civil War by identifying famous figures of the era. For this slavery abolitionist lesson, 6th graders read a text on the history of the Civil War and discuss heroes of the era such as Harriet Tubman and John Brown. Students define the Underground Railroad and write a letter while role-playing as a citizen of the South.
Take a Ride on the Underground Railroad
Students explore the issues of American slavery, the abolitionist movements, and the pursuit of freedom that is found in art, literature, and music from that period in American history. Students determine the major personalities that were involved. Students create a presentation.
Plantation life in the 1840s: A slave's description
The Solomon Northrup Narrative provides class members a chance to investigate plantation life from the point of view of a slave. A provided guided-reading worksheet encourages readers to think deeply about the institution of slavery, the daily life of a slave, and the abolitionist movement as they read the story of a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Links to Northrup’s story and other slave narratives are provided.
Louisa May Alcott: The Candle and the Mirror
High schoolers discuss the life of Louisa May Alcott and create an outline of a biography of her life and times. In this Louisa May Alcott lesson plan, students explore the Transcendentalist involvement in the abolitionist movement, relating Louisa May Alcott's upbringing to her social and political views. High schoolers also discover links between Louisa May Alcott and other literary giants of the period.
Get On Board: Underground Railroad
Eighth graders research the Underground Railroad. In this Civil Freedoms lesson, 8th graders view a documentary, research a historical person, and write a position paper. This is an 5 day lesson which includes differentiated instruction, extensions, and interdisciplinary connections.
Abolitionists and Their Impact on Sectionalism
Eleventh graders examine the impact of Abolitionist leaders on sectionalism. In small groups, they conduct research on a famous abolitionist, and develop and write a newspaper cover page based on their assigned abolitionist.
Students explain the goals and methods of the abolitionist movement. They identify key leaders in the movement. This instructional activity has adaptations for elementary through high school. Links are provided for resource readings.
Plantation Life in the 1840s: A Slave's Description
Students use a primary source to investigate plantation life from a slave's perspective. This first-hand account of a slave's experience should foster discussions about the slave trade and abolitionist movement within the United States in the 1800s.
Dedication to Douglass
Students study the controversy surrounding the proposed Frederick Douglass Circle monument in Central Park. They review the notion of historical inaccuracy by reading and discussing the article, "In Douglass Tribute, Slave Folklore and Fact Collide." Students research and create their own alternative design proposals for the Frederick Douglass monument. Finally they write the text for informative plaques to accompany their monuments.
Slavery and Abolition: Three Unforgettable Names
Students research the people and events involved in the abolitionist movement prior to the U.S. Civil War. They read about and discuss the roles of Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, and John Brown. Students complete a word splash, Venn Diagram, and an Underground Railroad picture map.
Perspective on the Slave Narrative
Students examine narratives of two slaves: iam W. Brown and Frederick Douglas. They produce an essay explaining how Brown's narrative challenged the prejudices of readers in his own time and how it challenges prejudices today.
Forward March: Continuing Frederick Douglass' Footsteps
Students view numerous artifacts from the life of Frederick Douglass. Using the objects, they discover the many parts of his life and develop a hypothesis about the significance of the objects in his life. They identify the relationship between the Civil Rights movement and activism in Douglass' time period.
An Abolitionist Lecture
Tenth graders investigate the Abolitionist Movement in the United States. In this 19th century American activity, 10th graders research Frederick Douglas, William Lloyd Garrison, and Sojourner Truth and their efforts to end slavery. Students then deliver speeches in the personas of the abolitionists they studied.
John and Mary Jones and the Importance of Oral History
Students examine the role of John and Mary Jones in the abolitionist movement. Using primary source documents, they discover the importance of an oral history and take notes on the Jones' role. They write a summary of the data to practice their writing skills.