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- Sharon H., Teacher
- Stonyfell, Australia
Slave Plantations Teacher Resources
Find Slave Plantations educational ideas and activities
Students explore the life of former slave George Gilmore. In this US History lesson plan, students analyze primary source documents and use data from these selections to inform the decision making process. Students demonstrate reasoning skills to explain their response to a controversial situation.
Fourth graders investigate the role of African American slaves in rice plantations. In this slave life lesson plan, 4th graders discuss the products produced in the 13 colonies. Students discuss the importance of rice to South Carolina's economy. Students complete a Venn Diagram, two group projects, write a paragraph about life during the period, and complete a think-pair-share activity.
“To break the bonds of slavery opens up at once both earth and heaven. Neither can be truly seen by us while we are slaves.” Class members read excerpts from the memoir, Narrative of Lunsford Lane, to gain understanding of the details of the life of a slave who worked in the city of Raleigh rather than as a field hand. Using the provided question sheet, class members track Lane’s early life, his work, his marriage, and the process he followed to purchase his freedom. Designed to provide learners with “an understanding that slaves could have a variety of jobs and roles,” the exercise will also lead learners to examine their assumptions about slavery, slaves, and slave holders.
Learners explore US history by completing an ancestry activity. In this slavery lesson, students research Internet sites and identify the slave trade routes used several hundred years ago. Learners create a timeline based on African American slavery and read several biographies of former slaves.
This is a great way to expose your class to primary source documents as they learn about the American slave experience. After a brief introduction to the topic, students visit the Library of Congress American Memory site to listen to an interview with one of several former slaves. As they listen, students record answers to the guiding questions. Ultimately, they have to write a newspaper article that describes the slave's experience as accurately as possible.
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.
Students consider slave culture during the time of Andrew Jackson. In this lesson plan on slavery, students watch a PowerPoint presentation, take notes, then analyze an extensive list of primary sources in order to understand what and how slave culture and was communicated and preserved.
Imagine what it was like to be a slave in the United States in 1845. Eighth graders are given an opportunity to experience life from the point of view of Frederick Douglass as they read and discuss an annotated passage from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. Guided by a series of text-dependent questions, class members conduct a close reading of the passage, and consider how Douglass’ use of language creates the emotional impact of the excerpt. The carefully designed packet includes directions for teachers, guiding questions for students, suggested activities, and writing prompts that ask participants to craft an emotional response to the passage.
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 plantation. They view the film Doing As They Can, read a text composed by Frederick Douglass, and then compare his version of the uprising to that of two different slaves. They compose a journal entry from the perspective of the slaves involved, being sure to include how they would see the event and why.
Students read excerpts of autobiographies from Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. After listening to excerpts of an oral reading of Frederick Douglass' book, they discuss the ways African Americans were treated on plantations. Individually, they compare and contrast their own lives to Douglass and view slides of Lawrence's paintings. To end the lesson, they identify the route of the Freedom Trail and role-play master and slave relationships.
Helpful for an American literature or history unit, this lesson prompts middle schoolers to examine slavery in the United States. They read slave narratives that were part of the Federal Writers' Project and then conduct their own research on slavery in the nation. After, they write descriptive stories that reflect what they learned in their research.