Slavery Teacher Resources
Find Slavery educational ideas and activities
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Slavery by the Numbers
Students examine the role of slavery in the United States. In this American history lesson, students watch segments of the video "Slavery and the Making of America." Students conduct further research pertaining to Thomas Jefferson, Elizabeth Freeman, David Walker, Denmark Vesey, and Harriet Jacobs. Students also investigate slave census records. ï»¿
The End of Slavery in the United States DBQ
Fifth graders reflect on what slavery might have been like. In this U. S. history lesson, 5th graders, participate in a class discussion about slavery, then create a timeline of what a slave's life might have looked like.
Race to the Presses
Students explore how the news media relays information about race in the United States by creating collages from newspapers and magazines and by sharing their reflections about the responsibilities of the news media in covering race-relations.
Migrations: Dance Stories about the Journeys of People
Bring social studies to life! This interdisciplinary instructional activity has young writers tell the story of the migration of diverse groups of people to the United States. Pupils view the work of selected choreographers and discuss how dance often tells a story. A research component allows them to collect data on select populations to inspire written stories and creative dances.
Slavery and the American Founding
Students examine slavery in the revolutionary and colonial eras of the United States. In this slavery instructional activity, students investigate the presence of slavery in early America, the language of the Constitution, and intent of the founding fathers regarding slavery.
Abolishing Slavery In America
Students discover details about abolition. In this slavery lesson, students watch Abolishing Slavery in America and then conduct further research about the events that took place on the Zong and Amistad. Students write essays that feature their findings.
A Debate Against Slavery
Students collect information to conduct an argument against slavery. They read primary source documents and develop an argument against the institution as it existed in America.
Racism, Discrimination, and the Law
Seventh graders examine the various racism and discrimination faced by various ethnic groups in the United States. In groups, they research the legal system and describe the purpose of the United States Constitution. They review cases brought before the Supreme Court and share their effectiveness to change society. To end the instructional activity, they discuss what the founding fathers meant by racial superiority.
Breaking the Chains, Rising Out of Circumstances
Students research slavery in ancient Rome and compare and contrast it to slavery in the United States. In this slavery lesson, students investigate the differences of slavery in different parts of the country, write a paper to report their findings, and create drawings that also depict the results of the research.
A Durable Memento: Portraits by Augustus Washington
Learners read primary source newspaper articles from mid 19th century United States. The topics of the articles are slavery, abolitionism and colonization. Students are given several options for activities based on the readings.
The Pre-Civil War Era (1815–1850)
In this online interactive history quiz worksheet, students respond to 50 multiple choice questions about the United States from 1815-1850. Students may submit their answers to be scored.
American Culture in a Musical Setting
Students discover the significance of similarities and contrasts of three separate cultures of the United States through music. They take out maps and trace the expedition of the Spanish along the coasts of Mexico and North and South America and the Caribbean Islands.
Mosaic America: Patterns of Racism
Seventh graders use print and electronic resources to gather and analyze information on the political system in the United States. Using the Constitution, they identify and discuss instances of racism included in amendments and laws. In groups, they use this information to perform a skit, make a poster or write an essay on the effects of these amendments or laws on the African-American community.
Reliving History through Slave Narratives
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.
Mosaic America: Paths To The Present
Seventh graders study the ideologies of life, values, love, peace and struggle of African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans as citizens of the United States. Authors and artists are used as tools to open the eyes of the students and allow them to see the impact and significance of cultures upon the history of the United States. Through traditional stories from different groups, they explore the customs and beliefs of their culture and others.
The Underground Railroad
Eighth graders experience a virtual journey through the Underground Railroad. They examine the history of slavery in the United States and those who participated in the abolition movement. They complete handouts.
Secession: A Southern Perspective
Eighth graders determine how secession impacted South Carolina as well as the United States. In this American Civil War activity, 8th graders examine selected primary and secondary sources in order to study the state's sovereignty and the conditions that led South Carolina to secede from the Union.
The Heritage of Puerto Rico and Cuba
Students examine the influences of the Hispanic culture in the United States. In groups, they read about the life of a slave in Cuba and identify the misconceptions are discussed. As a class, they define racism, read an essay and discuss how it relates to society today. To end the lesson, they research how the class system is changing in Puerto Rico and the role of women in the culture.
Lincoln's Spot Resolutions
High schoolers take a closer look at historical relations between the United States and Mexico. In this Texas annexation instructional activity, students examine primary documents authored by Zachary Taylor, James Polk, and Abraham Lincoln to consider why the United States entered the Mexican War. A historical document analysis worksheet is included.
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.