Lesson Plan

Those "Other Rights:" The Constitution and Slavery

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This Those "Other Rights:" The Constitution and Slavery lesson plan also includes:

Did the United States Constitution uphold the institution of slavery, or did it help to destroy it? Young historians study Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution and evaluate the rights of slaveowners as they compared to or challenged the rights of slaves. Using a historical context, they choose the most important words that sum up the text, and compare the Article to the 13th Amendment.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Use in a unit on the United States Constitution, 19th century slavery legislation, or primary document analysis
  • Encourage groups to conduct further research beyond the provided documents
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires projection or a SmartBoard; if you don't have access to these tools, print up the text for each learner to read
  • The link to the 1847 letter to the editor is broken, but you can easily find it by searching online for the title
  • Lesson is designed for high schoolers but would work for eighth grade classes studying American history
  • Includes extension and enrichment ideas for advanced learners
  • Provides links to auxiliary materials for the lesson
  • None