Unit Plan

Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Can Words Lead to War?

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This Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Can Words Lead to War? unit plan also includes:

"Words, words, words." Despite Hamlet's opinion, words can be significant. In this inquiry lesson, middle schoolers learn how the words in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, in the view of many, lead to the American Civil War. To gather background information, class members engage in four formative performance tasks. They compare reviews of the novel from northern and southern papers, examine speeches and excerpts, and consider how the novel influenced public perception of slavery.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • It may be used for in-person or distance learning
  • Perform during Black History Month
Classroom Considerations
  • Presumes both instructors and learners are familiar with the inquiry process
  • Class members should have completed their reading of Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • A protocol must be in place to permit a safe, respectful discussion of the racist sentiments expressed in the various texts
  • Requires a projection device for the images and copies of the excerpts from the book
  • The 41-page packet includes a rationale for the approach used, a detailed plan, teacher notes, both formative and summative performance tasks, and links that detail the learning strategies used
  • None