In this lesson, students analyze similarities and differences among depictions of slavery in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", Frederick Douglass' "Narrative", and nineteenth century photographs of slaves. Students formulate their analysis of the role of art and fiction, as they attempt to reliably reflect social ills, in a final essay.
In addition to making historical points about nineteenth-century attitudes toward slavery, race, and abolition, you can use this speech to teach formal rhetoric. We have divided the address into four sections according to the function of each one. This division follows the classic structure of argumentative writing:
paragraphs 1–3: introduction (exordium)
paragraphs 4–29: narrative or statement of fact (narratio)
paragraphs 30–70: arguments and counter-arguments (confirmatio and refutatio)
paragraph 71: conclusion (peroratio)
We have included notes that explain the function of each section as well as questions that invite discussion of the ways in which Douglass deploys rhetoric to make his case.
This lesson features five interactive activities, which can be accessed by clicking on this icon . The first explores the subtle way in which Douglass compares the patriots of 1776 with the abolitionists of 1852. The second challenges students to determine how Douglass supports his thesis. The third focuses on his use of syllogistic reasoning, while the fourth examines how he makes his case through emotion and the fifth through analogy.
We recommend assigning the entire text . For close reading we have analyzed eighteen of the speech’s seventy-one paragraphs through fine-grained questions, most of them text-dependent, that will enable students to explore rhetorical strategies and significant themes. The version below, designed for teachers, provides responses to those questions in the “Text Analysis” section. The classroom version , a printable worksheet for use with students, omits those responses and this “Teaching the Text” note. Terms that appear in blue are defined on hover and in a printable glossary on the last page of the classroom version. The student worksheet also includes links to the activities, indicated by this icon .
This is a long lesson. We recommend dividing students into groups and assigning each group a set of paragraphs to analyze.
This collection uses primary sources to compare and explore the relationships between Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Digital Public Library of America Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills and draw diverse material from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. These sets were created and reviewed by the teachers on the DPLA's Education Advisory Committee.
The National Humanities center presents this collection of essays by leading scholars on the topic ŇFreedomŐs Story: Teaching African American Literature and HistoryÓ. Topics include the affect of slavery on families, slave resistance, how to read slave narratives, Frederick Douglass, reconstruction, segregation, pigmentocracy, protest poetry, jazz, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, and more.
This lesson opens the unit and prepares learners for the structure of the instructional routines. The anchor text for this lesson is, Words Set Me Free by Lesa Cline-Ransome. This literary nonfiction text chronicles the story of Frederick Douglass' early life and includes events that influenced both his life and those of others. The students should listen for examples of how actions speak louder than words. The initial read will allow students an opportunity to comprehend on a literal level. The subsequent readings provide opportunities for students to analyze and interpret figurative language throughout the book. Specifically, the students will identify how similes and metaphors enhance the reader's understanding of the life of Frederick Douglass. Students will routinely write in a response log to demonstrate understanding of the theme of this unit, Actions Speak Louder than Words. In addition, students will use their knowledge of figurative language in their writing.
The National Humanities center presents reading guides with primary source materials for the study of The Making of African American Identity, Volume 2: 1865-1917. Primary source materials include paintings, sculpture, narratives, autobiographies, short stories, essays, songs, letters, poems, photographs, interviews, and more. Sources are divided into the topics: Freedom, Identity, Institutions, Politics, and Forward.
This curriculum explores how social justice movements over the past 180 years have been perceived bypeople in the United States and how the U.S. media has constructed that public perception. Eachunit includes three lessons, each one devoted to a different media form including visual images, filmclips and song excerpts. The subject areas covered include U.S. history, African-American studies,criminal justice studies, immigrant studies, labor studies, Latino studies, LGBT studies, media studies, peace studies, sociology and women's studies among many others. The kit will be of particular interest to high school American history teachers and college level social justice studies professors.
Throughout this unit on Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, students practice the same six skills with greater scaffolding and modeling at the beginning, and more independence toward the middle and end. The tasks include: 1. writing to an essential question to access background knowledge; 2. using context clues and root words to determine word meaning; 3. close reading with the aid of a glossary; 4. taking notes one of two graphic organizers (sequence of events and/or empathy map); 5. re-reading to answer text dependent questions; and 6. summarizing the chapter.
Poetic Douglass is a fun way to read and engage in a text while still respecting the content of the material. It is part note taking, part creative expression, and the end result is a comprehensive class wide interpretation of the text.
While reading The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, it is necessary to discusss the methods used to control slaves. The presentation provides students with related publications, evidence from the narrative, and discusses the effects of dehumanization. The activity linked in the presentation asks students to mirror the use of animal imagery found in both Douglass' narrative and Spiegelman's graphic novel series "Mauss."
In this activity students compare an excerpt of a WPA interview with an ex-slave with a more famous statement by Frederick Douglass to arrive at their own interpretations of slave resistance. This lesson is designed to work with the film Doing As They Can, but parts of it can be completed without the film.
This module considers strategies for teaching George Dunham's travel journal A Journey to Brazil in conjunction with U.S. anti-slavery literature.
The National Humanities center presents reading guides with primary source materials for the study of America in 1815-1850: The Triumph of Nationalism/The House Dividing. Primary source materials include letters, diaries, journals, poems, paintings, maps, essays, stories, treatises, sermons, addresses, and more. Resources are divided into the topics: Culture of the Common Man, Cult of Domesticity, Religion, Expansion, and America in 1850.