This course provides a basic history of American social, economic, and political development from the colonial period through the Civil War. It examines the colonial heritages of Spanish and British America; the American Revolution and its impact; the establishment and growth of the new nation; and the Civil War, its background, character, and impact. Readings include writings of the period by J. Winthrop, T. Paine, T. Jefferson, J. Madison, W. H. Garrison, G. Fitzhugh, H. B. Stowe, and A. Lincoln.
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.
Douglass, Frederick. "Emancipation Proclaimed." Frederick Douglass Project Writings- University of Rochester. 1862, https://rbscp.lib.rochester.edu/4406Description: Stephen Douglass reacts to the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation
Douglass, Frederick. "The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro"Speech, Rochester, NY, July4, 1852. Independence Hall Association (ushistory.org). https://www.ushistory.org/declaration/more/douglass.htmlDescription: Douglass' address to a predominantly white audience regarding the celebration of the Fourth of July by African Americans
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.
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.
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.
2 articles written by Frederick DouglassFrederick Douglass, “What Shall Be Done with the Slaves if Emancipated?” Douglass Monthly, January 1862Frederick Douglass, “Why Should a Colored Man Enlist?” Douglass’ Monthly, April 1863Letter from James Henry Gooding to President LincolnJames Henry Gooding to President Lincoln, September 28, 1863, published in Herbert Aptheker, ed., A Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States (New York: Citadel Press, 1951), 482-84.
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.
StoryWorks Theater’s Teaching the Constitution Through Theater develops inclusive and transformative educational theater experiences that provides students with the opportunity to examine our history and to foster a deeper understanding of the U.S. Constitution. Through content consistent with school curriculum standards, the program engages students in experiential learning and inspires them to ask complex questions about the historical underpinnings behind contemporary issues. The process creates pathways to civic engagement, creates lasting memories and instills a tangible sense of social belonging. Now’s The Time opens at the dawn of Reconstruction, the Civil War has just ended but the nation is plunged again into crisis with the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Andrew Johnson ascends to the Presidency determined to restore white supremacy in the South. Congressional radicals led by Thaddeus Stevens are fighting for a different vision. They intend to create a new society of full racial equality, where Black Americans will have real economic and political power, including ownership of land confiscated from the rebels, education, suffrage and election to public office. This titanic political battle between President and Congress culminates in the first impeachment and trial of a U.S. president, and to more than 150 years of continuing violence and discrimination against Black Americans.View the complete play Now’s The Time on the StoryWorks Theater site. Implementation1. Now’s The Time Performance Classroom watches a prerecorded, staged reading of the play Now’s The Time, written by Jean P. Bordewich and Produced by StoryWorks Theater.2. Lesson Plan Activities Following the six lesson plan structure, students will read aloud or act out scenes from the play. This participatory interaction with the text and the historical events promotes a high level of engagement from the students and encourages experiential learning. These activities directly correspond to scenes in the play and to specific content area standards. Throughout the curriculum, teachers will lead guided discussions and help to explain the historical context and theme of each scene. Students/actors will have the ability to share their experiences having portrayed these historical figures. Students/historians will have the unique opportunity to work with primary source materials to further their understanding of the complexities of the era and to gain insight into the critical legislative debates of the time.
Through the play Now's The Time and the accompanying curriculum, students will explore the Reconstruction Era through the life of Thaddeus Stevens and his colleagues as they sought to push for radical change in the making of a "new" America.