Author:
Laura Knapp, MSDE Admin, Kathleen Maher-Baker
Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Middle School
Grade:
8
Tags:
Autobiography, MSDE, MSDE ELA, Maryland State Department of Education, Speech
License:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States
Language:
English

Education Standards (30)

Grade 8 Does Speech Matter Lesson #1: Booker T. Washington Autobiography (MDK12 Remix)

Grade 8 Does Speech Matter Lesson #1: Booker T. Washington Autobiography (MDK12 Remix)

Overview

This multiple day lesson focuses on Booker T. Washington’s life as a slave and as a free man trying to receive an education.  Students will read chapters 1-4 of the text to gain an understanding of the obstacles that Booker T. Washington encountered and what motivated him to pursue his education.  Students will identify the central ideas in the text and participate in a discussion which will inform their routine writing.

 

Image source: "Bookert T Washington" by Harris & Ewing from the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, Library of Congress.

Day 1: Background Knowledge on Booker T. Washington

Day 1: Task 2: Words that Once Meant Something Very Different

  • Booker T. Washington’s autobiography was written in 1901.  Inform students that the language in the book is different from the language that we use today.  The word Negro is no longer used to describe African Americans. Make sure that students are aware that some of the language used in the text was appropriate for the time period that the book was written.
  • Students will read this article regarding other words whose meaning has changed
  • The teacher should be prepared to explain why certain words were used during the time that the book was written and the meaning that the words hold today. Option to explain in a discussion board or web tool.
  • Read this article regarding other words whose meaning has changed
  • Identify additoinal words whose meaning has changed and share to the web tool.

Day 1: Read Chapters 1-4 from Up In Slavery

  • Students will read chapters 1-4 in Up From Slavery to determine the central ideas of the text and answer the question: What words and phrases impact the message in the autobiography?

  • Students will annotate the text for key details, quotes, specific paragraphs, important information, symbols, and questions they might encounter while reading the text.

  • Students will clarify the meaning of unknown words while reading the text using www.dictionary.com to look up the definitions of any unknown words.

  • Students will determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text.

  • Students will evaluate denotative and connotative words and phrases in the text.

  • Students will analyze the impact of specific word choices on the meaning and tone.

  • Students should answer the following question:

    o   What words and phrases impact the message in the autobiography?   (Option to share answers in a web tool such as Padlet)

  • Read chapters 1-4 in Up From Slavery to determine the central ideas of the text and answer the question: What words and phrases impact the message in the autobiography?

  • As you read:

    • annotate the text for key details, quotes, specific paragraphs, important information, symbols, and questions you encounter.

    • clarify the meaning of unknown words while reading the text using www.dictionary.com.

    • determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text.

    • evaluate the denotative and connotative words and phrases in the text.

    • analyze the impact of specific word choices on the meaning and tone.

  • Answer the following question:

    o   What words and phrases impact the message in the autobiography?

Day 2: Central Idea

  • Students will analyze the text to identify how the central idea is developed throughout the text.
  • Students will identify textual evidence that helps support the central idea in the autobiography. The supporting details can be quotes, anecdotes, facts, and examples. (Option to share collaboratively supporting details in a group document or other collaborative space.)
  • Students will synthesize the information in the text by writing key topics that can be found in the autobiography: childhood, education, accomplishments
  • childhoodeducationaccomplishments
       

     

  • Analyze the text to identify how the central idea is developed throughout the text.
  • Identify and write down supporting details that help support the central idea in the autobiography. The supporting details can be quotes, anecdotes, facts, and examples. 
  • Synthesize the information in the text by writing down key topics that can be found in the autobiography: childhood, education, accomplishments
  • childhoodeducationaccomplishments
       

Day 2: Discussion of Text

  • Students will participate in independent, group, or one-on-one discussion.  (Option to participate collaboratively in a discussion board or collaborative document.)
  • Possible topics for discussions:
    • Why was Booker T. Washington motivated to get an education?
    • What challenges did Booker T. Washington face on his journey to Hampton University?
    • How did Booker T. Washington achieve success at Hampton Institute?
  • Students will brainstorm and come up with their own questions or they can use questions that they wrote while reading the text for the discussion. (Option to share student-generated questions using a web tool such as Padlet.)
  • Students will cite evidence from the text in their discussions.
  • Participate in a discussion about Booker T. Washington.
  • Brainstorm and develop your own questions using notes you took while reading.
  • Cite evidence from the text as you discuss.

Day 3: Routine Writing: Informative Essay

  • Write an informative essay that identifies experiences that helped or hindered Booker T. Washington in his quest for education. How did the experiences shape his choices on his journey to Hampton University? How can taking a stand help to develop a person’s belief system?
  • Students should produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Students should strengthen writing by planning, revising, editing, and rewriting as needed.
  • Evidence should be cited as needed from the autobiography and other resources used during the lesson.
  • Write an informative essay that identifies experiences that helped or hindered Booker T. Washington in his quest for education. How did the experiences shape his choices on his journey to Hampton University? How can taking a stand help to develop a person’s belief system?
  • Produce a clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Strengthen your writing by planning, revising, editing, and rewriting as needed.
  • Cite evidence as needed from the autobiography and other resources accessed during the lesson.