Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Former Slaves Making America A Better Place for All
Author:
Pam Smith
Course:
American History
Time Frame:
One Week
Subjects:
Civil War

Grade Levels:
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

Students will work collaboratively (or individually) to produce a presentation that addresses the demographics of the slave population and contributions by a freed slave from student’s home region. This assignment may be used both in the traditional and virtual classrooms.

Rationale:

Conducting meaningful individual and collaborative research about slave populations and post-Civil War contributions by slaves provides students valuable learning opportunities about the importance of African-American accomplishments to present-day America.

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:


Standard 1 (SS.912.A.1.): Use research and inquiry skills to analyze American history using primary and secondary sources.

 

Standard 2 (SS.912.A.2): Understand the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War and Reconstruction and its effects on the American people.

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • History Channel Presentations on Slavery in America

http://www.history.com/videos/origins-of-slavery#origins-of-slavery

  • Slavery and the Making of America PBS video series

          http://www.pbs.org/wnet/slavery/index.html  

  • Presentation by Missouri teacher about Civil War, Slaves, and Missouri

owensville.k12.mo.us/~smart_lessons/4/.../Civil%20War/Civil%20War.ppt

Found on Internet through Google search

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

 

 

 

 

  • Link to Primary Sources: Slavery and the Making of America (PBS)

 

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/slavery/teachers/primary-source.html

WPA Slave Narratives

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
resource documents/wpa.html

In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration sponsored a Federal Writers' Project dedicated to chronicling the experience of slavery as remembered by former slaves. Their stories were recorded and transcribed.

Slave Memories

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/memories/
A Flash Interactive with audio clips of first- hand accounts recorded by the WPA.

Books for Students
http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
resource documents/kids.html

A resource of books written about slavery for children and teens.

Legal Rights and Government

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/legal/narratives.html

Transcribed interviews with audio clips of personal slave narratives relating to the theme of legal rights and government.

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/legal/docs.html

Primary-source documents related to legal rights and government -- includes legal documents, court papers, pamphlets and more.

The Family

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/family/narratives.html

Transcribed interviews with audio clips of personal slave narratives relating to the theme of family.

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/family/docs.html

Primary-source documents related to the slave family -- includes newspaper articles and ads, letters, journal writing, and narratives.

Men, Women and Gender

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/gender/narratives.html

Transcribed interviews with audio clips of personal slave narratives relating to the theme of men, women and gender.

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/gender/docs.html

Primary-source documents related to the theme of men, women and gender -- includes speeches and sermons, pamphlets, newspaper articles and ads, journal writings, and narratives.


Living Conditions

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/living/narratives.html

Transcribed interviews with audio clips of personal slave narratives relating to the theme of living conditions.

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/living/docs.html

Primary-source documents related to the theme of slave living conditions -- includes laws and proclamations, letters, journal writings, narratives, poetry and literature.

Education, Arts, & Culture

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/education/narratives.html

Personal Narratives including transcribed interviews with audio clips of personal slave narratives relating to the theme of education, arts and culture.

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/education/docs.html

Primary-source documents related the theme of education, arts and culture -- includes laws and proclamations, meeting minutes, pamphlets, petitions, letters, and narratives.

Religion

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/religion/narratives.html

Transcribed interviews with audio clips of personal slave narratives relating to the theme of religion.

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/religion/docs.html

Primary-source documents related to the theme of religion -- includes laws and proclamations, speeches, sermons, pamphlets, petitions, narratives, music, and lyrics.

Responses to Enslavement

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/responses/narratives.html

Transcribed interviews with audio clips of personal slave narratives relating to the theme of responding to enslavement.

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/responses/docs.html

Primary-source documents related to responding to enslavement -- includes laws and proclamations, court records, newspaper articles and ads, letters, narratives, journal writings, music and lyrics.

Freedom and Emancipation

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/freedom/narratives.html

Transcribed interviews with audio clips of personal slave narratives relating to the theme of freedom and emancipation.

http://www.pbs.org/slavery/
experience/freedom/docs.html

Primary-source documents relating to freedom and emancipation -- includes laws and proclamations, personal records, speeches, sermons, newspaper articles and ads, letters and journal writings.


 

From http://www.pbs.org/wnet/slavery/teachers/primary-source.html

 

Full description of activity or assignment.
  • Traditional Classroom 

1.    Teacher will display picture of Timothy Thomas Fortune (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~flgatsaa/Fortune/Fortune.html).  Ask students for identity of photo.  After identifying Fortune, offer slide with his contributions.  Read one of his poems to class.   NOTE: Since Fortune and I were born in the same Florida county, I have a personal connection with his history.  Try to find a prominent American-American former slave to whom you can relate due to common geography, interests, or background.  This connection will make teacher sharing more meaningful and memorable to students.

2.    Teacher will introduce slavery demographics using primary sources listed in lesson plan.  Students will brainstorm effects of density and distribution of pre-Civil War slave population.

3.    Teacher will lead students to conduct a search for American-American contributions to varied areas of American history and culture. This may be accomplished as a large/ small group or individual activity as in-class or out-of-class assignment. Possible sites are the following:

  • Black Studies: Profiles of Important African-Americans

http://www.black-collegian.com/african/aaprofil.shtml

  • Famous Firsts by African-Americans

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmfirsts.html

  • Notable African-American Women

http://womenshistory.about.com/od/africanamerican/a/black_women.htm

  • Notable African-American Biographies

http://www.factmonster.com/spot/afroambios.html

 

Missouri-specific websites:

  • The State Historical Society of Missouri: Famous Missourians- African-Americans

http://shs.umsystem.edu/famousmissourians/africanamericans/

  • Missouri State Archives: Missouri’s African-American History

http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/africanamerican/intro.asp

  • African-Americans Contributions to Missouri’s Economy

http://www.missourieconomy.org/newsletter/black.htm

 

NOTE: Similar resources may be found at the websites of comparable institutions in all states.

 

4.    Students will prepare and present a PowerPoint presentation including the following minimally required slides:

  • Introduction (Names of group members/presentation title- 1 slide)
  • History of slavery in US and home state (3 slides)
  • Slave population density in United States (1 slide)
  • Slave population demographics in home state (2 slides)
  • List of at least five African-Americans and their contributions  (5 slides)
  • Detailed information on selected African-American from home state (3 slides)
  • Summary (1 slide)
  • Credits (2 slides): Include contributions by each group member as well as sources used for construction of presentation.

NOTE:  Above requirements must be met to receive a passing grade on presentation.

 

Virtual Classroom:  Information would be placed within course in its learning platform. Assignment could be completed as a required collaborative assignment. Presentation could be made using Elluminate or similar program.  Skype could also be used if students are not in-country. Rubric could be adapted for virtual classroom. Discussion board area or Wiki could be used for student communications and presentation planning and construction.

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:

Rubric: Research and Presentation

 

CATEGORY

Excellent-4

Good-3

Satisfactory-2

Needs Improvement-1

Content - Accuracy

All content throughout the presentation is accurate. There are no factual errors.

Most of the content is accurate but there is one piece of information that seems inaccurate.

The content is generally accurate, but one piece of information is clearly inaccurate.

Content confusing or contains more than one factual error.

Sequencing of Information

Information is organized in a clear, logical way. It is easy to anticipate the next slide.

Most information is organized in a clear, logical way. One slide or piece of information seems out of place.

Some information is logically sequenced. An occasional slide or piece of information seems out of place.

There is no clear plan for the organization of information.

Effectiveness

Project includes all material needed to give a good understanding of the topic. The project is consistent with its purpose.

Project is lacking one or two key elements. Project is consistent with its purpose most of the time.

Project is missing more than two key elements. It is rarely consistent with its purpose.

Project is lacking several key elements and has inaccuracies. .Project is completely inconsistent with its purpose.

Use of Graphics

All graphics are attractive (size and colors) and support the topic of the presentation.

A few graphics are not attractive; however, all support the topic of the presentation.

All graphics are attractive; however, a few do not support the topic of the presentation.

Several graphics are unattractive AND detract from the content of the presentation.

Text - Font Choice & Formatting

Font formats (color, bold, italic) have been carefully planned to enhance. readability and content.

Font formats have been carefully planned to enhance readability.

Font formatting has been carefully planned to complement the content. It may be a little hard to read.

Font formatting makes it very difficult to read the material.

Spelling and Grammar

Presentation has no misspellings or grammatical errors.

Presentation has 1-2 misspellings, but no grammatical errors.

Presentation has 1-2 grammatical errors but no misspellings.

Presentation has more than 2 grammatical and/or spelling errors.

Cooperation

Group shares tasks and all performed responsibly all of the time.

Group shares tasks and performed responsibly most of the time.

Group shares tasks and performs responsibly some of the time.

Group often is not effective in sharing tasks and/or sharing responsibility.

 

Delivery

Members spoke at a good rate and volume while using good grammar. They maintained eye-contact while referencing their notes.

Members spoke a little faster or slower than necessary, or too quietly or loudly. They used acceptable grammar. They maintained eye-contact, but relied too much on their notes.

Members spoke at a good rate and volume, but used poor grammar. They relied heavily on their notes.

Members demonstrated little attention to rate, volume or grammar. They read nearly word for word from notes.

 

Adapted from http://discover.education.purdue.edu/challenge/PBL/2002_2003/ENL_Progress/PPPrubric.htm