George Washington became President—reluctantly—at a critical time in the history of the United States. The Confederation had threatened to unravel; the weak central government (which included a weak executive with the sole responsibility of presiding over meetings of Congress and no special power to initiate laws beyond that of any member of Congress, enforce laws, or check acts of Congress) created by the Articles of Confederation had failed.
In this lesson, students will learn that enslaved people resisted their captivity constantly. Because they were living under the domination of their masters, slaves knew that direct, outright, overt resistance—such as talking back, hitting their master or running away—could result in being whipped, sold away from their families and friends, or even killed.
Harriet Jacobs was the first woman to write a slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861). She was born a slave in 1813 in Edenton, North Carolina, and died free in Washington, D. C., at the age of eighty-four. Elizabeth Keckly was born into slavery in 1818 near Petersburg, Virginia. She learned to sew from her mother, an expert seamstress enslaved in the Burwell family.
Slave narratives are a unique American literary genre in which former slaves tell about their lives in slavery and how they acquired their freedom. Henry “Box” Brown escaped from slavery by having himself shipped in a crate (hence, the nickname “Box”) from Richmond, Virginia, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1849.
In this lesson, students analytically read “Learning to Read,” a poem by Francis Watkins Harper about an elderly former slave which conveys the value of literacy to blacks during and after slavery. The activities help students examine the experiences of slaves, the history of literacy, and 21st century values on the power of reading.
The Preamble is the introduction to the United States Constitution, and it serves two central purposes. First, it states the source from which the Constitution derives its authority: the sovereign people of the United States. Second, it sets forth the ends that the Constitution and the government that it establishes are meant to serve.
This lesson provides students with tools to analyze primary source newspaper articles about the Great War (1914–1917) in order to understand public opinion regarding the U.S. entry into the war from multiple perspectives.
In this lesson, students will practice close reading of passages from Galileo’s Starry Messenger concerning his observations of the stars and constellations through a telescope. They will develop an understanding of how he constructed his arguments to challenge the established views of his time using new technology and logical reasoning.
En este plan de clase los estudiantes explorarán algunos de los contrastes a los que Esperanza se enfrenta cuando debe abandonar su cómoda vida como hija consentida de terrateniente poderoso, siempre rodeada de familia y de sirvientes, para convertirse en una sirvienta junto con los demás obreros agrícolas emigrantes. Este plan de clase también estudiará el trasfondo de la historia, considerando su marco histórico, social y cultural para descubrir los grandes contrastes y contradicciones que Esperanza descubre al llegar a los Estados Unidos. Y, finalmente, este plan de clase invitará a los estudiantes a prestar atención a algunos de los cambios a los que Esperanza se tiene que enfrentar para convertirse, tras ser una niña privilegiada y mimada, en una jovencita responsable y emprendedora.