Lesson Plans

76 Result(s)
Grade Range
6-8
After the American Revolution: Free African Americans in the North

About one-third of Patriot soldiers at the Battle of Bunker Hill were African Americans. Census data also reveal that there were slaves and free Blacks living in the North in 1790 and later years. What were the experiences of African-American individuals in the North in the years between the American Revolution and the Civil War?

Grade Range
6-12
The Green Book: African American Experiences of Travel and Place in the U.S.

Release of the film Green Book (2018) inspired renewed interest in the experiences of African Americans when traveling in the United States during the 20th century. This inquiry-based lesson combines individual investigations with whole or small group analysis of primary sources and visual media to investigate the compelling question: How have the intersections of race and place impacted U.S. history and culture? 

Grade Range
6-12
Slavery and the American Founding: The "Inconsistency not to be excused"

This lesson will focus on the views of the founders as expressed in primary documents from their own time and in their own words. Students will see that many of the major founders opposed slavery as contrary to the principles of the American Revolution. Students will also gain a better understanding of the views of many founders, even those who owned slaves – including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson – who looked forward to a time when slavery would no longer mar the American Republic.

Grade Range
6-8
Lesson 3: A Debate Against Slavery

Sometimes, people will fight to keep someone else from being treated poorly. Disagreement over slavery was central to the conflict between the North and the South. The nation was deeply divided.

Grade Range
6-8
Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series: Removing the Mask

In this lesson, students analyze Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 57 (1940-41), Helene Johnson’s Harlem Renaissance poem “Sonnet to a Negro in Harlem” (1927), and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s late-nineteenth-century poem “We Wear the Mask” (1896), considering how each work represents the life and changing roles of African Americans from the late nineteenth century to the Harlem Renaissance and The Great Migration.

Grade Range
6-8
David Walker vs. John Day: Two Nineteenth-Century Free Black Men

In this lesson, students examine the contrasting view of two free black men in nineteenth century America abolitionist David Walker and black nationalist John Day. After reviewing background information and primary sources about the two polices, students will argue for or against the most beneficial policy for nineteenth-century African Americans.

Grade Range
6-8
Slave Narratives: Constructing U.S. History Through Analyzing Primary Sources

The realities of slavery and Reconstruction hit home in poignant oral histories from the Library of Congress. In these activities, students research narratives from the Federal Writers' Project and describe the lives of former African slaves in the U.S. -- both before and after emancipation. From varied stories, students sample the breadth of individual experiences, make generalizations about the effects of slavery and Reconstruction on African Americans, and evaluate primary source documents.

Grade Range
6-8
Lesson 1: Factory vs. Plantation in the North and South

This lesson focuses on the shift toward mass production in northern factories and on southern plantations that occurred during the first half of the 19th century. Using an economics-focused approach to examining U.S. history prior to the civil war, students examine the role of slavery, industrialization, regionalism, and political responses that ultimately led to the start of a war. 

Grade Range
6-8
Lesson 4: Life Before the Civil War

Students demonstrate their knowledge of life before the Civil War, with an emphasis on differences between the North and South.

Grade Range
6-12
Picturing Freedom: Selma-to-Montgomery in March, 1965

After analyzing photojournalist James Karales's iconic photograph of the march, reading background material on it, and considering what the marchers might have thought and felt, students write and illustrate a postcard describing this civil rights event from a marcher's viewpoint.