Lesson Plans

53 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
6-8
African-American Communities in the North Before the Civil War

One of the heroes of the Battle of Bunker Hill was Salem Poor, an African American. Black people fought on both sides during the American Revolution. Census data also reveal that there were slaves and free Blacks living in the North in 1790 and after. What do we know about African-American communities in the North in the years after the American Revolution?

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
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s “Learning to Read”

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.

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
Colonial Broadsides and the American Revolution

Drawing on the resources of the Library of Congress's Printed Ephemera Collection, this lesson helps students experience the news as the colonists heard it: by means of broadsides, notices written on disposable, single sheets of paper that addressed virtually every aspect of the American Revolution.

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.