Exploration: The teacher will engage the students by projecting the picture of the slave auction on the screen and asking if anyone knows what the picture is showing. The teacher will clarify the picture depicts a slave auction taking place in Montgomery, Alabama in the early nineteenth century. The teacher will refer to the social studies objective on the board and tell the students they will be investigating what life was like for a slave during that time.
The teacher will pass out the Anticipatory Set handout to all of the students and explain what they need to do. The teacher will explain this assessment will tell what they think they already know about the day's objective, describing the life of early nineteenth-century slaves. The teacher will direct them to read each statement, decide if the statement is true or false, and put a check in the appropriate Before column. (The teacher can do this electronically instead by making a Kahoot: https://kahoot.it/#/). The teacher will tell the students to put their papers aside and that they will revisit these same statements at the end of the lesson to see what they have learned.
Lesson Development: The teacher will place the students in partner groups and pass out the Slave Experiences handout to each group. The teacher will explain the handout will tell what they uncover about the day's objective, describing the life of early nineteenth-century slaves. The teacher will begin the lesson by reading and discussing Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, by Laban Carrick Hill and Henry's Freedom Box, by Ellen Levine. (Both of these books are based on actual people who had two different experiences as slaves. Teachers can determine whether to use one or both books for this lesson.)
The teacher and students will complete the Slave Experiences handout section discussing these two slaves. The teacher will then have the students pull up the runaway slave newspaper article on their computers. The teacher should project the photograph of the slave collar and explain what it was used for and how it might be used on the runaway slave in the newspaper article. The students, working with a partner, will discuss what the runaway slave's life was like based on textual evidence in the article. The students will complete the appropriate section of the Slave Experiences handout. The teacher will discuss their findings and how the slaves had different experiences. (The teacher should stress that even if the slaves had good experiences it is still wrong to take away the rights of someone and slavery is not acceptable.)
Closure: The teacher and students will revisit the Anticipatory Set questions to see what they have learned. The teacher will briefly review the lives of early nineteenth century slaves.
Expansion: The teacher will explain to the students they will be creating a story using an online platform known as https://www.mystorybook.com/. The teacher will go over the objectives of the day. The teacher will pass out the story checklist to the students and explain what is expected and how their stories will demonstrate they can describe the life of early nineteenth-century slaves. The teacher will remind the students they can refer back to their Slave Experiences handout to remind themselves of the lives of slaves. The students will have time to create the text for their stories. Once the text is completed, the students can then add items, drawings, and background scenes. The students can share their stories with their peers. (Teachers may use https://storybird.com/ if they prefer. Paper and pencil stories can be created if computers are not available.)