ALEX Lesson Plan

     

The Slave Experience: A Look at a Slave's Life in the Nineteenth Century

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Melinda Staubs
Organization:Jacksonville State University
The event this resource created for:Alabama Department of Archives and History
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 35055

Title:

The Slave Experience: A Look at a Slave's Life in the Nineteenth Century

Overview/Annotation:

Students will explore two NCSS Notable Trade Books and a newspaper advertisement to develop an understanding of what life was like for slaves in the nineteenth century.  Students will use their understanding to write a narrative story about being a slave in the nineteenth century. Students will use the website MyStorybook to create and publish their stories.

This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
24 ) Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. [W.4.3]

a. Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator, characters, or both; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. [W.4.3a]

b. Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations. [W.4.3b]

c. Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events. [W.4.3c]

d. Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely. [W.4.3d]

e. Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events. [W.4.3e]


Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.4.24- Compose narrative texts by introducing characters or a narrator, organizing events in sequence, and providing an ending related to the event sequence.


English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
35 ) Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace. [SL.4.4]


Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.4.35- Report on a topic or tell a story, including a beginning, middle, and end and including relevant facts or details.


Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 4
Alabama Studies
6 ) Describe cultural, economic, and political aspects of the lifestyles of early nineteenth-century farmers, plantation owners, slaves, and townspeople.

Examples: cultural—housing, education, religion, recreation

economic—transportation, means of support

political—inequity of legal codes

•  Describing major areas of agricultural production in Alabama, including the Black Belt and fertile river valleys
Insight Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government
Course Title: Alabama Studies (Alabama)
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Describe cultural, economic, and political aspects of the lifestyles of early nineteenth-century farmers, plantation owners, slaves, and townspeople.
  • Describe major areas of agricultural production in Alabama, including the Black Belt and fertile river valleys.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • plantation
  • Yeoman
  • townspeople
  • inequity
  • agriculture
  • fertile
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • During this time, most families in Alabama did not own slaves; most slaves were owned by Plantation Owners.
  • Most of Alabama's families made a living through agriculture.
  • The Black Belt and fertile river valleys were major areas of agricultural production.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Compare and contrast cultural, economic, and political aspects of the lifestyles of early nineteenth-century farmers, plantation owners, slaves, and townspeople.
  • Describe major areas of agricultural production in Alabama, including the Black Belt and fertile river valleys.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • There were cultural, political, and economic inequities in Alabama in the early 19th Century between slaves, Yeoman farmers, and Plantation owners.
Alabama Archives Resources:
Click below to access all Alabama Archives resources aligned to this standard.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.4.6- Identify information about early nineteenth- century farmers, plantation owners, slaves, and townspeople.


Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 4
R6) Produce, review, and revise authentic artifacts that include multimedia using appropriate digital tools.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • produce authentic artifacts using digital tools.
  • review and revise authentic artifacts using digital tools.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • multimedia
  • artifacts
  • Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • how to use a variety of digital tools in which they can create or revise authentic artifacts to share their knowledge.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • design and create authentic artifacts using approved digital tools that meet COPPA guidelines.
  • review an authentic artifact to revise with new or additional information.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • everyone can be an author, producer, director, etc.
  • using digital tools.
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 4
12) Use basic features of digital tools to communicate key ideas and details in a way that informs and/or persuades.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • use basic features of digital tools to communciate key ideas and details in a way that informs and/or persuades.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • digital tools
  • communicate
  • key ideas
  • informs
  • persuades
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • digital tools are available that enable them to inform others.
  • digital tools are available that enable them to persuade others.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • use basic features such as headings, text, and images to communicate key ideas that inform and/or persuade.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • digital tools can be used to communicate by informing and/or persuade others.
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 4
13) Synthesize complex information from multiple sources in different ways to make it more useful and/or relevant.

Insight Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • synthesize complex information from multiple sources in different ways to make it more useful and/or relevant.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • synthesize
  • relevant
  • timeline
  • flowcart
  • infographic
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • information from multiple sources can be combined or synthesized.
  • there are multiple was to combine information to communicate with others.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • synthesize information from multilple sources in a variety of ways to make it more useful such as a flowchart, timeline, infographic, multimedia etc.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • information is obtained from multiple sources to better make sense of information.
  • information can be presented in different ways to make it more useful.

Local/National Standards:

NCSS National Standard II: Time, Continuity, and Change

NCSS National Standard III: People, Places, and Environments

NCTE/IRA 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will describe the life of early nineteenth-century slaves.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will write a story using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Computers
  • Internet
  • Whiteboard
  • Screen
  • Projector

NCSS Notable Trade Books: 

  • Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, by Laban Carrick Hill
  • Henry's Freedom Box, by Ellen Levine

Attached materials:

  • Slavery Anticipatory Handout for each student
  • Picture of the slave auction
  • Slave Experiences handout
  • Runaway slave ad
  • Story Checklist for each student

Technology Resources Needed:

  • Computers
  • Internet
  • Screen
  • Projector

Background/Preparation:

Students should have a basic knowledge of the time period and have basic collaboration, reading, writing, and technology skills. Students should be able to develop an imagined experience using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support the story.

The teacher should download the attached photograph of the nineteenth century slave auction, the nineteenth century slave collar, and the runaway slave newspaper article (see attachments) onto a computer to project during the exploration's engagement and the lesson's development.

The teacher should bookmark the MyStorybook site: https://www.mystorybook.com/ on student computers to use for the expansion phase. The teacher will need to print copies of the Anticipatory Set handout for each student and the Story Checklist for student use (either projected on a screen or distributed to the students through a hard copy or electronically). 

Background information for teachers:

The teacher should read over the attachments and become familiar with the content.  Information concerning slavery in Alabama during the early nineteenth century can be found in the Encyclopedia of Alabama: http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-2369

  Procedures/Activities: 

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.)



Attachments:
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  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

All assessments listed below are directly tied to the primary learning objective: describing the life of early century slaves, as specifically outlined in the procedures and attached checklists. 

Exploration: Anticipatory Set (Pre-lesson)

Lesson DevelopmentAnticipatory Set (Post-lesson), Slave Experiences handout

Expansion: Student-created story

Acceleration:

Students can explore other slave narratives at American Slave Narrative: An Online Anthology  http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/WPA/wpahome.html and do an oral narrative on one of the interviewed slaves to present to the class.

Students can read the following books by Deborah Hopkinson and create their own freedom quilt design.

Additional Readings:

  • Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson
  • Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson

Intervention:

Students will be placed with an appropriate peer helper throughout the lesson and assisted by the teacher as needed. An adapted checklist for the story is provided.


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.