Must be sent electronically. Ohio Standards Connection: Identify which ones will be emphasized

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Grade Level: 8 Name: Stacia Kaschak and Kelly Knotts

Social Studies Unit: Civil War (slavery)

The completed unit must be sent electronically.
Ohio Standards Connection: Identify which ones will be emphasized.

*Standard(s): History


G. Analyze the causes and consequences of the American Civil War.


9. Explain the cause of the Civil War with emphasis on:

a. Slavery

*Lesson Summary:
This unit will explore how slaves were brought to the United States, how slaves where treated, what slaves did to escape their masters and how enslavement and abolitionists were causes of the Civil War.
*Estimated Duration:

5 days with 60-minute periods.

What is the target cognitive ability level(s) for the students involved in this unit?

Average to above average IQ

Lesson Plan - continued 2

*Final Assessment Question: (Aligned to Benchmark/Indicator)
See Attachment 3

*Exemplar Student Sample Response: (not limited to the following)
See Attachment 4 and 5

*Rubric and Final Scoring Scale

(Many questions involve two separate assessment tools.)

See Attachment 2

Lesson Plan – continued 3

*Key Vocabulary

middle passage

triangular trade





* Vocabulary Strategy

(Copying definitions does not apply)

  1. Word/Concept Wall – One wall or bulletin board will be covered with butcher paper so students may add word or concepts related to slavery and the Civil War.

  1. Vocabulary Senses – Students will evoke their senses and fill out a graphic organizer with new vocabulary words. Their will be 5 blocks on this organizer;

    • What does the word sound like?

    • What does the word feel like?

    • What does the word smell like?

    • What does the word look like?

    • How would you define the word? or Use it in a sentence.

*Pre- Reading Strategy to Front Loading a Lesson

(Defining vocabulary words is not a front loading of a lesson.)
Complete Concept/Word Wall (Day 1, 4),

Read: The Middle Passage (Day 1), Tom Feelings/Dial Books

Read: Slaveship to Freedom (Day 1, 3, 5), Lester, J; Brown, R/Dial Books

Show passages from the movie Roots (Day 2),

Read: The Drinking Gourd (Day 4) Winter Jeanette/Alfred A. Knopp Inc

Additional resources were distributed on the presentation day, but you will need to download the websites and print your copy.

Lesson Plan – continued 4

*Graphic Organizer or Interactive Component:

(include the sample answer key)

National Geographic website

Hudson Library Archives website

Vocabulary Senses Graphic Organizer

With Miles to Go Before I Sleep website at

*Instructional Procedures: (Alignment and Sequence)

Day 1

  1. Make word and concept wall of known “slavery” words with students.

  2. TTW (The Teacher will…) read: The Middle Passage.

  3. TSW (The student will…) answer journal question from page 10, Slaveship to Freedom. “How would I feel if that happened to me?”

  4. Students will then share ideas and add new concepts/words to the wall.

Day 2

  1. Show Roots for 20 minutes. (When the slaves were taken from Africa/their families and the Middle Passage.)

  2. Review word wall and add Middle Passage and Triangular Trade.

  3. Students will complete the senses vocabulary activity.

  4. The class will begin discussion of how these events might have an impact on the Civil War.

  5. TTW introduce Miles To Go Before Sleep interactive project. This project will extend into other causes of the Civil War and continue for 15 days. Ten -fifteen minutes of class time will be allotted to discuss with partner(s).

  6. TSW meet in their student chosen groups and discuss using prompt: You’ve come upon a house with a lantern – a telltale sign of a conductor’s home or a safe-house. How do you know for sure this house is safe? What if it’s a trap? As a group, decide what you are going to do to test the safety of the house, then journal about what happened and how you felt.

Day 3

    1. TSW begin by meeting in their “Miles” groups -- You're hiding in a closet when a bounty hunter stops by the family's house. He offers the family $5,000 for any information on the whereabouts of YOU! The family is terribly poor, and $5,000 is a lot of money. The family is thinking about turning your group in. As a group, think of things you can say to the family to convince them that they shouldn't turn you in. Then write in your journal what you say to the family to convince them to keep quiet.

    2. Review word wall and introduce slavery and enslavement. The students will add these words to their senses vocabulary activity.

    3. TTW introduce the concept of how slaves escaped by running away using page 21, Slaveship to Freedom.

    4. The class will look at slave owners wanted ads using examples from page 41 and 17, The Underground Railroad. (Bial, Raymond/Houghton Mifflin Co.– listed on the bibliography)

Lesson Plan – continued 5

*Instructional Procedures: - continued

  1. Students will use personal narratives from the Miles To Go Before Sleep interactive project to complete their wanted poster,

  1. Students will complete an ad using the rubric for criteria, due Day 4.

    1. Slave name

    2. Picture of slave

    3. Reward

    4. Descriptive of slave

Day 4

  1. TSW begin by meeting in their “Miles” groups -- You're getting close, and things seem right on course. Today you're traveling through high brush and the walking is slower than normal. All of a sudden, a member of the group trips on some low-lying twigs and twists his ankle. What are you going to do? As a group, brainstorm ideas for what you can do. List all the ideas in your journals, and then decide on a course of action.

  2. TSW share advertisements.

  3. TTW introduce abolitionists and add to the word wall.

  4. TTW read The Drinking Gourd.

  5. TSW access the internet using the National Geographic site,

  6. TSW link to Hudson, Ohio homes on the Underground Railroad at:

  7. Students will describe their outcome of their journey taken on the National Geographic site. “How do your choices affect the outcome of your journey and how does this relate to a cause of the Civil War?

Day 5

  1. TTW read, Slaveship to Freedom Road, as a culminating activity.

  2. The class will review the word wall, adding new thoughts and concepts.

  3. TSW have choice in their assessment. Each student may use their notes, journals and the word/concept wall.

(TTW = The teacher will…)

(TSW = The student will…)


  • Are all the requirements in the Indicator (Benchmark) taught in your lessons?

  • Did the Instructional Procedures support students being ready for your final assessment?) Scored on Page 2.

Material Resources:
*For Teachers:

Butcher paper, markers, trade books (see attachment), Roots movie, Senses Vocabulary sheet, computer, Raft assessment, essay assessments

A list of books is included in the Bibliography.
*For Students:

Writing utensil, computer, paper, journal, and Vocabulary Senses sheet

*Required Components

Attachment 1.

ame __________________________

Vocabulary Senses


Sounds like….

Feels like…

Smells like…

Looks like…

Use or Define

Vocabulary Senses




Sounds like….
Rattling, loud, yelling, screaming, whipping

Feels like…
Grimy, dirty, severe pain, claustrophobic, agony

Smells like…
Urine, dust, mold, disgusting, feces, body odor, salt

Looks like…

Use or Define
The African Americans on the ship were enslaved in the cabin of the boat using shackles and chains. They had to lie in their own waste until the white man released them to their new masters. Many remained enslaved until Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Attachment 2.

5-4 3 2 1

Point of view/Role

You have completely stepped into your role and created your product from that role

You have shown many traits of the point of view/role

You have shown limited evidence of point of view/role

The role is unclear


The audience is clear and the product is obviously directed toward them

The audience is clear, but product is only somewhat directed toward them, or vice versa

Audience is vague or briefly addressed

Audience is unclear and product is directed inappropriately


Final product correlates with assigned product

Final product could be better correlated with assigned product

There are some qualities that correlate

Final product does not correlate with assigned product



Demonstrates an impressive understanding of the concepts thorough the ability to define the terms and successfully apply the concept

Demonstrates and adequate understanding of the concepts through the ability to define terms and attempts to apply the concept

Attempts to demonstrate an understanding of concepts but is unclear and has difficulty applying the concepts

Demonstrates obvious misconceptions and has difficulty applying the ideas


Truly exceptional and impressive. Exceeds the requirements of the assignment

Commends effort. Care and effort are shown in the completion of the work.

Barely meets projects and requirements. Effort and care are shown

Needs prompting and assistance




Writing Mechanics

Excellent 5

Thorough understanding of perspective and issue

Completely accurate in your reasons given

Contains complete sentences with subject-verb agreement

Good 4

Substantial understanding of perspective and issue

Generally accurate; minor inaccuracies does not affect overall results

Contains mostly complete sentences with occasional errors in mechanics

Fair 3

Partial/Incomplete understanding of perspective and issue

Inaccurate; numerous errors detract from result

Run-ons or fragmented sentences; frequent mechanical errors

Need improvement


Ineffective understanding of perspective and issue

Major inaccuracies; significant errors throughout

Frequent, blatant errors; difficult to understand due to poor writing

Poor 1

No evidence of understanding of perspective and issue

Little accuracy is evident

Unable to read without the help of the author

Attachment 3.

Slavery Assessment Name___________________________

Choose one (1) of the following RAFT choices to complete. (25 points)

**You may use your journal, class notes, and word wall.





Harriet Tubman

Barbara Walters


Explain with specific details how the Underground Railroad worked.


Family members

Friendly letter

Describe in detail the pros and cons of escaping through the Underground Railroad.

Safe house owner

Newspaper Reporter

Newspaper article

Discuss with specific details the conditions of the slaves when they arrived. Retell the story of a slave who described the dangers of the Underground Railroad.

Choose one (1) essay to answer in complete sentences with specific details and examples from class lessons and materials. (20 points) ** You may use your journals, class notes and word wall.

  1. a. If you were a homeowner in the North during the 1860s, would you have helped slaves escape to freedom? Be sure to include:

      • Your reasons for wanting to help

      • The dangers involved in helping runaway slaves

  1. Slavery was a big issue during the 1860s. Analyze with detail how slavery was one of the causes of the Civil War. Be sure to include:

  • How the North felt about slavery?

  • Why the South felt differently about slavery?

  1. a. If you were a slave owner in the South during the 1860s, to what length would

you go to retrieve your escaped slave? Be specific by explaining actions you would take. Be sure to include:

      • The effect of not having slaves

      • What would change if you recaptured your slave (treatment, security…)

b. Slavery was a big issue during the 1860s. Analyze with detail how slavery was one

of the causes of the Civil War. Be sure to include:

  • How the South felt about slavery?

  • Why the North felt differently about slavery?

Attachment 2.
Attachment 4


Slave-family member-friendly letter – describe in detail pros and cons of escaping

Dear mom,
I have made it off the plantation and am working hard to reach the destination of freedom. The Underground Railroad is a difficult journey to take. It is not really underground. They call it the Underground Railroad because it is secret. There are special secret roads and paths that lead North.
There are disadvantages to traveling the Underground Railroad. It is very dangerous, mom. We are constantly afraid of being caught. Every noise we hear brings terror to our hearts. It is very tiring to walk all night long. We are used to sleeping at night. We must walk at night to avoid being seen. At night there are animals that come out for the same reasons. We have encountered angry bears, wolves, and other wild animals that are looking for food. I am hungry, mom. We have very little to eat. This doesn’t help when we need so much strength. With all of these cons, I am still going to proceed. I want to reach freedom. When I do, I will be back for you.
There are advantages to traveling the Underground Railroad too, mom. Of course the biggest one is FREEDOM!! I can almost taste it, mom. I can’t wait. Our lives will begin all over again. There are people along the way that have house called “stations.” These people hate slavery. They bring us into their homes; provide us with food, clothing, and hot baths. They are called “station masters.” They are so wonderful, mom. They put their own lives on the line to help us reach freedom. They hide us in different parts of their homes. We stay at a “station” only a short time until we can regain our strength to move on, usually just a couple of days. These people are truly gifts from God, mom. They are so loving and caring.
I wanted to write you a short letter to tell you that although there are cons to traveling the Underground Railroad, there are also pros. I am going to be free soon. I have met a wonderful woman named Harriet Tubman. She is our “conductor.” She helps us through the railroad. I want you to meet her someday, mom. You will because I will send for you to meet me in Canada. Harriet will bring you through the Underground Railroad as well.

I love you mom. I will be in touch soon.



It is essential that students realize that slaves would NOT be actually writing letters. It was illegal for any slave to read. The chances of a slave girl writing to her mother would probably be less than 1%. This understanding will be relayed to students.

our daughter

Attachment 5

Exemplar Student Response

If I were a homeowner in the North during the 1860s, I would have helped slaves escape to freedom. I am considered what many call an abolitionist. This is a person who wants to abolish or outlaw slavery. There are many reasons for me wanting to help. There are also dangers to me helping runaway slaves, but I would do it.
The main reason I would help slaves escape is a moral one. In my eyes, God created everyone equally. No matter what the difference, everyone should be treated with respect, love, and kindness. The way in which slaves were treated was cruel. Slaves were often beaten, humiliated, and abused by their owners. Slaves lived in less than human conditions on many plantations. They didn’t have clean beds to sleep in, opportunities to bathe regularly, or well-made, nutritious food to eat. All of this is very disturbing to me. These are the things I would provide for slaves traveling the Underground Railroad.
There would be many dangers to me helping the slaves escape, but I would risk it. Thanks to the Fugitive Slave Law, it would be a federal crime to help a slave escape. I could spend six months in jail and have to pay a fine of $1000. Back in the 1860s, $1000 was like $1,000,000 today. Not many had that kind of money.
The slave owner could find out I was helping and use aggressive force against me. The slave owner could hurt my family, burn down my house, or even worse, kill me. Still all of this is worth the risk to save people who are being treated like animals and deserve freedom as much as you and I do.
In conclusion, if I were a homeowner in the North, I would help the slaves escape. I want to provide a safe place for runaways to rest and build up their strength to continue on their very important journey. If I can be a part of a human reaching freedom and living the life that all Americans should, I would do it!

Reminder: It will be important during the unit for students to understand that slavery was not the primary reason for the Civil War.
States Rights was the primary cause of the war including the issues of:

  • Who has the ultimate authority: an individual state or the federal government?

  • Could an individual state withdraw from the union?

  • Could the federal government make decisions about your private property?

Patricia Clayton: Summit County (SERRC-3) 6-8-06

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