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Lesson Plans pertaining to Geography
Transatlantic Slave Trade
Mapping the Black Atlantic Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: Geography
The Transatlantic Slave Trade introduces locations that may not be familiar to students. Therefore, this activity works best as an introductory lesson to the essay or in conjunction with the essay to introduce or reinforce geographical knowledge and help visual learners to create an organizer to better understand the essay. Students will use paper, transparencies or computer programs in two ways. First, they will map African states during different time periods in the essay, along with the ethnic/religious groups in those states. Second, students will map natural resources in the European, American and African states, overlying the component routes of the Triangle and Brazilian trade between the three locations. The lesson plan is designed for middle school students, grades six-eight.
Runaway Journeys
Geography and Runaway Journeys Lesson Plan: The Great Dismal Swamp
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-10
Concentration area: History, Geography
The Great Dismal Swamp, composed of 111,000 acres, lies in the South between North Carolina and Virginia. It is a place steeped in history, legend, and lore. How then, in the middle of the era of slavery, could it become the hidden home to several thousand fugitive slaves as explained in the narrative Runaway Journeys? Through research into the geography of swamps and the Great Dismal Swamp in particular, as well as primary accounts and period literature, students will learn how these communities flourished.
Mapping the Many Underground Railroads Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: Geography
The narrative Runaway Journeys, describes the experiences of many fugitive slaves and the extent of the Underground Railroad. "Mapping the Many Underground Railroads" is a lesson plan that helps visual learners comprehend the challenges faced by fugitives escaping to freedom on the Underground Railroad. It may be used with or as follow-up to reading the narrative. Students then plot the migration route of one of the individuals named in the narrative and add it to a map of the United States in 1850; the overlays of the entire class or grade level would create a mosaic representing the regions into which the migrations of fugitive slaves occurred and enable students to discern general trends.
Eyewitness to History Lesson Plan: Fugitive Slave Narratives
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: Language Arts, Geography
The narrative, Runaway Journeys, names two of the best known and readily available narratives written by fugitive slaves: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Linda Brent/Harriet Jacobs. "Eyewitness to History: Fugitive Slave Narratives" is a lesson plan that may be used in History or Language Arts classes in conjunction with or as a follow-up to reading the narrative. Students will read two slave narratives, taking notes on their migration to freedom on a Venn Diagram (so that similarities and differences emerge) and on a map (to compare and contrast the distances, geographical barriers, and population centers that each fugitive encountered).
The Domestic Slave Trade
In Our Backyards Lesson Plan: Slave Trading and Small Towns
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: Geography
The narrative The Domestic Slave Trade and lesson plan "In Our Backyards" counter the common misconception that all slaves were auctioned in large seaports and river towns. In conjunction with reading the narrative, students will examine maps to identify the small communities visited by slave traders in Mississippi and Alabama in the mid-1840s and to calculate the distance traveled by slave coffles.
Colonization and Emigration
Mapping the Human Movement Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History, Geography
In the narrative Colonization and Emigration, the emigration of African Americans from western countries to the Caribbean and Africa is discussed in depth. Students will map the movement of people to and from the United States in this lesson, Mapping the Human Movement. Students will practice their skills in reading content to locate the data on African-American emigration. After placing the data in a chart, students will create a human movement map. They then will create another map using research on current immigration information.
The Western Migration
The Land Promised Lesson Plan: African-American Homesteaders
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History, Geography
The narrative, The Western Migration, features African Americans with agricultural backgrounds who migrated west following the Civil War and availed themselves of the opportunity to homestead. The Land Promised is designed for use in conjunction with or as a follow-up to the narrative. Students will examine African-American homesteaders, the challenges they faced from climate and soil, and the communities they created.
Return South Migration
Mobility and Migration Lesson Plan: Where Do I Come From?
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: Geography, History : U.S.,
In the narrative Return South Migration students are introduced to different types of migration including "return" and "non-return" migration and the impact of family and kinship on migration. Mobility and Migration is a lesson plan that may be used in history class as an introduction to or in conjunction with the narrative. It will reinforce the narrative for non-verbal learners by having them conduct a poll about places of birth, collect the data, and graph the results. Students will compare data collected from other students and adults to determine if there are significant generational differences in their community's migration patterns.
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