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Lesson Plans pertaining to History
Transatlantic Slave Trade
People, Not Numbers Lesson Plan: Bringing 12 Million into Personal Terms
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History, Math
This lesson plan is designed to be used with the overview component of the narrative, The Transatlantic Slave Trade, or with the overview segment of the narrative, The Domestic Slave Trade. It is most effective as an introductory lesson in the study of slavery in the Americas. Statistics about humans provide valuable historical information; but, as the numbers grow larger, they become more impersonal and difficult to comprehend. This lesson is designed to help students forge a compassionate link to the large numbers of people who were the victims of slavery as opposed to thinking of them simply in terms of numbers.
Religion and the Atlantic Slave Trade Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History, World Religion
Used in conjunction with The Transatlantic Slave Trade, this lesson informs students about the historical role of religion in the slave trade. The Catholic expulsion of the Muslim Moors from the Iberian Peninsula, the Protestant Reformation, and the strife between indigenous African religions and Islam all had an impact on the history of slavery in Africa. Students will research fifteenth-nineteenth century religious thought (Catholic, Protestant, or Muslim) about moral questions regarding enslavement, trade in slaves, inherited slavery, and the rights of slaves. The lesson is targeted for high school students, grades nine-12.
Streams of Time Lesson Plan: Visually Organizing the History of the Atlantic Slave Trade
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History
Students should use this lesson plan with The Transatlantic Slave Trade, focusing on the segments "Capture and Enslavement," "Development of a Trade," and "Suppression of Slave Trade." Students will create a visual organizer in the form of a color coded triple-timeline to help them understand the chronological streams that flow through the essay; this activity should be conducted either in preparation with or in conjunction with reading the essay rather than as a follow-up. The organizer reinforces the written word for visual learners and assists them in identifying relationships between the three sections of the essay. This lesson is designed for middle school students, grades six-eight.
The Great Debate Lesson Plan: Slavery in the U.S. Constitution
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History, U.S. Government
This lesson should be used in conjunction with The Transatlantic Slave Trade, in particular, the segment on "Suppression of the Slave Trade." Students will examine five sections of the U.S. Constitution to see what the Federal Government has said about slavery, past and present. Then, class members will research individuals and interest groups whose participation in the political process led to the slavery compromises during the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Later in the school year, they will revisit the issue, looking at different individuals and interest groups who pressured Congress as the 'Civil War Amendments' were drafted and adopted in the final phase of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction.
Following the Slave Trade Route Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
The enslavement and forcible transportation of men, women, and children from Africa spanned more than three centuries. The slave trade and its subsequent impact greatly changed the world. In this lesson, students will identify and map the phases of the slave trade, the locations of colonies and communities settled by African slaves, and the impact the individuals have had on the area.
The Transatlantic Slave Trade Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History
This lesson can be used for students studying The Transatlantic Slave Trade. Students will use a variety of resources, including the narrative, The Transatlantic Slave Trade. Students will understand the continuum of history by studying the former slave ports including but not limited to, New Orleans, Charleston, and Richmond. They will study each port's history, and investigate its culture today.
Differences in Location Lesson Plan: Treatment of Early African Americans
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 7-12
Concentration area: History, Sociology
After reading the narrative The Domestic Slave Trade, students will examine the differences between enslaved North Americans and the people brought to other countries, such as Brazil. Students will consider weather, culture, endemic diseases, and the care with which the Africans were treated in their analysis. Students will also hypothesize why the North American enslaved population increased, while other countries needed fresh supplies of Africans to keep up with labor demands.
Runaway Journeys
City Upon a Hill Lesson Plan: Urban Centers and African-American Migrants
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History, Social Studies : Sociology,
The narratives Runaway Journeys; The Great Migration; and The Western Migration discuss how urban areas have been a magnet for African-American migrants. ”City Upon a Hill” is a lesson plan that may be used in history or sociology classes. Students will examine the factors that spurred people of the nineteenth century to urbanize, and why many considered the city an attractive place to migrate. These factors include Victorian ideas of civility; economic factors like jobs; social factors such as aid societies and churches that provided support systems for fugitive slaves and other migrants; and the advantage of anonymity in large crowds.
Seeking Liberty Lesson Plan: Runaways' Emigration out of the United States
Grade levels: Target grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
The narrative, Runaway Journeys, particularly the segments "Going South and West," "Up North," and "Canada, the Promised Land," reminds students that the reach of U.S. law stops at the nation's border. Canada, Mexico, England, Spain, and Caribbean nations (independent or colonial) had different laws about slavery than the United States. As a follow up to reading this narrative, the "Seeking Liberty" lesson plan is designed to allow students in social studies classes (history, government, international studies) to examine other nation's laws relative to slavery, immigration, citizenship, and racial discrimination for the period 1808-1865. "Escape to Cities and Towns," discusses how urban areas have been magnets for African-American migrants.
Forest Joe Lesson Plan: Outlaw or Hero?
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 8-12
Concentration area: History
In the narrative Runaway Journeys Forest Joe was one of many fugitive slaves who became leader of a band that chose to live in the wild forests of the South. This description sounds similar to the legend of Robin Hood. Yet, the legend of Robin Hood has gained much more fame and notoriety than the legend of Forest Joe. Students will research Forest Joe, and compare the spread of his legend to that of similar legends from different ethnic groups.
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.
Living on the Fringe Lesson Plan: Maroon Communities
Grade levels: High school students, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
The narrative Runaway Journeys includes a section, "Maroon Communities," that touches on the experiences of fugitives collected in remote areas. "Living on the Fringe: Maroon Communities" is a lesson that may be used as a follow up to reading the narrative.
Many Reasons To Leave Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school students, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
In the narrative Runaway Journeys, the section "Many Reasons to Leave" reveals that enslaved African Americans not only headed north in search of freedom, but they also left to local places for other reasons, such as visiting family and loved ones, and conducting business. Using the "Many Reasons to Leave" lesson, teachers will lead students to consider where this information fits into their preconceived notions of runaways by having students read a variety of personal slave narratives from the Library of Congress to supplement the content of the narrative.
Runaway Journeys Migration Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
This lesson is designed for students to use with the narrative Runaway Journeys. Students also will use the site's maps and image resources in rounding out their study of this migration. Appropriate for middle school and high school students, the lesson's goal is to facilitate students' understanding of this migration.
The Domestic Slave Trade
Images of Slavery Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History
The narrative, The Domestic Slave Trade, in particular the segments "Modes of Transportation" and "Victims of the Trade," paints vivid word pictures of the traumas of the domestic slave trade. This lesson should be used with or as a follow-up to reading the narrative. The lesson is designed so that students locate, look at, and compare visual depictions of slavery with written accounts. They will compare artists' conceptions (prints, book illustrations, paintings, and newspaper depictions) with early photographic images of slavery.
Raw History Lesson Plan: Using Primary Sources
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History
The narrative Domestic Slave Trade refers to a tremendous number of primary sources, especially in the segments "Exporters and Importers," " Slave Traders," and "National Debate." Likewise, the narrative Runaway Journeys also uses many primary sources, especially the sections, "Peaks of Migration," "Profile of the Fugitives," "Maroon Communities," and "Going West and South." In this lesson, students examine primary sources, the ingredients from which history is written, by analyzing primary sources, identifying collections of primary sources, recognizing accessibility and legibility problems, and considering limitations, reliability issues, bias, and prejudice in documents.
Three Coffles Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History, Language Arts
This lesson examines the history of enslaved men, women, and children who were chained or tied together and marched across the U.S. countryside from market to market until they were sold. The "Modes of Transportation," "Victims of the Trade," and "End of Domestic Slave Trade" segments of the narrative, The Domestic Slave Trade, describe three coffles over a broad geographic range and over time. Students will read about three coffles to create three expressive pieces of writing (all in the same format) to form a "triptych" of emotions of the enslaved.
Graphing and Demography Lesson Plan: The Domestic Slave Trade
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History, Social Studies : Economics,
The lesson Graphing and Demography—The Domestic Slave Trade focuses on the narrative The Domestic Slave Trade. It combines history and math skills to assist visual learners to understand the demographics of the domestic slave trade within the United States. Students will create graphs or charts based on the data in the narrative either by hand or by using Excel or a similar database program. The graphs would serve as a basis for comparing and contrasting age groups and sex as factors in the domestic trade and would provide a basis for further research to compare sales data for African slaves with "seasoned" American-born slaves, urban-rural patterns, and occupational incidence.
The Domestic Slave Trade Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
This lesson is designed for students to learn more about the domestic slave trade. Students will investigate the true account of an enslaved person and journal on that person's life. Appropriate for middle school and high school students, the lesson's goal is to allow the student a well-rounded study of this forced migration.
Selective Memory Lesson Plan: Whitewashing the History of the South
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 8-12
Concentration area: History
The Domestic Slave Trade narrative states that "...the Trade has always posed problems for those seeking to portray slavery as a benign and paternal institution...." In the early part of the twentieth century, many Americans tried to minimize slavery. Does society today still do this? Students will research online a variety of different plantation museums across the South to ascertain how realistically, if at all, slavery is portrayed.
Colonization and Emigration
Back To Africa Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 11-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
Colonization and Emigration explores the migration of African Americans to other lands in the search for freedom and equality. The migration during the late Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries was the result of the resounding belief that the only way to achieve equal access in society was to establish separate, self-governing societies or nations. The colonization and emigration movement was very controversial and, in some respects, created negative consequences for African Americans. This lesson will provide students the opportunity to examine the phenomenon and to analyze the arguments supporting the migration of African Americans to other countries in the search for equality.
Studying the Colonization and Emigration Migration Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
This lesson is designed for use with the narrative Colonization and Emigration. This lesson will ask students to read about emigrants deciding to leave the United States to make their home in another country. Students will learn about why the emigrants wanted to leave, where they went, and the outcome of their journey. Students will be asked to make a timeline of relevant migrations of emigrants to countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Haiti from the late Eighteenth century into the Twentieth century.
Destination Africa Lesson Plan: The Colonization of Liberia
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 8-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
This WebQuest introduces students to the repatriation of freed slaves and freeborn African Americans to the continent of Africa. The students will become members of the American Colonization Society (ACS) charged with the task of promoting repatriation amongst freeborn African Americans and former enslaved African Americans. Working in pairs, the students will research the physical and cultural geography of Liberia, the pros and cons of repatriation from multiple perspectives, the important people associated with the movement, and the American Colonization Society. Students will produce a pamphlet and evaluate their fellow classmates' pamphlets to determine which does the best job in promoting the goals of the ACS. Ultimately, the students will determine if the experiment was a success and what, if any, obligation the United States has to Liberia today.
Where Do We Go From Here? The Decision to Emigrate Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 11-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
This activity has teams of students analyzing destinations of émigrés. Using the narrative Colonization and Emigration, the teams will put together a proposal explaining the pros and cons of their destination for free people leaving the United States. Students will assume the roles of freed people who, as a group, are determining if they should emigrate from the United States. They will prepare a proposal with at least one visual aid and a map to provide non-biased information to the group so the group of recently freed people can make the best decision regarding emigration. After completing the presentations, students will discuss the pros and cons of each destination and of remaining in the United States. The discussion will culminate with students voting on which location the group will emigrate to OR whether the group should remain in the United States.
Turner and Garvey Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle school and high school, grades 8-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
Henry McNeal Turner and Marcus Garvey both believed African Americans should emigrate away from the United States. But their beliefs and their support were vastly different. Students will read the narrative Colonization and Emigration and study the speeches of these two leaders to understand their philosophical similarities and differences.
African-American Participation in Wars and Conflicts Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History
As discussed in the narrative Colonization and Emigration, African Americans have participated in the U.S. Armed Forces since the Revolutionary War. In this lesson, students will research the enlistment of African Americans, including particular divisions and individuals, in different conflicts.
Effects of African-American Emigration From the Late 1700s-Early 1900s Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
As African Americans tried to integrate into U.S. society in the Nineteenth century, they found many barriers to success. Some organizations and people encouraged emigration to other countries as the only way African Americans would ever gain true freedom. In the narrative Colonization and Emigration, many of the key issues in favor of and against emigration are discussed in detail. In this lesson, students will explore the pros and cons of the emigration movement and research major groups and people involved in it.
American Colonization Society Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 7-12
Concentration area: History
The American Colonization Society (ACS) was a major motivator in the emigration to Liberia. Using the narrative Colonization and Emigration and other sources, students will research the motivations of the ACS and then hold a debate as to whether the ACS was consciously attempting to segregate African Americans, or if they were truly trying to give them a better start in their ancestral homeland.
Little America in Liberia Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History, World Civilizations, Sociology
The Colonization and Emigration narrative states that, "the colonists made concerted efforts to create a sort of 'little America' in their new surroundings." Students will study the history of Liberia prior to and after the influx of immigrants of African Americans. Once they have investigated the cultural differences between the African Americans newly arrived and Liberians, they will then simulate an exchange between a newly arrived African American and an indigenous Liberian in search of common ground.
Exploring Ethnic Groups in Africa Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History, World Cultures
Many African Americans emigrated from the United States during the Nineteenth century, hoping to find freedom, prosperity, and acceptance in other countries. Although these immigrants were well accepted in some areas, the immigrants and native ethnic groups clashed in others. As detailed in the narrative Colonization and Emigration, students will research the ethnic groups located in African countries where African Americans immigrated.
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.
Exploring Racism in America Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History, Sociology
Both free and enslaved African Americans encountered many obstacles in the United States in the Nineteenth century. Colonization and Emigration describes many of the stereotypes, biases, and racist actions that African Americans faced during that time. In Exploring Racism in America, students will look at racism, stereotypes, and biases in their personal lives and in the U.S. media. Students will discuss examples of racism, exploring the types of stereotypes and biases that still exist in our society. They then will compare the United States today to the Nineteenth century.
Haitian Immigration: 18th & 19th Centuries
African and American Lesson Plan: A Celebration
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History
The narrative Haitian Immigration: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries examines the role of Catholicism in the segment "The Haitian Influence on Religion." Using the narrative as a springboard, an individual teacher, subject department or team, or the entire school will organize African and American, a celebration of African immigration and migration. November 3rd is the feast day of St. Martin de Porres, the only saint of African descent in the hemisphere recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. It may be as appropriate a day around which to organize activities as St. Patrick's Day, which has been transformed from a Catholic holy day into a popular celebration of ethnicity. Students, teachers, and the community will explore African cultural remnants from the era of the slave trade, as well as vibrant cultural traditions of contemporary immigrants of African origin. Foods, music, arts, crafts, and folkways may be explored and shared by students who conduct research and/or by inviting members of the community to share such traditions.
Studying the Haitian Immigration Lesson Plan: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
This lesson is designed for use with the narrative Haitian Immigration: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Students will use the site maps and other resources to investigate the profound influence Haiti's population has had on the politics, people, and culture of present day Louisiana.
Mixing Races in New Orleans Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 10-12
Concentration area: History
After reading the narrative Haitian Immigration: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, students will discuss the changes in the legal, social, and political status of African Americans and those of mixed ethnicity, considering these questions: What were the lines of division? How could they expect to be treated? Students then will read the short story The Quadroons by Lydia Maria Child. With guiding questions that use quotes from the story, students will correlate the information from the narrative and the personal voice from the story to create a well-rounded picture of the plight of those from mixed backgrounds.
The Caste Society Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History
In the beginning, New Orleans social structure under French and Spanish rule consisted of a three-caste system. By 1830, the Louisiana lawmakers created some of the harshest slave codes in the American South, leading to a new two-caste system. Students will look at how these new codes affected African Americans.
Unsung Military Heroes Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 10-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
Students reading the narrative Haitian Immigration: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries will learn of Colonel Savary and his bravery in leading a large force of Haitian veterans. Without this rather large force, The Battle of New Orleans likely would have ended much differently. Students will research a variety of other African-American military heroes, their backgrounds, and their unique contributions.
The Western Migration
OK in Oklahoma? All-Black Communities Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
In the segment "Migration to Oklahoma," The Western Migration narrative examines African-American migration to Oklahoma and settlement in thirty-two all-black towns. The lesson OK in Oklahoma? is designed for use in conjunction with reading the narrative or as a follow-up activity. Students will be asked to read the narrative, examine the early segregation laws adopted at the time of Oklahoma statehood, and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of single-race communities, focusing on moral, social, security, legal, and economics issues.
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.
African Americans and the Move West Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History
Freedom and opportunity were guiding principles and desires that sparked African-American migration to the West. Land, jobs, and political and economic motivations led vast numbers of African Americans to the West. The Western Migration altered the lives of those who moved west, as well as altering the region and the nation. In this lesson, students will examine the phases of the migration west and analyze the incentives for African Americans to move. Students will create a timeline of migration to the west along with charts depicting the changes in demographics of areas at selected points in time.
The Western Migration Lesson Plan: Socratic Seminar
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
This Socratic Seminar centers on the statement, "To those...obliged to exchange a cultivated region for a howling wilderness, we recommend...the western wilds...where the plowshares of prejudice have been unable to penetrate the soil." After reading The Western Migration, students will explore the different experiences of the African-American migration to the West in an open-ended dialogue discussing the quote, the narrative, and the ultimate results of the western migration.
The Western Migration Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
This lesson is designed for students to use with the narrative The Western Migration. This lesson will ask students to read a narrative about migrations into the western part of the United States. Students will make a flyer soliciting a move to a state in the West and will include some of the facts used to entice people they read about in the narrative.
Voluntary Movement or Not? African-American Movement to the West Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 7-12
Concentration area: History
Many times in history, African Americans, by force or choice, moved about. Using information from The Western Migration and other Schomburg narratives, students will form an opinion on how voluntary these moves really were and then write a persuasive composition supporting their opinion.
The Northern Migration
Push and Pull Factors Lesson Plan: Tug O' War
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: Social Studies, History : U.S.,
The narrative The Northern Migration (along with The Great Migration, The Second Great Migration; and The Return South Migration) provides examples of push and pull factors and their roles in immigration and migration. Push and Pull Factors: Tug O' War is best used with the narrative to introduce or reinforce the concepts of push and pull factors and to help tactile learners see a concrete expression of push-pull through physical activity. Students will define the concepts and create a list of push and pull factors for the narrative (or all four narratives to cover the North, South, and West). Each distinct factor will be written up on index cards labeled "Push" or "Pull," and students will draw cards. With the Physical Education teachers, get a rope and have a Tug O' War contest between push factors and pull factors; students should analyze whether the results of their contest matched history, and if not, why.
Transportation and African-American Migration Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History : U.S.,
The narrative The Northern Migration discusses transportation as not merely a means of migration but also a stimulus to migration. Mariners and riverboat workers sent messages from free people of color to their southern relatives and friends, and later Pullman porters distributed newspapers like the Chicago Defender, urging African Americans in the South to move to the North. In Transportation and African-American Migration, a lesson to be used with or as a follow-up to the narrative, students will examine an aspect of either railroad or marine transportation (for example: routes, Pullman porters' work routines, or African-American merchant sailors) and evaluate their impact on migration in the United States.
A Comparative Look at Migrations Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History : U.S.,
The Northern Migration outlines the migration of African Americans during the decades before and following the Civil War. The narrative provides an explanation of the push and pull factors related to the migration along with the social, political, and economic impact that the migration had on both the point of origin of the migration as well as on the destination point. Similarly, The Great Migration reviews the factors leading to one of the largest population shifts in the country's history. The narrative details the social, political, and economic motivations for the movement along with the impact this had on the North and the South. In this lesson, students will examine the two narratives and provide and opportunity for them to compare the migration of African Americans at two distinct points in history.
The Communication Network Lesson Plan: Keeping in Touch
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History
In the Information Age, communication between friends and family is only a mouse-click away. However, in the Nineteenth century, African-American communication was challenged not only by distance but also by the barriers of slavery. Students will read The Northern Migration and create an eight-frame cartoon depicting the means of communication between the freed people in the North and those enslaved in the South. Students will participate in a "Gallery Walk" to view the work of their classmates.
The Northern Migration Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
This lesson is designed for students to use with the narrative The Northern Migration. Students also will use the site's maps and image resources in studying this migration. Appropriate for middle school and high school students, the lesson's goal is to facilitate students' understanding of the pros and cons for participation in this migration. They will assume the role of a Nineteenth Century African American who is contemplating participating in this migration, and will write a letter to a loved one explaining the reasons for their decision.
The Great Migration
Entrepreneurs and the African-American Dream Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History, Economics
The narrative The Great Migration discusses how individuals and industries forged opportunities for themselves and African-American workers outside the South. The lesson Entrepreneurs and the African-American Dream should be used as a follow-up activity to or in conjunction with the narrative in either history or economics classes. Students will make a simple graph of labor supply and labor demand in the North and South in the early twentieth century. They then will conduct research using business journals, corporate reports, and the Internet to identify top contemporary African-American entrepreneurs.
Priorities and Power Lesson Plan: Migrants and Voting
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History, U.S. Government
The "Quest for Political Power" segment of the narrative, The Great Migration recounts African-American migrants' eager entry into the political process. Priorities and Power is a lesson plan that may be used with this narrative in history or political science/government classes. Students first will be polled on their plans to get a driver's license and drive, as well as their plans to register to vote and actually to vote. Once students have examined their own attitudes about voting, they will investigate the relationship between the increase in African-American voters and the increase in a) civil rights legislation and b) programs designed to help the African-American community.
To Move or Not to Move? Decision-Making and Sacrifice Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History, Social Studies
The narrative The Great Migration raises questions involved in decision-making and recounts the sacrifices made by African-American migrants. Many students take for granted both mobility and instant gratification, so the lesson To Move or Not to Move? introduces them to the concepts of decision-making, cost-benefit analysis, deferred gratification, and sacrifice. Students will research and role-play African Americans in the South in the early twentieth century, seeking to balance their search for opportunity with the sacrifices they will have to make.
Two American Tales Lesson Plan: The Immigrants' Experiences
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History, Social Studies
The narrative The Great Migration describes the experiences of migrants to the cities of the United States. Two American Tales asks students to compare and contrast the nearly contemporaneous experiences of European immigrants and African-American migrants in U.S. cities. This lesson should be used in conjunction with reading the narrative or studying the European and Asian migration to the United States. Students will read both their textbook's account and the narrative, taking notes on a Venn diagram to organize the information they retrieve into similarities and differences.
What Does It Cost? Wages and Expenses in Historical Context Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History, Economics
The segment "A New Industrial Landscape" of the narrative The Great Migration recounts how the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated in 1919 that $43 was the minimum weekly wage for a family of five. Students are often curious about how anyone can live on $43 per day, let alone a family of five for a week. So, this lesson, What Does It Cost?, is designed to help students understand the relative value of a historical dollar. Students will research through old newspaper ads to find prices for food, housing, clothing, transportation, and recreation. Then, they should calculate how many minutes, hours, or days a worker being paid about 91 cents an hour for a 47-hour workweek would have to work to purchase the five items they have priced and to rent an apartment.
The Great Migration Lesson Plan: Comparing/Contrasting Northern Life to Southern Life
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History
After Plessy v. Ferguson and the institutionalization of Jim Crow laws in the South, many African Americans migrated to the North in hope of a better life. After reading The Great Migration and viewing related videos/films on The Great Migration, students will create a chart comparing the lives of African Americans still residing in the South during this period with those who participated in The Great Migration. Students should make sure that materials used show the positive as well as the negative experiences of the African-American people during this migration. Students will then write a position paper stating whether or not The Great Migration was beneficial or detrimental to those who participated in it. Appropriate for middle and high school students, the culminating activity will entail students presenting and arguing their standpoints in front of an impartial panel.
Is this the Promised Land?
Grade levels: High school, grades 11-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
The Great Migration is one of the largest population shifts in the history of the United States. The Great Migration details the factors contributing to the migration of African Americans to the North, the networks and media used to influence them to move, as well as the impact the migration had on the people, the country, and the culture. In this lesson, students will explore the "broken promises" such as overcrowding, poverty, housing, and broken wage promises that African Americans encountered as a result of moving north during the period of 1916-1930. Students will then create journal entries detailing the life of African Americans during this period. The journal entries will reflect upon the point of view and frame of reference, and detail the positive and negative aspects of moving north.
The Great Migration Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History
This lesson focuses on the Great Migration, dating 1916-1930. Students will use a variety of resources from the Schomburg Center for the Study of Black Culture, including the narrative The Great Migration written by their scholars; external web sites that have been evaluated by teachers for their resource value; and maps and other visual resources. This lesson focuses on the pioneers who left the familiar South to move toward the promise of a better life, and those pioneers who paved the way for others to follow. Appropriate for middle school and high school students, the lesson's goal is to allow the student a well-rounded study of the migration.
The Great Migration Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
Students will use a variety of resources, including the narrative The Great Migration, maps, images, and external web sites. This lesson focuses on the pioneers who left the familiar South to move toward the promise of a better life, and those who paved the way for others to follow. Appropriate for middle school and high school students, the lesson's goal is to allow the student a well-rounded study of the migration.
The Second Great Migration
Urban Concentration and Racial Violence Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: History
In the narrative The Second Great Migration specifically the segment titled "Impact on Destination Communities," the author probes the relationship between urban concentration of African-American residents and race riots. Urban Concentration and Racial Violence is a lesson plan that may be used in history classes with or as a follow-up to this narrative. Students will research one of the many urban race riots in U.S. history, from the New York City riots during the Civil War to the "Red Summer of 1919" or the hate-strikes of 1943. Students will present their findings in the form of a newspaper's front page.
Unintended Consequences Lesson Plan: Policies that Impact Migration
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History : U.S., , U.S. Government
In the narrative The Second Great Migration, the sections, "Causes of the Migrations—Pushes" and "Reverse Migration" recount the impact of federal government policies that were intended for one purpose but also had unintended consequences on migration. Unintended Consequences is a lesson plan that may be used with this narrative in history or political science/government classes. Students will examine the cause-and-effect relationship between the Agricultural Adjustment Acts of the New Deal or the 1965 Voting Rights Act and African-American migration.
From Hope to Despair Lesson Plan: Changes in African-American Expression from the Harlem Renaissance to the Present
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History, Language Arts, Performing Arts
The Second Great Migration highlights the shift in tone in the media and visual and literary images of the African American's migrant experience from novelty, excitement, and creativity to deterioration, lament, loss, and despair. From Hope to Despair is a lesson plan that may be used with or as a follow-up to this narrative, either in a language arts, performing arts, or visual arts classes, or as a collaboration across the curriculum including social studies. Students will select and pair examples of music, poetry, literary prose, drama, film, visual arts, or other expressive media. One example should be from the era of the Harlem Renaissance and the second example should be a contemporary work. Students will analyze both samples, looking at composition, tone (through color and line or literary devices), theme, setting, and/or characterization to evaluate whether their examples support the thesis of the narrative's author.
The Second Great Migration
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
This lesson is designed for students to use with the narrative The Second Great Migration. Students also will use the site's maps and image resources in studying this migration. Appropriate for middle school and high school students, the lesson's goal is to facilitate students' understanding of the causes of this migration and the impact it had on its destination communities.
Caribbean Migration
Studying the Caribbean Immigration Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
This lesson is designed for use with the narrative Caribbean Immigration. Students will use the site maps and other resources to research one of the influential Caribbean immigrants or descendents of immigrants mentioned in the narrative. After compiling their research in a paper, students will orally present their papers to the class so all students learn more about the lives of these immigrants.
Bitter Sweet Legacy Lesson Plan: Afro-Caribbean Americans and the Sugar Economy
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
The narrative Caribbean Immigration examines how the collapse of the sugar economy during the Nineteenth century in the Caribbean stimulated Caribbean migration. Using Bitter Sweet Legacy: Afro-Caribbean Americans and the Sugar Economy, a lesson plan for history or economics classes, students will study the relationship between sugar, African and Caribbean laborers, and migration. Students will examine the role of enslaved Africans in the creation of the Caribbean sugar industry, the nineteenth-century crisis in the sugar industry and its impact on Afro-Caribbean Americans, and the role of sugar in the lives of Afro-Caribbean Americans today.
Denmark Vesey's Rebellion Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
The narrative Caribbean Immigration highlights distinguished Afro-Caribbean migrants to the United States, including Denmark Vesey, who was executed in 1822 for plotting a broad-based slave rebellion in Charleston, South Carolina. Denmark Vesey's Rebellion is a lesson plan that enables students to conduct research to learn about Denmark Vesey's extraordinary life. Students will use their findings from the historical record as the basis for a ten-minute dramatic performance (live skit or video production) of some aspect of Denmark Vesey's story.
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.
Heaven, Hell, and Baltimore Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
In the narrative Return South Migration, Dwayne Walls, in Chickenbone Special, recounts an old quote about the African-American residents of a rural community in North Carolina, "These people know only three places to go: Heaven, Hell, and Baltimore." What is special about this quote? Students will analyze the quote within the context of the migration back to the South.
Home Ties Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
The narrative Return South Migration talks about many reasons why African Americans have returned to the South. Students will interview family members and find out what their ties are with their community. They then will use this information to compare other cultures and times with what they have learned about the African-American culture from the narrative. Finally, students will create a graph showing the class findings and then compare the class results with the information they have found within the narrative.
Returning to the South Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
Since the 1970s, social scientists and demographers have chronicled a turn-around in the migration patterns of African Americans. The turn-around is indicated by a large number of African-American northerners relocating to southern states. Return South Migration explores the reversal of historic migration patterns along with the reasons and consequences for the migration. In this lesson, students will explore the push/pull factors leading to the reverse migration as well as the impact the return to the South has had on the southern states.
Return South Migration Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History : U.S. Government,
This lesson is designed for students to use with the narrative Return South Migration. Students also will use the site's maps and image resources in studying this migration. Appropriate for middle school and high school students, the lesson's goal is to facilitate students' understanding of the reasons so many immigrants returned to the South following the Civil Rights Movement.
The New Promised Land Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 8-12
Concentration area: History
In the narrative Return South Migration, students will read the line, "They saw the city [Atlanta] as a new 'promised land,' with unlimited opportunity, a great place to raise their children." This lesson will have students consider what this says about the changes in the South. Through brainstorming, students will compare southern cities such as Atlanta to characteristics that make for an ideal community, and then compare how closely they resemble each other.
Haitian Immigration: 20th Century
The Second Generation: Cultural Continuity Versus Americanization
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History, Social Studies
The narrative Haitian Immigration: Twentieth Century: echoes the familiar immigrant theme of generational differences with immigrants and their children, as the latter struggle between cultural continuity and the strong societal impetus to Americanize. The lesson The Second Generation asks students to compare and contrast the Haitian experience with those of earlier immigrants through film, song, or literature describing the experiences of migrants to the cities of the United States.
Haitian Immigration: Twentieth Century Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
This lesson is designed for students to use with the narrative Haitian Immigration: Twentieth Century. Students also will use the site's maps and image resources in studying this migration. Appropriate for middle school and high school students, the lesson's goal is to facilitate students' understanding of the causes of this migration, the impact it had on destination communities, and how Haitians have adapted to life in their new home.
African Immigration
A Divided Community Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school students, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History : World, , History : U.S.,
The narrative African Immigration (along with The Northern Migration) explores the divisive nature of migration and immigration among Americans of African origin. The lesson A Divided Community is designed for students to use as a follow-up to reading the narrative(s). Students will examine the history and assess the impact of these divisive issues including the following: free persons of color fearing to be identified with fugitive slaves, northern black elitists decrying the lack of education and rural background of southern blacks participating in the Great Migration, political leaders differing over the Exoduster or "Back-to-Africa" movements as opposed to accommodation within the South and the United States, Haitian immigrants and African émigrés resisting popular media values of African Americans, and African Americans judging each other along lingering color-caste divisions. They will use the format of a "town hall" television program to present the information they have learned.
A Divided Community Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school students, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History : World, , History : U.S.,
The narrative African Immigration (along with The Northern Migration) explores the divisive nature of migration and immigration among Americans of African origin. The lesson A Divided Community is designed for students to use as a follow-up to reading the narrative(s). Students will examine the history and assess the impact of these divisive issues including the following: free persons of color fearing to be identified with fugitive slaves, northern black elitists decrying the lack of education and rural background of southern blacks participating in the Great Migration, political leaders differing over the Exoduster or "Back-to-Africa" movements as opposed to accommodation within the South and the United States, Haitian immigrants and African émigrés resisting popular media values of African Americans, and African Americans judging each other along lingering color-caste divisions. They will use the format of a "town hall" television program to present the information they have learned.
Studying the African Immigration Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
This lesson is designed for use with the narrative African Immigration. Students will use the site maps and other resources and will interview a recent Sub-Saharan African immigrant to learn about his or her individual experience. Using the information from the interview, students will write a brief biography summarizing the immigrant's experiences in leaving his or her country and coming to the United States, as well as his or her plans for the future.
Contemporary Immigration Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
The contemporary immigration of Africans to the United States is the focus of the narrative African Immigration. The narrative explores the reasons for the immigration to the United States, the educational background and employment opportunities for those who immigrate, the transformation of family life attributed to emigration, along with the religious and social impact on the community and the immigrants. In this lesson, students will research contemporary immigrations of Africans to the United States. Student research will focus on why individuals are immigrating to the United States, the immigration laws and regulations impacting the movement of Africans to the United States, and the impact the immigration has had on the United States and the immigrants' home countries. After exploring contemporary immigration on the larger national scale, students will select to study either their state or local community, and to develop an information guide for African immigrants.
Africans and African Americans Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History
Using information from the narrative African Immigration, students examine racism in America today. Through a discussion and investigation into overt and subtle racist practices and behaviors, students will gain a better understanding of the societal challenges that immigrants from Africa have to face.
Not the Stereotypical Immigrant? Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: History, Social Studies
Students will compare and contrast the differences in African immigrants and traditional immigrants using a Venn diagram. Using details from the narrative African Immigration, students will consider the goals of African immigrants and how are they similar and dissimilar to traditional immigrants.
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