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Lesson Plans pertaining to Social Studies
Transatlantic Slave Trade
A Nation of Nations Lesson Plan: Charting African Ethnicities in America
Grade levels: High School, grades 9-12
Concentration area: Social Studies : Sociology,
This lesson focuses on the "Ethnicities in the United States" segment of the narrative, The Transatlantic Slave Trade. Combining history and math skills, the activity assists visual learners in understanding the variety in ethnic origins of enslaved Africans brought to the United States. Students will use the data in the narrative to create charts, either by hand or by using Excel or a similar database program. Students then will use the charts to compare ethnicities in the lowlands and tidewater regions. They also will hypothesize about cultural remnants that historical archaeology, cultural anthropology, and/or census records may be able to confirm.
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.
Trusting Statistics Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle and high school, grades 6-12
Concentration area: Social Studies : Economics,
"The consequences of Migration" section of the Runaway Journeys narrative suggests that many of the official reports were not entirely on target. Students will conduct a survey of their choosing to gain a set of statistics. After they are done, they will proceed to question their statistics: What sorts of circumstances would make a person not answer truthfully? What would keep the statistics from being accurate? In "Consequences of the Migration," statistics that were reported were not necessarily true.
The Domestic Slave Trade
The Deadly Equilibrium Lesson Plan
Grade levels: High school, grades 9-12
Concentration area: Social Studies : Economics,
This lesson is designed as a cumulative activity following students' reading the narrative The Domestic Slave Trade and studying the Dred Scott decision, as well as exploring the expansion of slavery into the western territories in the years before the Civil War. The lesson also has adaptations for use with the narrative Runaway Journeys. The domestic slave trade simultaneously relieved an over-supply of slaves in Maryland and Virginia and the excess demand for slaves in the Deep South. Students will determine if the economic model of slavery in the United States could or could not survive without expansion of slavery to the western territories.
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.
Colonization and Emigration
Retain or Abandon, Adapt or Convert? The Immigrant's Dilemma Lesson Plan
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: Social Studies, World Religion
The narrative Colonization and Emigration examines the experiences of African Americans who emigrated to Haiti, Liberia, and other countries to discover that their religious, capitalistic, and westernized values clashed with the prevailing cultures into which they had entered. Retain or Abandon, Adapt or Convert? examines the dilemma faced by emigrants, whether they should retain and promote the values of their homeland or adapt and assimilate to those of their new land. This lesson may be used in conjunction with or as a follow-up to reading the narrative. Students will examine the problems and options facing immigrants and formulate a position paper based on the reading and their familiarity with immigration issues in the United States about how immigrants can best balance heritage and adaptation.
The Northern Migration
Open Door, Closed Door Lesson Plan: Discrimination in Immigration and Migration
Grade levels: Middle school, grades 6-8
Concentration area: Social Studies
The narrative The Northern Migration mentions that several Midwest states prohibited African Americans from migrating into them and that elements of the Canadian public also discouraged migration. Open Door, Closed Door is best used with the narrative to introduce or reinforce geographical knowledge and to help visual learners to create an organizer so they better understand the narrative. Students will select a nation and learn about its immigration policies, both current and (where possible) in the past. Then, students will add their information, either on a bulletin board chart or map, or a computer spreadsheet. The class will evaluate which nations have the most restrictive racial policies and which are the most inclusive.
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.
The Great Migration
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.
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.
African Immigration
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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