The purpose of this unit of instruction is to present students with the information necessary to build the knowledge and understanding needed to recognize and describe major reform movements that took place in the United States prior to the Civil War. The movements covered include: the origins of the American education system and contributions of Horace Mann, the formation and development of the abolitionist movement, antebellum women’s rights movement, antebellum temperance movement and the role of religion in shaping antebellum reform movements. Students will be required to explain, describe, analyze and evaluate information throughout this unit and will achieve mastery by demonstrating each of these skills.
This information is important for students to learn because studying history shows us what it means to be human. Events that happened in the past teach the true nature of man, teach about his troubles with himself, his inner turmoil and about his difficulties in living with others. If history is taught in an engaging way, teens learn about the significance of past events and personalities, and can relate them to their own lives. I believe that studying history encourages intellectual growth, as well as serving an important civic and moral function. When teens learn about the values that built the country they live in, the wars that were fought to protect certain ideals, the triumphs and failures of different leaders and societies – they can better understand how their own society was shaped, and what their role in it is. With knowledge of history, young people have the opportunity to learn from the tragic mistakes of past individuals and societies, and to prevent the same mistakes being made over again. This unit provides examples of ordinary people doing great things to help facilitate changes in our country that benefit the masses; with this knowledge they can also be inspired to dream bigger dreams and do greater things in their own lives.
Content Standards: 8-U4.3.1 Explain the origins of the American education system and Horace Mann’s campaign for free compulsory public education. (C2)
8-U4.3.2 Describe the formation and development of the abolitionist movement by considering the roles of key abolitionist leaders (e.g. John Brown and the armed resistance, Harriet Tubman and the Underground railroad, Sojourner Truth, William Lloyd Garrison, and Frederick Douglass), and the response of southerners and northerners to the abolitionist movement. (C2)
8-U4.3.3 Analyze the antebellum women’s rights (and suffrage) movement by discussing the goals of its leaders (e.g. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton) and comparing the Seneca Falls Resolution with the Declaration of Independence. (C2)
8-U4.3.4 Analyze the goals and effects of the antebellum temperance movement. (C2)
8-U4.3.5 Evaluate the role of religion in shaping antebellum reform movements. (C2)
All of these content standards also address the following National Civics Standard: C2 Values and Principles of American Democracy.
GLCE – code and exact wording.
Know – What will students know upon learning this?
Understand – What will students understand?
Do – What will students do to show they understand?
Explain the origins of the American education system and Horace Mann’s campaign for free compulsory public education.
Students will know that Horace Mann argued for public school reform and will also be able to name and explain Mann’s six principles for public school reform: (1) public should not remain ignorant; (2) education should be paid for, controlled, and sustained by an interested public; (3) education provided in schools that embrace children from all backgrounds; (4) education must be non-sectarian; (5) education must be taught by the spirit, methods, and discipline of a free society; and (6) education should be provided by well-trained, professional teachers.
Students will understand that the public school system did not always exist the way it does today. Students will understand that Horace Mann developed a list of reforms that would be adopted by many states across the nation.
(1) Students will research Horace Mann and American schools in the 1800s on the computer then present their findings in small groups to complete a graphic organizer/guided notes page.
(2) Using the information gathered previously and doing additional research online, students will write a news article that tells who Horace Mann is, and explain how his six principles will impact public education reform.
I CAN… tell when the American education system was reformed to resemble what we see today.
I CAN… tell who Horace Mann is and his role in public education reform.
Describe the formation and development of the abolitionist movement by considering the roles of key abolitionist leaders (e.g., John Brown and the armed resistance, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, and William Lloyd Garrison), and the response of southerners and northerners to the abolitionist movement.
Students will be able to name the major leaders of the abolitionist movement and state their contributions toward abolishment of slavery.
Students will understand that being a slave was extremely difficult and the road to freedom was dangerous and often blocked. Students will understand that not all southerners supported slavery and not all northerners opposed it.
(1) Students will use the computer and text material to research various abolitionist leaders. Using a jigsaw strategy, students will complete research and present an essay to their group.
(2) Students will complete an Underground Railroad/Harriet Tubman Web Activity; (3)Students will work in small groups to create a skit using informational cards given by the teacher that would describe life from the different perspectives of people involved in the abolitionist movement: slave, slave-owner, abolitionist leaders, Underground Railroad conductor/stop, supporters, detractors, etc.
(4) Students will complete a graphic organizer/guided notes page to describe the different responses to the abolitionist movement by the North and the South.
I CAN… tell what the abolitionist movement was and why it happened.
I CAN… name at least 3 important leaders of the abolitionist movement and tell their contribution.
I CAN… tell what the Underground Railroad was.
I CAN… give at least 2 examples of how people in the South responded to the abolitionist movement.
I CAN…give at least 2 examples of how people in the North responded to the abolitionist movement.
Analyze the antebellum women’s rights (and suffrage) movement by discussing the goals of its leaders (Susan B. Anthony) and comparing the Seneca Falls Resolution with Declaration of Independence.
Students will know what the Seneca Falls Resolution was and be able to cite similarities to the Declaration of Independence. Students will also know who Susan B. Anthony was and how she fit into the women’s rights movement.
Students will understand that the road to gaining votes for women was not an easy one. Students will also understand the contribution of Susan B. Anthony.
(1) Students will use a handout, The Antebellum Women’s Rights Movement to complete a graphic organizer that highlights the major leaders of the movement and their main contributions. (2) Students will create advertisement posters for suffrage events and for the Seneca Falls convention. They will come up with a catchy slogan using historically accurate language and include specific goals as discussed in class. Posters drawn for the Seneca Falls convention will need to include language that illustrates the parallels b/n the goals of the convention and wording of the Declaration of Independence. Students will then present their poster to the class with a persuasive argument for women’s rights.
I CAN… tell what the women’s rights movement was and give at least 2 examples of its goals.
I CAN… tell who Susan B. Anthony was and her role in the women’s rights movement.
I CAN…point out at least 3 similarities or differences between the Seneca Falls Resolution and the Declaration of Independence.
Analyze the goals and effects of the antebellum temperance movement.
Students will know that the temperance movement urged people to drink little or no alcohol and was implemented in an attempt to curb the rising number of people suffering from alcohol abuse. Temperance groups distributed pamphlets, held rallies and gave speeches warning people of the dangers of liquor.
Students will understand the goals of the temperance movement and how its effects are still relevant to today’s classroom and society.
Students will analyze the temperance movement and its goals by completing the “Death to King Alcohol” Lesson in which they will work in groups to present information from given text; there will be four groups: a song group, an image group, a story group, and a lecture group. Each group will be given a different set of materials from which to develop a presentation on the temperance movement.
I CAN…list at least 3 goals of the antebellum temperance movement.
I CAN…analyze effectiveness of the temperance movement through small group conversation.
Evaluate the role of religion in shaping antebellum reform movements.
Students will know that religion played a huge role in people’s lives. Students will evaluate how the church influenced almost every aspect of a person’s life and was a driving force in each of the major reform movements.
Students will understand how religion shaped the reform movements. They will understand how certain parts of each movement stemmed from religious influence/input.
Students will work in jigsaw groups to create a report evaluating the different ways religion helped to shape the various reform movements.
Each group will work on a different movement and then be split to present in different small groups comprised of representatives from each of the movements.
I CAN…tell how religion helped shape the views of the participants in the abolitionist movement.
I CAN… tell how religion helped determine what should be included in the reform and development of new standards for free public education.
I CAN…tell how religious views and beliefs helped structure the women’s rights movement.
I CAN…tell how religious beliefs and views help focus the ideals embraced by the temperance movement.
Assessment of student learning for this unit will happen in two ways:
1. Students will choose one of the reform movements and create a power point presentation to share with the
class at the close of the unit. This project will be scored using a rubric the students receive as part of the
2. Students will complete a pencil and paper test comprised of:
a section containing student-response items (multiple choice, fill in the blank and matching);
a section containing essay/short answer type questions; and
a section containing a performance assessment task.
Students will draw on prior knowledge of how to create power point slides to design a slide that portrays the vocabulary words for this unit.
1. Teacher will divide the class into pairs or trios.
2. Assign each group 1-2 vocabulary word(s) and instruct them to design a power point slide to help others learn/remember the meaning of the word.
3. Have them design the slide so the word comes up at the end. This way students reviewing the slideshow for practice can check to see if they have the correct word.
--Prior to Group work class will talk about the necessity of knowing new words, and reviewing the meanings of known words in order to understand new concepts.
--Teacher will monitor and assist students as needed by walking around the classroom.
--As slides are completed they will be compiled into a slideshow and played for the class.
--The slideshow can run in a loop on one of the computers in the room to provide the students will opportunity to review the words as necessary.
--This activity will take most, if not all, of one 45-50 minute class period.
List of vocabulary words. (Resource A)
Computer access for each group of students.
Lesson 2--Unit Vocabulary (2):
1. Teacher will divide the class into teams; 2 or 3 depending on class size. There are 18 vocab words and each requires one student. Smaller teams can be used, giving 2 words to each student.
2. Each student will receive 1 or 2 vocabulary cards. Each card will have a question: “I have…(vocab word)” and a definition of a different word: “Who has….(definition)?”
3. One student will begin by reading the “Who has” question on one of their cards.
4. The student that has the card with the vocabulary word that corresponds with the definition will stand up and say, “I have ________. Who has______?”
5. Game will continue until everyone’s cards have been read.
6. The team that finishes first wins.
--Teacher will have a deck (or more) of “I have…Who has…?” vocabulary cards created before class.
--Teacher will monitor class while they play/review words.
--This activity can take as long---or as little time as needed. Can be used as filler, for review, or in addition to initial vocabulary lesson.
Deck(s) of “I have…Who has…?” cards for vocabulary game. (Resource B)
Lesson 3--Reforming Education:
Students should know that schools and the education system haven’t always been the way they are today; schools in the 1800s were vastly different, if they existed at all.
1. As a class, in partners, or independently, students will read the informational text on Horace Mann and education reform---filling in a graphic organizer as they go.
2. Students will share their findings as a whole group.
3. Class will be divided into pairs or trios and assigned to a classroom computer.
4. Students will access the site: http://library.thinkquest.org/J002606/mid1800s.html
5. At this website students will discover what American elementary schools in the mid-1800s were like. The will be required to find 5 things that are different from schools today that will be shared with the entire class.
--Teacher will pass out paper with graphic organizer and explain its use.
--Teacher will walk around room to make sure everyone in the class understands what to do.
--Teacher will say, “Check with your neighbor to see if they need help.”
--Teacher will monitor class time and student progress while students are doing computer research---should take no longer than 15-20 minutes.
--Teacher will guide whole class discussion on research findings.
--This lesson should require one 45-50 minute class period.
Graphic organizer. (Resource C)
Informational text enough for every two students. (Resource D)
Computers with internet access.
Lesson 4—Reforming Education (2):
Students will need information previously gathered about Horace Mann and Education Reform.
1. Students will work with a partner to design interview questions and formulate possible answers according to the research information they have.
2. Students will refer to newspapers and magazines as necessary for guidance on article format.
3. Students will work in pairs to write an article that tells who Horace Mann is and explains how his principles impacted public education reform.
4. Students will have a rubric to follow that shows what is required to produce an exemplar article.
--Teacher will have examples of newspapers and magazines available for students to use as reference for article format.
--Teacher will furnish a rubric that tells students what is required to produce a quality piece of work.
--This activity will require one to two 45-50 minute class periods.
Informational text on Horace Mann and Education Reform (Resource D)
Brainstorm list of possible interview questions.
Rubric for article. (Resource E)
Lesson 5—Abolitionist Leaders
1. Each group of 5 students will be given a list and short description of the major leaders in the abolitionist movement.
2. Students will divide the list so that each leader is assigned to one student.
3. Students will then split from this “home” group and meet with an “expert” group---the other students in the class that also have the same leader to research.
4. As an expert group, students will work at a computer to research facts about their given abolitionist.
5. Together they will use the information gathered to write a short biographical essay that tells about the persons life and their contributions to the abolitionist movement.
6. After writing the essay, experts will return to their home group to “teach” them about the person they researched.
7. Home groups will assemble the essays as a booklet to be used as classroom reference about the abolitionist movement.
--Review with students about what an abolitionist was.
--Class discussion about goals of the abolitionist movement.
--Divide class into groups of 5 students each.
--Each group will get one list of abolitionist leaders.
--Monitor computer research and assist with essays as necessary.
--Teacher will furnish a rubric that tells students what is required to produce a quality essay.
--This activity will take two 45-50 minute class periods. Students will spend the first day doing research and the second day writing and presenting.
Lists of Abolitionist leaders with short description. (Resource F)
Computers with internet access.
Rubric for essay. (Resource G)
Lesson 6—The Underground Railroad (1): Virtual Journey
1. Students will be divided up into groups of 3-4.
2. Each group will share one computer.
3. Students will access the National Geographic website to take a virtual journey on the Underground Railroad.
4. Students will gather information on the different participants along the way and the role they play.
5. They will see the different places slaves stopped and each state they had to pass through.
6. Ask students to discuss whether they think they would have assisted in helping the slaves to freedom if they had been free individuals living at the time. Ask them to consider the pros and cons of their decisions, including the dangers for themselves if they decided to help.
7. Groups will read about the Fugitive Slave Act, Harriet Tubman and Levi Coffin.
8. Which of these people would they have been most likely to resemble in their efforts to help free the slaves, and why? Have them answer this question in a class discussion and/or in writing.
-- When students come into class display slideshow of slave pictures, primary documents of fugitive slave act and reward posters; possibly with slave music playing in the background.
--The teacher will discuss the Underground Railroad further by accessing the web pages via the computer.
--She will show the students pictures of slaves, the houses that they lived
in, and the route in which they traveled to reach freedom.
--Teacher will provide website access or printed material for reading.
--This activity will require one 45-50 minute class period.
Computers with internet access
Handouts/web pages: “Fugitive Slave Act”, “The Underground Railroad Table of Contents”, “Harriet Tubman”, “Levi Coffin: President of the Underground Railroad.” (Resource H)
National Geographic website
Lesson 7—The Underground Railroad (2): Role Play/Skits
Students will draw on prior knowledge gained in previous lessons to complete the following activity.
1. Students will be divided into groups of 4 students each.
2. Using a group of cards labeled with roles of participants, students will put together a skit that illustrates the journey of a slave from oppression to freedom.
3. Groups will present their skit to the class who will try to guess who was playing which role.
4. If time allows, students in each group can trade roles and re-present.
5. Students will complete an exit card answering, “What did you learn today? Which part did you enjoy the most?”
--The teacher will help students to brainstorm different roles occupied by people operating the Underground Railroad.
--Teacher will demonstrate how students will work in groups torole play the different jobs it took to make the Underground Railroad such a success.
--During the presentation portion of this lesson, each group will have a chance to present.
--Students will complete exit cards stating what they learned today and what they liked best.
--This lesson should take one 45-50 minute class period.
Cards with roles and description of participants in the Underground Railroad. (Resource I)
Note cards for exit cards.
Lesson 8—North vs. South: Who thought what?
Students will draw on their prior knowledge of slavery, abolitionist movement and relations between the North and South.
1. Students will work together to complete guided notes/graphic organizer using textbook or online resources.
--Teacher will guide class discussion on how North and South might have felt differently about the abolitionist movement.
--Talk about why the North might feel different than the South, and vice versa.
--Teacher will display a blank guided not sheet or graphic organizer to explain what students will be doing.
Lesson 9—Antebellum Women’s Rights
1. Students will partner read “Antebellum Women’s Rights: A Brief History”.
2. Students will complete a guided notes page that outlines the major leaders and their major contributions to the women’s rights movement.
3. The class will review the main points noted by each pair of students.
--Teacher will provide written material for reading.
--Teacher will guide class discussion of main points provided in article.
--This activity will require one 45-50 minute class period.
Handout of article, “Antebellum Women’s Rights: A Brief History” (Resource K)
Lesson 10—Women’s Rights Movement
1. Students will each create two posters. One to advertise a suffrage event; the other to advertise the Seneca Falls Convention.
2. Students will spend time using computers and handouts to compile facts for their posters.
3. They will come up with an eye catching slogan for each poster using historically accurate language.
4. Posters drawn for the Seneca Falls convention will need to include language that illustrates parallels between the goals of the convention and the wording of the Declaration of Independence.
5. Students will present their posters to the class.
--Teacher will ask students to think about who had which rights during the mid-1800s and why it might be important for women to gain rights, namely the right to vote.
--Students will be given a rubric for poster construction and presentation guidelines.
--This activity will require two 45-50 minute class periods. Possibly starting on a Friday and finishing up on a Monday to allow students the weekend as extra work time should they choose to use it.
Colored pencils, markers, scissors, glue, etc.
Computers with internet access.
Handouts of the Declaration of Independence and the Seneca Falls Resolution (Resources L and M)
Rubric for poster construction. (Resource N)
Lesson 11—The Temperance Movement
1. Students will read excerpts from Timothy Shay Arthur’s “Strong Drink, the Curse and the Cure.”
2. Students will fill in the “Problem of Alcohol” worksheet.
3. Students will listen to the audio recording of “King Alcohol”
4. Class discussion on the reading and worksheet.
5. Students will red through the “Constitution and Pledge of the Washington Temperance Society.”
6. Students will be divided into four groups and given assignment packages for examining different methods of persuading people to be temperate: Groups—song group, image group, story group and lecture group.
7. Students will work as a group to develop their assigned approach.
8. Each group will present in their given format to the rest of the class.
--Teacher will work with students during first readings to make sure they understand what the temperance movement was and what it hoped to accomplish.
--Teacher will meet with each group as they begin their assignment to make sure they are on the right track.
--Time required for this lesson is two 45-50 minute class periods.
Copy’s of Timothy Shay Arthur’s “Strong Drink, the Curse and the Cure.” (Resource O)
“Problem of Alcohol” worksheet. (Resource P)
Audio recording of “King Alcohol.” (lyrics/words--Resource Q)
“Constitution and Pledge of the Washington Temperance Society.” (Resource R)
Song group assignment pages (Resource S)
Image group assignment pages (Resource T)
Story group assignment pages (Resource U)
Lecture group assignment pages (Resource V)
Lesson 12—Role of Religion in Reform
1. Students will work in jigsaw groups to create a report that evaluates the different ways religion worked to influence the various reform movements.
2. Home groups will split to work in expert groups that will focus on one reform movement each.
3. Expert groups will use computers for research as needed to compile examples of religious influence for their assigned reform movement.
4. Experts will return to the home group with the information they collected.
5. The home group members will work together to create a report that covers all four movements and the religious influence seen in each.
6. Home groups will present their report to the class.
--Class brainstorm list of things that influence the choices we make on a daily basis.
--Talk about life in 1800s and large role the church played; for many people, the only time they weren’t working was when they were at church.
--Teacher will provide a rubric for the written report.
--Allowing ample time for credible research, this activity will require two 45-50 minute class periods.
Computers with internet access
Rubric for report (Resource W)
Fully Expanded Lessons following Madeline Hunter’s model: