Unit Planning: Slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction

Lesson 20 African Americans at Mid-Century

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Lesson 20

African Americans at Mid-Century

Students learn about the conditions that characterized African

Americans’ lives in the period before the Civil War.

Writing for Understanding

Includes a Geography Challenge

Students read sections of the text related to various aspects of life under slavery, analyze primary source materials, create a story quilt, and write journal entries from the perspective of a slave.

5 days
For sections 20.2 and 20.3, consider the reading plan that would be most effective for your students. Independent silent, choral read, whisper read alternate paragraphs, rehearse and re-read aloud, Interactive Read/Think Aloud…
Depending on their abilities, also model, guide, or ask students to write Cornell Notes for these sections in their Social Studies Notebook (Vocabulary, Notes, and Writing)
It is very important to explain the dialect and non-dialect versions of the Information Masters.

Procure illustrated books about African American story quilts so students have more examples of quilt pieces to get ideas from.

When drawing images for the quilt sections in the reading notes, students can refer to p. 268 and to the books you have procured.
Show students the directions for the Journal before beginning the quilt pieces and post the words that will need to be included in the journal entry.
Have students pull topics (the eight placard topics) for their quilt pieces out of a container so that all are present in the quilt.


Students who may benefit from and/or enjoy working on fluency and comprehension may choose an alternative to creating the quilt: students may rehearse and perform a Readers Theatre of the “Voice of Opposition to Slavery.”

Some struggling readers may enjoy performing and be willing to practice reading a passage aloud many times in order to be able to perform it well.
This practice increases fluency and comprehension. Allow students to practice in pairs to share the reading and ask each other questions regarding meaning so that they are challenged to dig deeper or ask for support and then to project comprehension. Very empowering.

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