Jefferson and Slavery -- For ELD Students
Author InfoHeather Moore
Arcadia High School
180 Campus Dr
Arcadia, CA 91740
Type of Lesson
CA Skill Standards for Social Studies:
3.Students interpret past events and issues within the context in which an event unfolded rather than solely in terms of present-day norms and values.
CA Content Standards for American History:
11.1 Students analyze the significant events in the founding of the nation and its attempts to realize the philosophy of government described in the Declaration of Independence.
11.10 Students analyze the development of federal civil rights and voting rights.
Common Core Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies:
2. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
3. Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.
4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text
8. Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.
Additional Learning Outcomes
- How would you describe Jefferson’s thoughts about slavery? Do his actions and his words go together or not?
- Do you think Thomas Jefferson was a good person? Why or why not?
- Do the good things that Jefferson did for America make up for the fact that he owned slaves? Why or why not?
- Can we judge Thomas Jefferson by our thoughts and views today or should we only think about him in the way that society was back then? Why or why not?
Distribute handouts "Thomas Jefferson and Slavery"
Read "Part 1: Information" as a class to give a brief overview of Jefferson and slavery.
Divide class into 6 groups. Assign each group one of the six quotes on the handout and direct students to decode it to figure out what it means. Provide dictionaries -- both English and translating -- to students.
Activity Part 2:
Facilitate as students decode their quote, draw, and write its meaning. (about 15 minutes)
Have a representative from each group share the meaning that they came up with while students in other groups write it onto their paper. Use a document camera to share images or have another student from the group draw it on the board. (about 10 minutes)
Activity Part 3:
(This part may be edited out for time.)
Display 3 pages from Thomas Jefferson's Farm Book either using overhead technology or printing them as handouts:
(See Note to Teachers in the handout file for more information on these excerpts)
Discuss with students as a group, pointing out how enslaved African-Americans are depicted in the book, what types of items they were provided, and how Jefferson recorded this information.
Direct students to answer the four questions on the worksheet, performing a quick check for understanding afterwards.
25+ minutes (teachers' discretion)
Activity Part 4:
Direct students to individually fill in their answers to the 4 questions about Jefferson and slavery. Encourage them to go slowly and really think about their answers.
As students finish, pair them off to share answers and record them in the second column.
Bring the class together as a whole for a larger, moderated discussion about Jefferson and slavery. Allow students to participate on paper and in non-lingual ways as they feel comfortable.
**Be advised that this discussion needs to be properly moderated. It would be best to model an appropriate and inappropriate comment first, and set ground rules for the discussion in order to maintain an academic and open environment.**
Handouts and Downloads
Additional handouts for part 3 can be found by following a link to the Massachusetts Historical Society:http://masshist.org/thomasjeffersonpapers/cfm/doc.cfm?id=farm_29