John O’Gaunt Community Technology College
Hungerford, Berks, — RG17 0AN
The aim of this lesson is to further problematize student’s understanding of Jefferson through analysis of a range of written historical sources. By exploring Jefferson’s own plantation at Monticello and the relationship he had with his slaves, students understanding will be challenged further. Through an analysis of different source, students will tackle a number of questions based around key ideas such as trustworthiness, usefulness and the cross-referencing of sources.
This lesson is intended as the fifth in a series; by this stage students should have an understanding of Jefferson and his more positive attributes. Students will have also conducted an inquiry into life on Mulberry Row which will begin to challenge this interpretation. Students should also have an understanding of the slave trade in detail, specifically the role of the British Empire and the middle passage.
English Key Stage Three History Standards
Communicating about the past
Personal Learning and Thinking Skills
Analyse primary source documents effectively.
Complete written answers to a high standard using both evidence and knowledge.
Peer-assess answers to source documents, giving both praise and constructive feedback.
This lesson links closely to the transatlantic slave trade; although intended as part of an investigation into Jefferson’s life, this lesson could fit into an already established unit of study that focuses on plantation life, with Jefferson’s Monticello as a case study.
Students will utilise their developed contextual knowledge and use this in conjunction with written evidence to answer complex source questions. Students will answer questions around issues such as trust, usefulness and cross-referencing. Finally, students will reflect on their own work through peer assessment.
Key Question – ‘Bigotry is the disease of ignorance’: How does Jefferson’s relationship with the slave trade shape our perspectives?
As this is intended as the last lesson of the unit, students could be given the assessment question to plan and prepare.
Formative: students will peer assess parts of the work undertaken in the lesson, giving both a positive comment and constructive piece of feedback to help aid development. Teacher’s reading of both the answer and these comments will help to build a greater understanding of the quality of work being produced and the level of student understanding around the approach to the task.
Summative: any or all of the questions could be targeted for grading/levelling.
By Resource: it is important that all students are encouraged to attempt all questions, however, the sources can be modified to make the language simpler and more accessible for students that require this.
By Task: More-able students could be challenged to draw on other sources used in the teaching of the unit to add extra weight to the arguments they are completing their answers.
By outcome: More-able students should complete work to a high standard, demonstrating all of the aspects required in each answer. Thie key focus for gifted students should be around linking and connecting the source content and provenance with their developed contextual knowledge.