Arcadia High School
180 Campus Dr
Arcadia, CA 91740
1-2 class periods
Quote analysis and decoding techniques
Students engage in a thoughtful and academic discussion about Jefferson and slavery after having worked through key quotes and primary sources regarding the topic.
Students should have a good working knowledge of Jefferson’s philosophy regarding human rights, his work on the Declaration of Independence, and the concept of slavery. It is best if they have already read the handout “The Life of Thomas Jefferson” biography for ELD students section on slavery (preferably as homework the night before).
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.
Students will be able to articulate, whether lingually or visually, Jefferson’s view on slavery, understand the contradictions within Jefferson’s life, and philosophically evaluate Jefferson’s character and views with regards to slavery and liberty.
Students will engage in an academic and philosophical conversation, whether orally or on paper as they feel comfortable, with regards to Jefferson and slavery.
(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.
**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.**
Additional handouts for part 3 can be found by following a link to the Massachusetts Historical Society:
Image with transcription: http://masshist.org/thomasjeffersonpapers/cfm/doc.cfm?id=farm_29
A projector and document camera will be helpful, but not required
Encourage students to submit their thoughts on the discussion the next day or following week as they may come up with new ideas.
Evaluate students’ comments during the discussion as appropriate for teacher’s pre-existing grade scale.
Allow students to write or draw their comments for the discussion on paper if they are uncomfortable sharing orally.