Slavery, the Draft Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution - Virtual

Recommended Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Teacher: Dennis Perreault

Editor: Corey Genest

General Description

Lesson Goals:
Students will be able to understand the difficulty of mediating different perspectives on slavery in revolutionary period America.

Essential Questions:
Why did the language of the Draft Declaration of Independence and the Constitution appear to protect slavery in the United States?

Lesson Plan:
  • Read the attached excerpts from the Draft Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America.
  • Students should create a graphic organizer to map what they discover in reading the documents.  The graphic organizer should focus on identify references to slavery and student’s interpretations of those references
  • Review the graphic organizer as a class, and engage in discussion as a class focusing on the question of whether or not slavery was being protected by the draft of the declaration and the constitution.

Assessment:
Students should complete an essay in which they offer an explanation as to why the language of the Draft Declaration of Independence and the Constitution appear to protect slavery in the United States of America prior to the start of the Civil War.  Students should draw upon notes from the graphic organizer as well as any notes on the ideas generated in the class discussion.  Encourage students to use the excerpts from the document to illustrate and prove their thesis.

Materials and Documents

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A large portion of my day is spent on video calls helping parents to teach their kids the right material. Because of all that I’m constantly looking for great online resources to share with the parents of the kids I work with and I came across your NH Civics page while looking up social studies resources. It’s been a great help and had a lot of great sites I could send the kids and their parents to for some extra material to work with. Just thought I should reach out and thank you for putting it all together!
- Thomas Johnson
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