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Fredrick Douglass...A digital History


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Keywords: Newpaper Articles, Drawings
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Photography, Writing, Technology, Art, Journalism, History
Grade 7
School: Salisbury Middle School, Salisbury, MD
Planned By: Monica Jett
Original Author: Monica Jett, Salisbury
Fredrick Augustus Washington Bailey Douglass was one of the most important Black American leaders of the 19th century. He was an abolitionist, speaker, and writer who fought against slavery and for women’s’ rights. Douglass was the first African-American citizen appointed to offices of high rank in the U.S. government.
Douglass was born on February 7, 1817 into slavery; his mother was a slave and his father was white. In 1838, he escaped from the Eastern Shore of Maryland and found refuge in Massachusetts, where he became a prominent speaker against the institution of slavery. He traveled throughout the North and Great Britain informing the masses about the injustice of slavery. In 1847, Douglass started the anti-slavery newspaper called the North Star which was published until 1880. Douglass published his autobiography , “Life and Times of Fredrick Douglass” in 1882. Douglass had 5 children and was married to his first wife , a free black woman for over 40 years. He would later marry his secretary, a white woman to whom which he had no children by. He would die of a heart attack at his home on February 20, 1895.
Objectives SWBAT:
Describe important events in the life of Fredrick Douglass
Identify contributions made by Fredrick Douglass by creating a classroom newspaper
Demonstrate their personal beliefs by creating a sketch of what a monument should like of Fredrick Douglass

Vocabulary:
Abolish
Abolitionist
Emancipation
Plantation
Slave
The North Star
Flogging
mulattoes



Materials:
Chalkboard
Post Its
Internet
Readings
Computer
LCD Projector
Cameras
Time: 2 weeks

Teacher Directions:
Warm up: Make a K-W-L Chart in the classroom. (Chalkboard or wall) Pass out (10) post-its (2) different colors. Have the students write 5 statements of what they know about Douglass on each post it. Then have the students come up to the board/wall and place them under the “K” column. Read a few and ask the students how they know this information. Then have the student’s write (5) questions one for each post-it on what they would like to know about Douglass. Have the students come to the board and place them under the “W” column. Then ask the students how we find this type of information. Possible answers are diaries, newspapers, and letters….etc. Inform them that they will be reading and viewing primary and secondary sources about the injustice of slavery from former slaves and Fredrick Douglass himself.
Activity 1
Distribute the worksheet In Our Own Words: Letters from Former slaves. Ask the students:
1. Describe the emotions of the slaves. How can you infer that they feel a certain way? (Upset, sad, scared….)
2. What is mentioned in all three letters? Why do you think it was so important? (God)
3. Did any of these slaves receive punishment? If so, for what?
Activity 2
Using a laptop and LCD Projector provide the following webpage http://www.biography.com and scroll down to find the 2:22 minute video clip of Fredrick Douglass. Possible discussion questions: What was Douglass so passionate about and why? How do you think this former slave became so well spoken and educated? What was he fighting for?

Activity 3:
Distribute worksheet Fredrick Douglass Biography. Have the students read individual then collaboratively have them come up with five facts from the reading that they feel was the most important and share with the class why.

Activity 4
Using the internet the students are to research the writings: Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave. The students are to read each excerpt from Doulgass’ s autobiography aloud so that they can enjoy the power of the writing. Assist students with difficult vocabulary and discuss important points of each passage. Ask the students:
1. What treatment did Douglass receive from his master?
2. How did he respond?
3. What did he learn?
Working collaboratively, on the computers the students are to write a line of poetry or a four line stanza that reflects Douglass’s experience and emotions in each excerpt. The class can then combine their verses into a longer poem about the life Douglass while he was enslaved.
Activity 5:
Inform the students that there is no memorial at Fredrick Doulass’s birthplace. Have them work individually or collaboratively using Tool Box factory to create a sketch of what they think the monument should look like. They are to include one typed paragraph how they came up with the sketch and its significance to the public.
Activity 6:
Discuss the importance of the paper that Douglass wrote during his lifetime. He wrote three autobiographies and was publisher and editor for the North Star newspaper. Explain that he wrote the newspaper to share his strong views towards improving the lives of slaves. Put the class into groups with 4-6 people and have each group write a persuasive article using the laptops describing one phase of Douglass’s life beginning with his childhood, life on the plantation, gaining his freedom, and finally being a respected man of society to be put into the class newspaper. Have the students include pictures, artwork, quotes, and other research that will enhance their paper. Put all articles together using the Tool Box Factory and make a copy for each student in class to share what they learned about their phase of Douglass’s life and why they chose it.

Assessment:
K-W-L Chart will be assed informally through discussions.
Students participating in readings and class discussion points will be given.
The poetry activity will be collected for a grade (create rubric)
The Douglass Memorial Sketch and Class Newspaper will be assessed according to content, neatness, and creativity.






Materials: Worksheets, Social Studies, Point and Shoot
Other Items: 1 HP Photosmart 6.0 Digital Camera with Photosmart Printer Dock, $199.99 each, total of $199.99
1 HP Pavilion Notebook, $749 each, total of $749.00