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Ideas for Classroom Use

The Slave Ship

Classroom Discussion or Writing Activity

Students speak or write of their own experiences with a large number of people in a small, enclosed space for an extended period of time – facts and feelings.

Internet Research Project

Using the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, students choose a port of departure and/or arrival and calculate the total number of years that the port functioned in the slave trade and the total number of human beings that became enslaved after having passed through the port.

Classroom Reading & Discussion

Teacher and students read aloud in class then discuss selected passages from Olaudah Equiano’s Narrative that describes life on the slave ship.

Common Core State Standards Connections

Reading for Informational Text

Standard 8 (Grade 6) Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

Reading standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies

Standard 2 (Grades 6-8) Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

Research Project

Students research the life of Venture Smith in order to speak or write about who he was, where he lived in Africa and America, and how he became free.  Advanced question: How, if at all, can one reconcile Venture Smith’s (and other blacks’) ownership of black slaves?

Common Core State Standards Connections

Writing Standards

Standard 7 (Grade 5) Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

Standard 8 (Grade 3) Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

Standard 9 (Grades 3-5) Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Writing

Standard 2 (Grades 6-8) Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

Standard 7 (Grade 6) Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

Standard 8 (Grade 6) Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.

Standard 9 (Grades 6-8) Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Reading standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies

Standard 1 (Grades 9-10) Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.

Writing standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies

Standard 2 (Grades 6-12) Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.

Standard 7 (Grades 6-12) Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self- generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Standard 8 (Grades 6-8) Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

Standard 9 (Grades 6-12) Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis reflection, and research.