Reading Like a Historian: Nat Turner

Resource ID#: 36117 Type: Lesson Plan

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General Information

Subject(s): Social Studies
Grade Level(s): 11
Intended Audience: Educators educators
Suggested Technology: Overhead Projector
Instructional Time: 1 Hour(s)
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Freely Available: Yes
Keywords: Nat Turner, slavery, sourcing, contextualization, corroboration, close reading
Instructional Component Type(s): Lesson Plan Worksheet Problem-Solving Task Text Resource
Instructional Design Framework(s): Direct Instruction, Writing to Learn
Resource Collection: General Collection

Aligned Standards

This vetted resource aligns to concepts or skills in these benchmarks.

5 Lesson Plans

Reading Like a Historian: Irish Immigration

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Were the Irish considered "white" in the 19th century? The teacher introduces the topic with background information on anti-Irish hostility. Students are then split into groups of 4 and given 2 political cartoons (one by Thomas Nast), a primary source except from a Know-Nothing newspaper, and a secondary source by historian David Roediger. For each, they answer guiding questions, and then, using all 4 documents, compare evidence that Irish were/were not considered "white." A final class discussion addresses the racially ambiguous status of the Irish.

Reading Like a Historian: Lewis and Clark SAC

In this lesson, students analyze primary and secondary source documents, as well as engage in a Structured Academic Controversy, in an effort to answer the central historical question: Were Lewis and Clark respectful to the Native Americans they encountered on their journey? Detailed directions are provided for both teacher and students as to how to conduct a Structured Academic Controversy. All primary and secondary source documents (a letter from Thomas Jefferson, 4 excerpts from Clark's journals from 1805 and 1806, and a Time magazine article exploring the expedition from the Native American's point of view) are included with the lesson.

Reading Like a Historian: Louisiana Purchase

In this lesson, students analyze 3 primary source documents (an editorial by Alexander Hamilton, and back-and-forth letters by Senators Rufus King and Timothy Pickering) in an effort to answer the central historical question: Why did Federalists oppose the Louisiana Purchase? The teacher models sourcing and contextualization to help students analyze the documents while the students fill in a graphic organizer. A final class discussion attempts to uncover the Federalist critics' real motivations—was their opposition practical or political?

Reading Like a Historian: Manifest Destiny

In this lesson, students analyze maps, art, and primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: How did Americans justify westward expansion? To begin the lesson, students will examine a painting entitled "American Progress. "Students will compare 2 maps of the U.S.: a political map from 1872 and an electoral map from 1816. Next, students examine another 1816 map; the map is unusual in that it depicts the U.S. stretching to the Pacific—decades before this actually happened! Students will read 2 passages by John O'Sullivan, coiner of the phrase "Manifest Destiny," and answer guiding questions. A final class discussion reviews students' answers and touches on the subject of American Exceptionalism.

Reading Like a Historian: Texas Independence

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Why did Texans declare independence from Mexico in 1836? The teacher introduces the topic with a film clip (Note: requires registration to Discovery Education's website) and timeline and elicits student hypotheses. Students are then given 4 documents: 1) the Texas Declaration of Independence, 2) a letter by Tejano Rafael Manchola, 3) a speech by Mexican Juan Seguin, and 4) a pamphlet by abolitionist Benjamin Lundy. Students then analyze each using a graphic organizer; a final class discussion invites students to participate in the historical debate.

Related Resources

Other vetted resources related to this resource.

Lesson Plans

Reading Like a Historian: Irish Immigration:

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Were the Irish considered "white" in the 19th century? The teacher introduces the topic with background information on anti-Irish hostility. Students are then split into groups of 4 and given 2 political cartoons (one by Thomas Nast), a primary source except from a Know-Nothing newspaper, and a secondary source by historian David Roediger. For each, they answer guiding questions, and then, using all 4 documents, compare evidence that Irish were/were not considered "white." A final class discussion addresses the racially ambiguous status of the Irish.

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Lewis and Clark SAC:

In this lesson, students analyze primary and secondary source documents, as well as engage in a Structured Academic Controversy, in an effort to answer the central historical question: Were Lewis and Clark respectful to the Native Americans they encountered on their journey? Detailed directions are provided for both teacher and students as to how to conduct a Structured Academic Controversy. All primary and secondary source documents (a letter from Thomas Jefferson, 4 excerpts from Clark's journals from 1805 and 1806, and a Time magazine article exploring the expedition from the Native American's point of view) are included with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Louisiana Purchase:

In this lesson, students analyze 3 primary source documents (an editorial by Alexander Hamilton, and back-and-forth letters by Senators Rufus King and Timothy Pickering) in an effort to answer the central historical question: Why did Federalists oppose the Louisiana Purchase? The teacher models sourcing and contextualization to help students analyze the documents while the students fill in a graphic organizer. A final class discussion attempts to uncover the Federalist critics' real motivations—was their opposition practical or political?

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Manifest Destiny:

In this lesson, students analyze maps, art, and primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: How did Americans justify westward expansion? To begin the lesson, students will examine a painting entitled "American Progress. "Students will compare 2 maps of the U.S.: a political map from 1872 and an electoral map from 1816. Next, students examine another 1816 map; the map is unusual in that it depicts the U.S. stretching to the Pacific—decades before this actually happened! Students will read 2 passages by John O'Sullivan, coiner of the phrase "Manifest Destiny," and answer guiding questions. A final class discussion reviews students' answers and touches on the subject of American Exceptionalism.

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Texas Independence:

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Why did Texans declare independence from Mexico in 1836? The teacher introduces the topic with a film clip (Note: requires registration to Discovery Education's website) and timeline and elicits student hypotheses. Students are then given 4 documents: 1) the Texas Declaration of Independence, 2) a letter by Tejano Rafael Manchola, 3) a speech by Mexican Juan Seguin, and 4) a pamphlet by abolitionist Benjamin Lundy. Students then analyze each using a graphic organizer; a final class discussion invites students to participate in the historical debate.

Type: Lesson Plan