May 12, 2010

More Slavery Unit Ideas

Here are a few more ideas for a slavery unit.

1) I had the kids draw a picture of our house and show where they would hide a slave from a slave catcher. The kids loved doing this, but the end result was a little peculiar. Miriam drew a great picture of a barn with a hayloft and a slave's head in the hayloft. Um, we don't have a barn. Still, good idea. Cowen was really clever. He drew a still upright dead tree with no slave in sight. The slave was inside the dead tree because according to Cowen, if you hollowed out a dead tree and put a slave in it, nobody would ever find the slave. You may have already guessed this, but no, we do not have a dead tree on our property. Still, good times and a general understanding had by all.

2) Sing a bunch of gospel songs. In fact, play gospel music every day for a few weeks. I played my Johnny Cash gospel cd. I know, he's not black so it doesn't sound quite the same, but my children did get to hear 20 great gospel songs. We also watched a lot of gospel choirs and gospel singers on youtube. I prepped my kids by reading the book Hush Harbor and together we learned "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."

3) We read several books about slaves making map quilts to help them escape. Then Julie copied one of the quilt patterns using paper and cut the paper into small pieces. Then we let the kids glue the patterns back together. After that, Julie assembled the whole "quilt." That was one of the better slavery unit days because Julie was in charge and she is crafty so the quilt turned out perfect. Everything aligned. Amazing.

Here are some great ideas that I didn't do.
1) Make a freedom booklet as your culminating activity.
Page One: Choose a slave identity and explain it--including where you live in the South.
Page Two: Make a map showing the route to Canada from where you are in the South.
Page Three: Draw a picture of fear.
Page Four: Write a poem about being free.
Page Five: Write a short paragraph about a person we've studied (ex. Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, etc.) and how you feel about that person.
Page Six: Write out a morse code message.
Page Seven: Include your quilt square.
Page Eight: Write a short mission statement about how you will treat all of God's children.
So many great idea . . . so many hormones.

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