The goal of this lesson is to teach 4th grade students to look closely at primary sources in order to understand contributions made by citizens to abolish slavery. The lesson will explore Tennesseans active in the abolitionist movement including Frances Wright and Elihu Embree.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
Describe and explain the contributions of Virginia Hill and Free Hill, Tennessee, Frances Wright and Nashoba, and Elihu Embree and their efforts to abolish slavery in...
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area, including figurative, connotative, and...
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it...
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Learning objectives: 

In this lesson, the teacher uses a variety of strategies to actively engage students in analyzing vocabulary, answering source dependent questions, and facilitating group discussions. Students practice taking notes and identifying key information while using a graphic organizer in small groups.

Essential and guiding questions: 
  • Define subject area vocabulary: “abolish” and “slavery”
  • How would you describe slavery?
  • Can you explain how slavery affected African Americans?
  • Give examples of how individuals might have contributed to abolishing slavery in Tennessee.
  • What do you notice about this sketch, map and photograph? (A graphic organizer is provided to assess sources.)
  • Answer Who, What, When, Where and Why questions in response to “Nashoba” encyclopediaentry.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

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