Can the New Histories of Slavery Create Compassion In Youth

Author: Donna Butler-Jones

School/Organization:

John Barry Elementary School

Year: 2020

Seminar: New Approaches to the History of Slavery: The View from the Penn and Slavery Project

Grade Level: 1-4

Keywords: African American History, Black History month, Slavery

School Subject(s): African American History, Social Studies

Compassion is difficult to see in students today. They appear tough on the outside from what they witness in their homes and communities.  They are being constantly exposed to social media, violence in the streets, parents not being in the home and a host of other issues.   If we are losing our youth, how do we open their eyes to what they need to know? The youth are no longer sitting at the foot of the elders listening to the historical stories of our past and how they over came.   How do we as educator’s open up their minds and make learning about our history a priority.

Where has our ability to feel compassion for the suffering of others gone? Can teaching middle school students about the New Histories of Slavery, enable students to have sympathy for one another and give them a sense of connection?  Our students are bored with learning the same old history taught with the same old approaches. This includes only learning about Black history during Black History month. I have seen students show little interest in subjects that they cannot apply to their own lives. Research has encouraged teachers to teach subjects that the students can apply to their daily living. Materials from the New Histories of Slavery can show the students how enslaved and newly freed people showed a desire to learn despite the fear of being whipped or killed. History can show us how enslaved people performed vital labor and when they became free they had skills and knowledge to maintain themselves.  It has become commonplace to say “it takes village” to help raise a child; our students need to learn how enslaved people were taken away from their families and sold but still stood by each other regardless of who was actually a biological family member.  They need to learn how resilient we were as a people.  Teaching the truth of this time in history, I feel, can bring back the capacity for compassion; a much needed quality in students’ lives in the present day.

We began by teaching them about the hard history of Slavery. This current generation of students might benefit from a purposeful re-telling of this history of slavery that begins before the period of the Transatlantic trade. According to the book Sugar Changed the World in 1493 Columbus introduced sugar cane to what is now Haiti.  Europeans subsequently used Brazil as the center for the Atlantic sugar planting from which it eventually spread to the islands of the Caribbean

Students would benefit from learning about people whose resistance testified to the violence and injustice of the Trans Atlantic slave trade and later, domestic slavery in the United States. There are several abolitionists who worked against slavery and for the rights of enslaved people. Their embodiment of hope, compassion and justice is important for students to learn.

 

Students will learn their genetic makeup by participating in DNA testing, and completing a family tree to begin discussion with the matriarch or patriarch of the family to learn their history. DNA testing contains information about slave owners and emancipation. DNA can help start a search that helps find out which ship or slave port was involved in the transporting of a person’s ancestor’s to the Americas. Students can see the breakdown of other ethnic groups they may belong to either on their mother or father’s side of the family.  My hope is that students would get the answer to the age-old question “Who am I and Where did I come from” This would also give them a sense of compassion and pride.

 

Yes, students can learn compassion from the hard history of slavery. Slavery is a hard history but not a hopeless history. Students can find compassion from the lives of the enslaved through their bonds with one another and the community. Students will understand why and how they fought back against the enslavers and what was built from their suffering. By completing this unit students should have a sense of thinking that there is nothing I can’t overcome

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Full Unit Text
Content Objectives

Problem Statement

Compassion is the sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. The lack of compassion is what I see as the problem with our students. They need to know where our ancestors came from and how they endured, suffered, and persevered during times of great tribulation.

Where has our ability to feel compassion for the suffering of others gone? Can teaching middle school students about the New Histories of Slavery enable students to have sympathy for one another and give them a sense of connection?  Our students are bored with learning the same old history taught with the same old approaches. This includes the problem of learning about Black history only during Black History month. I have seen students show little interest in subjects that they cannot apply to their own lives. Research has encouraged teachers to teach subjects that the students can apply to their daily living. Materials from the New Histories of Slavery can show the students how enslaved and newly freed people showed a desire to learn despite the fear of being whipped or killed. History can show us how enslaved people performed vital labor; when they became free, they had skills and knowledge to maintain themselves.  It has become commonplace to say “it takes a village” to help raise a child; our students need to learn how enslaved people were taken away from their families and sold but still stood by each other regardless of who was actually a biological family member.  They need to learn how resilient we were as a people.  Teaching the truth of this moment in history, I feel, can bring back the capacity for compassion, a much needed quality in students’ lives in the present day.

In the New Histories of Slavery seminar, I have learned that slavery existed centuries before the transatlantic slave trade. There were slave societies and societies with slaves, and both were made up of various cultures and ethnic groups. Enslavers had slaves for various reasons and acquired them through various means such as indentures to bind servants or captivity as a result of war.  One of the biggest reasons for the modern slave trade was the desire of wealthy European consumers for access to sugar and other spices. People were sold as slave labor to produce sugar cane throughout the Caribbean islands.  I also learned and listened to how different races and cultures treated people like commodities during the era of the Atlantic Middle passage. This time in history was very horrible for people of African descent. We were taken or sold from families and villages and put on ships to travel across oceans to various locations around the world. Many slaves died from illness and or jumped off the ship to avoid a life of slavery. We also examined how laws were established during colonial slavery so that an enslaved woman pregnant with a child gave birth to the next generation of slaves who provided uncompensated labor on plantations.

This current generation of students might benefit from a purposeful re-telling of this history of slavery that begins before the period of the Transatlantic trade. According to the book Sugar Changed the World, in 1493 Columbus introduced sugar cane to what is now Haiti.  Europeans subsequently used Brazil as the center for the Atlantic sugar planting from which it eventually spread to the islands of the Caribbean. During the 100 years between 1701 and 1807, 252,500 enslaved Africans were taken to the Barbados; during that same period 662.400 Africans were captured and sent to Jamaica. The English  captured and conquered Barbados to have enslaved African build them an empire of sugar plantations based on these two islands. The French and English acquired several more Caribbean islands to continue their wealth in the sugar colonies.  On average, 34,250 slaves were brought by British ships to the various Caribbean islands every year after1753 and by 1768 there were a total of 53,100 slaves on the Caribbean islands sugar plantations. The gap between the numbers of Afrcans transported and the number still laboring on Caribbean plantations testified to the horrific mortality of sugar plantation laborers. “Between the 1600s and the 1800s, sugar drove the entire economy linking Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. The true Age of Sugar had begun-and it was doing more to reshape the world then any ruler, empire, or war had ever done. ”Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos(2010)

Students would benefit from learning about people whose resistance testified to the violence and injustice of the Trans Atlantic slave trade and later, domestic slavery in the United States. There are several abolitionists who worked against slavery and for the rights of enslaved people. Their embodiment of hope, compassion, and justice is important for students to learn. Two of the most inspiring abolitionists whom I will present in my unit are Olaudah Equiano and William Still.

In his memoir, Olaudah Equiano described being born in what is now called Nigera and sold at age 11. He was taken to the West Indies and there he went to Virginia. He was later purchased by a sea captain, under whose employment he learned to read and write.  Later he would be purchased again and land in Barbados where he was enslaved on a sugar plantation. He later wrote his autobiography describing the harsh realities of the sugar trade and how it was “Hell” being on a sugar plantation due to the harsh treatment from the overseers. Olaudah gained his freedom. He began to lecture against the cruelty of the British slave owners. He spoke out against the English slave trade and was influential in mobilizing several English abolitionists, including Graham Sharpe. Equiano helped to stir antislavery sentiment in Britain which led to the creation of the Slave trade Act of 1807 which ended the transatlantic trade for Britain and its Caribbean colonies.  His many narratives helped to expose the violence and injustice of the slave trade at a crucial time in its history.

William Still, a Pennsylvania freeman and abolitionist joined Quaker and free black allies to save some 800 escaped slaves. He was the historian and archivist for the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia.  His parents escaped to freedom from Maryland with only their two older children and were forced to leave behind the younger ones. Still applied for a printing job in Philadelphia and got the job. He kept records of all the escaped slaves and their families. He believed that one day they might want to reunite with their families. He would write their slave name and have them select a new name. He also recorded their family lineage. Today, his records are an important historical source for the Underground Railroad and they have been used to re-unified families. Mr. William Still was a future thinker.

Key Vocabulary

Compassion, New Histories of Slavery, Enlsaved people, Capacity for compassion, Slave societies, Societies of Slave,  Atlantic Slave trade. Atlantic middle passage, Transatlantic slave trade, African descent, Sugar plantations, resistance, Abolitionist, Embodiment of hope, justice, overseer, mobilizing, Antislavery sentiment, antislavery, Olaudah Equano, William Still, Archivist, and Underground Railroad.

 

 

Content Objectives

In this curriculum unit, students learn about the Atlantic slave trade and how enslaved people were compelled to produce sugar cane throughout the Caribbean Islands. Surviving brutal conditions, including high mortality due to disease, injury, and overwork, enslaved people invented culture, including music, and dance, Students will learn the life stories and read literature by authors such as Olaudah Equiano, William Still and Frances Ellen Watkins to help focus on the responses of activists to end slavery. Students who have parental permission will use a DNA test to help them learn something about where they fit into this larger global story of the African Diaspora.

I want to have students connect with those of the past through books such as To Be a Slave by Julius Lester and Tom Feelings, (2000), Frederick Douglas: The Lion Who Wrote History, by Walter Dean Myers and Floyd Cooper (2017), Incident in the life of a Slave Girl, by Harriett Jacobs, and Heart and Soul: The Story of the America and African Americans  by Kadir Nelson (2013). Students will learn from various television and film resources, including Twelve years a Slave (2013), Harriett Tubman (2019), and Birth of a Nation (2018). Documentaries would include Africans in America (1918-1999), Unchained Memories, (2003) and The Underground Railroad: The William Still Story,

Students would read poems from various authors like Frances Ellen Watkins- Harper, including her poem “Bury me in a free land;” Claude McKay’s, “Enslaved” and Herman Melville’s “Formerly a Slave’. These poems allow students to feel the pain and suffering that took place for the slaves. There are several collections of slave poems, escape poems, and Underground Railroad poems. Students will have the opportunity to discuss and recite poems to better understand and have a feel for what enslaved people endured. Many of these poems capture the essence of how enslaved people held on to hope that change would come, cultivating their spirituality to help them endure.

We often do not have money in the school budget or student activity funds to pay for class trips.  Therefore it would be great for students to experience a virtual field trip right in the classroom. It would allow students the benefit of understanding what they are reading. It gives teachers and students a connection with the lesson through online learning with an expert on site in real time, thus creating a real experience for students. The students will be able to be more inclusive, build students skills and confidence in the classroom environment. Using this technology will allow those students that might not otherwise go on a traditional class trip. It can increase engagement, motivation and student engagement. Virtual field trips can be done with;

Virtual field Trip with Google Earth,www.youtube.com.  Students will view the Atlantic ocean, the West Coast of Africa just to name a few places along the slave trade.

Virtual Tour/Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, naturalhistory.si.edu>visit>virtual-tour.

Through our lessons about slavery, students may become interested in learning more about who they are and where their families originated. This might make it useful to prepare the class to take DNA testing with the permission of their parents from one of the reputable companies listed below. All students will be given a letter for their parents to sign.  Some DNA testing can unlock information about slave owners and emancipation. DNA can help start a search that leads to finding out which ship or slave port was involved in transporting a person’s ancestors to the Americas. Students can see the breakdown of other ethnic groups they may belong to either on their mother or father’s side of the family. According to African Ancestry, there have been 50 million African erased through the middle passage and slavery. They have the largest database for African Americans to get tested. They have a database of 30,000 indigenous African samples that are able to trace to specific present day African countries and ethnic groups of origin.  They can identify native language and or village, countries and ethnic groups.  With parental permission, students can either swab their cheeks or spit in a tube. The testing would be sent off and the result pending.  Gina Paige and Rick Kittles, who started African Ancestry in 2003, believe that knowledge of ancestry is a birthright.

“When we learn about the specificity of our African lineages, we experience a stronger sense of identity, belonging and community. We open our minds to our potential because we feel empowered by who we are.” Gina Paige, (2003) Choices for DNA Testing

*African Ancestery.com

*Ancestry.com

*23andMe.com

A Note to Teachers

Teaching lessons on slavery can cause students to become emotional.  Students can experience a whirlwind of emotions such as sadness, frustration, anger, and embarrassment, or even shame.  This can be quite exciting or frightening for some students and may cause them to act out their feelings. Some students may act out by being nasty towards each other or towards the teacher, walking out of class, becoming disrespectful, fighting, crying or becoming withdrawn.  Students will have time to discuss how they are feeling .The teacher can prepare them by letting them know that they are allowed at any time to take a break, put their head down, get some water, time out in the counselor’s office or to learn breathing and relaxing techniques in order to get through the lessons and the results of the test. Parents will be encouraged to participate in the revealing of the DNA test results. Students and parents will discuss the anxiety of waiting for the test result. Teachers will discuss the various scenarios that the DNA testing may create for students and their family,

My hope is that students would get the answer to the age-old question “Who am I and Where did I come from” This will help to orient them in the world and in themselves and could also give them a sense of compassion and pride. Yes, students can learn compassion from the hard history of slavery. Slavery is a hard history but not a hopeless history. Students can find compassion by learning about the lives of the enslaved through their bonds with one another and the community. Students will understand why and how their ancestors fought back against the enslavers and what was built from their suffering. Upon completing this unit, students should have a sense of that there is nothing they cannot overcome.

Teaching Strategies

Students will be able to use the following teaching strategies to learn and understand the objectives. Students will thoughtfully engage in individual and group learning that will allow the teacher to better meet the needs of the students.  Students will be able to have class discussions in order for students to gain knowledge and get a comprehensive understanding of the concepts. Students will be integrating technology into their lessons by use of videos from smart boards and student will look up videos from the Internet related to slavery. Students will use inquiry-based instruction to answer higher learning questions. -The strategies listed are fitting for middle school students. It will allow them to be actively engaged allowing students to have a positive experience

Cooperative Learning- Students will work together to learn from one another. Students will learn critical thinking skills, communications skills, and problem solving skills/ Students will be in groups of two or more students.

Classroom Discussion- Students will take turns discussing a subject to see their knowledge of the subject and get a grasp on the concepts

Integrating Technology in the classroom- students will search the Internet for videos, throughout the course on slavery, abolitionist, stories, and maps.

Inquiry-Based Instruction- students will be given thought provoking questions this will allow students to think for themselves and become independent learners

Graphic Organizers- students will summarize the information in a concise manner using flow charts, and or Venn-diagrams.  This will help students to organize the information in their minds.

Modeling- Students will be shown how to complete an assignment by the teacher modeling it. Students will understand what they are supposed to do.

Check for Understanding- (CFU) –If students are unable to move forward or understand the lesson, the teacher will then create a formative and or summative assessment for checks and balances to ensure that students understand the lesson therefore allowing the student to complete the lesson.

Standards: The Core Curriculum of the School District of Philadelphia is aligned to the Pennsylvania Department of Education Standards Aligned System. The standards include instruction on the following topics; literacy, social studies, history and technology

 

 

Reading/Literature

CC.1.2.6. B, CC.1.2.6. G, CC.1.2.6. J, CC.1.2.6. K, CC.1.3.6. A, CC.1.3.6. G

Writing

CC1.4.6 B, CC.1.4.6.C, CC.1.4.6. D, CC.1.4.6. E, CC.1.4.6 F. CC.1.4.6 H, CC.1.4.6. T, CC.1.4.6. U
History and Social Studies

CC.8.5.6-8. A, CC.8.5.6-8. B, CC.8.5.6-8. D, CC.8.5.6-8. G, CC.8.5.6-8.H, CC.8.5.6.6-8. B, CC.8.6.6-8.C, CC.8.6.6-8. D, CC.8.6.6-8. G

Classroom Activities

LESSON PLANS

OBJECTIVES:

  • The lessons will take 3-5 45 minute class periods
  • The lessons will focus on the characteristics of compassion for the slaves.
  • The lesson will have students answer supporting questions and evidence from a plethora of resources.

 

ANTICIPATORY SET

Sugar was a hot commodity during the slave trade. The slaves were used as unpaid labor to work on the sugar plantations. The lesson will have students investigate the social-economic reasons why slaves were important to the production of sugar. The lesson will assist students will understanding the impact of institutionalized slavery and free labor.

Students Will:

Read and review chapters from Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science.

Students learn about the Atlantic slave trade and how enslaved people were compelled to produce sugar cane throughout the Caribbean Islands. Surviving brutal conditions, including high mortality due to disease, injury, and overwork, enslaved people invented culture, including music, and dance

·      Complete a 4-5 sentence persuasive DO NOW paper on why slaves should not be used for unpaid labor on the sugar plantations.

·      Watch the video “A Brief History of Sugar from Slavery to Sweetener”

https://youtu.be/mn4F4yWSU3w 7:24.

FEATURED RESOURCES

Flip Book: Have students use this interactive tool to create a secret message that runaway slaves would be able to use to find the Underground Railroad.

 

Letter Generator: This interactive can be used to have students write about experiences traveling the Underground Railroad, or as a slave owner writing a letter to another slave.

 

Read,Write,Think Printing Press: Students can use this interactive tool to publish a one-page newspaper aimed at slave owners or to publish an underground newspaper for slaves.

 

 

LESSON PLANS

ANTICIPATORY SET

Lesson will focus on connecting students to the history of slavery by giving them a list of books to choose to read and have them critically examine the compassion of the slaves. Students can read fiction or non-fictions books about slavery. Students will read fiction or non-fiction books about slavery, and monitor their learning about slavery and the slave owners.

Students will:

  • Complete a DO NOW by creating a Venn Diagram using 2 hula hoops, and placing index cards with words of compassion for slaves and slave owners. Students will put information in the circles to the left and right with characteristics relating to compassion such as: emotionally connected, resilience, mindfulness.
  • Students will discuss why they placed the card in the particular area of the Venn Diagram.
  • Read a cliff note “ Incident in the life of a Slave Girl ‘ by Harriett Jacobs https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/i/incidents-in-the-life-of-a-slave-girl/about-incidents-in-the-life-of-a-slave-girl
  • Students will discuss if there was compassion between the slave girl and her master (slave owner).
  • Create Venn Diagram to help them compare and contrast the similarities and differences of compassion from the slave owners and the slave girl point of view.
  • Write in the overlapping circles shared characteristics of compassion the slaves and slave owners shared (list of compassions that are the similar)
  • Complete a reading of a non-fiction or fiction book such as (listed below), and complete a book report on what they learned about compassion from the story.

To Be a Slave by Julius Lester and Tom Feelings, (2000) “

Frederick Douglas: The Lion Who Wrote History by Walter Dean Myers and

Floyd Cooper (2017),

Incidents in the life of a Slave Girl, by Harriett Jacobs

“Olaudah Equiano ‘s Views of Slavery in his “Narrative of the Life Olaudah

Equiano”.

Heart and Soul: The Story of the America [BKM1] and African Americans by Kadir              Nelson (2013)

Lesson Plans

ANTICIPATORY SET

The lesson will teach the specificity of our lineage. When you know your family history you begin to know who you are and your genetic makeup. Genetic history is important because you learn who you are connected to from generation to generation. DNA testing contains information about who you are and where your family may have originated from. Students will learn their genetic makeup by participating in DNA testing, and completing a family tree to begin discussion with the matriarch or patriarch of the family to learn their history.

 

STUDENTS WILL:

  • Complete a DO NOW activity by filling out a family tree. They will complete as much information as they currently know. DO YOU KNOW YOUR FAMILY TREE/ https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HlI0U3OKW9Deles0d6w6zIE3-nQ4AFB8rhsXMixI5vI/edit?usp=sharing
  • Turn in the document.
  • Watch a video about DNA testing.

“What Are We? Ethnicity/DNA Results. Are We Identical or Fraternal?”

  • Get into small groups and discuss their feelings about the results of the DNA Testing. Group will have a recorder and a narrator to share out their opinions about what they learned about DNA testing
  • Homework-Complete Family Trait Chart

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1umzQLiE_2vr04_ZYhP5Mub5hct6pgTwTmIoQqAQMjBM/edit?usp=sharing

 

Preview YouTube video What Are We? Ethnicity/DNA RESULTS + Are We Identical or Fraternal?

 

Lessons will focus on students discussing “Who am I and where did I come from” A group project with the students completing their Ancestry DNA testing to determine  their  roots.

Students will create a graphic organizer (family tree) of their family with background information from their mother and father side of the family,

Students will interview their oldest person (Elder) in  their family to gather  past history.

Students will write letters to the various DNA testing companies  encouraging  financial  support.

Choices for DNA Testing

*African Ancestery.com

*Ancestry.com

*23andMe.com

“https://www.tolerance.org/educator-grants”>https://www.tolerance.org/educator-grant

– Get started at http://share.donorschoose.org/lW6v9

Students will watch videos from African Ancestry.com. to discuss the importance of learning who you are and where you come from.

Students will review and discuss the results of their DNA testing

Units may take up to several weeks to complete.  The Hard History of Slavery may need to be taught though out the school year.

Resources

Aronson, Marc, and Budhos, Maria. Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science. NewYork, 2010.

Gordon, Stewart. Shackles of Iron: Slavery Beyond the Atlantic. Cambridge, Mass, 2016

Smallwood, Stephanie. Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora. Cambridge, Mass., 2007.

Penn and Slavery Project website: http://pennandslaveryproject.org

Other recommended readings: Berry, Daina Ramey. The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: the Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation. Boston, 2017.

Owens, Deirdre Cooper, Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology. Athens, Georgia, 2017

Wilder, Craig Steven. Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities. NewYork, 2017.

Deborah Barfield Berry: “Tips to Tracing your Family History Beyond DNA Testing,” Today USA, October 18,2019

Websites

AfricanAncestry .com, https://www.africanamcestry.com/home/

– Get started at http://share.donorschoose.org/lW6v9

Teaching Hard History: American Slavery/Teaching Tolerance www.toleranc.org/framworks/teaching-hard-history/american -slavery

African in America /Part] 1: Olaudah Equiano, PBS.www.pbs.org

Underground Railroad: The William Still Story, www.pbs.org

https://www.crf-usa.org/images/pdf/Fugitive-Slave-Law-1850.pdf

https://hsp.org/education/unit-plans/the-vigilant-committee-and-the-underground-railroad

Appendix

COMMON CORE STANDARDS

APPENDICES

Standards: The Core Curriculum of the School District of Philadelphia is aligned to the Pennsylvania Department of Education Standards Aligned System. The standards include instruction on the following topics: literacy, social studies, math, and technology.

 

ACADEMIC STANDARDS

 

READING/LITERATURE

CC.1.2.6. B Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences and/or generalizations drawn from the text.

 

CC.1.2.6. F Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in grade-level reading and content, including interpretation of figurative language in context.

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CC.1.2.6. G Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

 

CC.1.2.6. I Examine how two authors present similar information in different types of text.

 

CC.1.2.6. J Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

 

CC.1.2.6. K Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple meaning words and phrases based on grade-level reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies and tools.

 

CC.1.3.6. A Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

 

CC.1.3.6. B Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences and/or generalizations drawn from the text.

 

CC.1.3.6. D Determine an author’s purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in a text.

CC.1.3.6. F Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in grade-level reading and content, including interpretation of figurative language in context.

CC.1.3.6. G Compare and contrast the experiences of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what is “seen” and “heard” when reading the text to what is perceived when listening or watching.

CC.1.3.6. I Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple meaning words and phrases based on grade-level reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies and tools.

WRITING

CC.1.4.6. B Identify and introduce the topic for the intended audience.

CC.1.4.6. D Organize ideas, concepts, and information using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts; provide a concluding statement or section; include formatting when useful to aiding comprehension.

CC.1.4.6.C Develop and analyze the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples; include graphics and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

CC.1.4.6. E Write with an awareness of the stylistic aspects of composition.
• Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

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  • Use sentences of varying lengths and complexities. • Develop and maintain a consistent voice.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.

CC.1.4.6. F Demonstrate a grade appropriate command of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

CC.1.4.6.H Introduce and state an opinion on a topic.

CC.1.4.6. I Use clear reasons and relevant evidence to support claims, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic.

CC.1.4.6.M Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events.

CC.1.4.6. Q Write with an awareness of the stylistic aspects of writing. • Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style. • Use precise language. • Develop and maintain a consistent voice.

CC.1.4.6. R Demonstrate a grade appropriate command of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

CC.1.4.6. T with guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

CC.1.4.6. U Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.

HISTORY AND SOCIAL STUDIES

Standard Area-CC.8.5: Reading Informational Text: Students read, understand and respond to informational text-with emphasis on comprehension, making connections among ideas and between texts with focus on textual evidence.

Standard – CC.8.5.6-8. A- Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

Standard – CC.8.5.6-8. B-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.

Standard – CC.8.5.6-8.C-Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).

Standard – CC.8.5.6-8. D-Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

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Standard – CC.8.5.6-8. E-Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).

Standard – CC.8.5.6-8. F-Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).

Standard – CC.8.5.6-8. G-Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Standard – CC.8.5.6-8.H-Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text. Standard – CC.8.5.6-8. I-Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on

the same topic.
Standard – CC.8.5.6-8. J-By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts

Standard – CC.8.6.6-8. A-Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content. • Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. • Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources. • Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. • Establish and maintain a formal style. • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

Standard – CC.8.6.6-8. B-Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes. • Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. • Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples. • Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts. • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone. • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented. Note: Students’ narrative skills continue to grow in these grades. The Standards require that students be able to incorporate narrative elements effectively into arguments and informative/explanatory texts. In history/social studies, students must be able to incorporate narrative accounts into their analyses of individuals or events of historical import. In science and technical subjects, students must be able to write precise enough descriptions of the step-by-step procedures they use in their investigations or technical work that others can replicate them and (possibly) reach the same results.

Standard – CC.8.6.6-8.C-Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

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Standard – CC.8.6.6-8. D-With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.

 

Standard – CC.8.6.6-8. E-Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.

 

Standard – CC.8.6.6-8. F-Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self- generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

 

Standard – CC.8.6.6-8. G-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 – CC.8.6.6-8.H-Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis reflection, and research.

Standard – CC.8.6.6-8. I-Write routinely over extended time frames (time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline- specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

 

 

Sample Parent Letter

 

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

 

We will be learning about the Hard History of Slavery over the course of the school year.  This subject can be difficult for some students.  It may cause students to become sad, angry, and frustrated. We will be learning all about the Atlantic and Transatlantic slave trade, Slavery in Philadelphia and Abolitionists who supported freedom for the enslaved.

 

As we come to the end of our lessons, students will have a group project called “Who am I and where did I come from.” Through learning the truth about slavery, I want  the student to get a DNA  ancestry test to help them learn  their ancestry history.  I believe students will be excited to learn about their family background.

 

We are going to need your permission and support in taking the test in school. Your son or daughter will have to use a cotton swab and put spit on it or spit into a tube. The results will be sent to your home or the school.

 

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 215 4007640.

 

 

I give my permission for my son/daughter_________________________________ to participate in the DNA testing and share my results with the school.

 

 

 

I do not give my permission for my son/daughter____________________________ to  participate in the DNA testing.

 

 

 

Thank you for your continued support.

 

 

Donna Butler-Jones, Counselor, M.Ed