Slavery In the Antebellum South: Varying the Learning Process with Primary Sources
This learning activity engages students in an analysis of multiple primary sources relating to slavery in the antebellum South from the Library of Congress. It is tiered to accommodate different levels of student comprehension and ability, and to guide students of all learning levels to higher-order thinking.
After completing this learning activity, students will be able to:
- articulate the differences in social, economic, and legal status of slaves in the antebellum South
- speculate why the institution of slavery existed
- identify some of the arguments offered by 19th century abolitionist and pro-slavery groups
Two class periods
Recommended Grade Range
Slavery of African-Americans
Social Studies/ History
McREL 4th Edition Standards and Benchmarks
United States History
Standard 12. Understands the sources and character of cultural, religious, and social reform movements in the antebellum period.
Understands perspectives that influenced slavery in the antebellum period (e.g., changing ideas about race, the reception of proslavery and antislavery ideologies in the North and South, arguments used to defend slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries)
Activity adapted from a lesson plan developed by Courtney Kisat, Teaching with Primary Sources Program at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
Download this Learning Activity (PDF, 1.75 MB)