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10th grade African American History

5th period
50 minutes
Reclaiming Our History
Day 5
Any historical event can be described many different ways depending on the
perspective and motivations of the person describing it. In order for students to be
bought-in to learning history, they must understand why it is important to them and
how it can be used to maintain or resist oppression. Students have already explored their
personal history and how and why racialized oppression happens and for whose benefit.
In this lesson, we will analyze how history is used for political reasons and we will
introduce how it has impacted current racial disparities.
Enduring Understandings
- Students will understand that history is subjective and can be used for political
- Students will understand that the way history is told impacts society.
- Students will understand that American society has race-based disparities.
- Students will know that when they read a historical narrative they must be critical
about who is telling it and why.
- Students will know that there are still tremendous inequalities amongst races in
this country.
- Students will know that the way history is taught is motivated by political and
economic reasons.
- Students will be introduced to different perspectives on an African American
related event.
- Handout of quiz on racial disparities in terms of economics, politics, social and
resources. EdChange Equity and Diversity Quiz.
- Handouts of two different versions of slavery
o Excerpt from 12 Years a Slave.
o Excerpt from Frederick Law Olmsteds Journeys and Explorations in the
Cotton Kingdom.
- Four sheets of paper with Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly
Disagree written on them and taped to different corners of the room.
- Opener: Non-graded pop quiz, Minutes 1-10
o Give students EdChange Equity and Diversity Quiz.

o After 5 minutes, read aloud each question and ask for people to shout out
answer. Then give the correct answer.
Review two articles given for homework: 11-15
o Ask them to take out the two readings and if anyone had any questions
about the readings. Any questions about vocabulary, context or content?
o Ask for two volunteers to give a quick summary of each reading. Flesh out
anything that they missed
Group Discussion of two articles: minutes 16-35
o Separate students into groups of 4-5. Have them sit in a circle.
o Each group gets a handout with the following questions and they are asked
to discuss them:
What event were the readings talking about?
How were the two readings different?
Who do you think was telling each one?
Why do you think they were so different?
What do you think the reader would believe about the event if they
had only read the first one? The second one?
How might someone have a different opinion of ______ if they
had only read the first one? The second one?
Closure: Agree/Disagree Activity: minutes 36-50
o Explain Agree/Disagree Activity (they already did it at the beginning of
I read aloud a statement and they stand in corner where sheet is
posted of either: Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly
After they have moved to their place, ask for one student from
each corner to explain their reasoning.
o Read aloud the following statements:
Learning ones history is important.
The history that we are taught influences our society.
People teach one version of history for political reasons.
History is taught in a certain way in order to benefit someone or
some group of people.
History can be used as a tool to maintain oppression or to fight
against it.
I have the ability to act to change injustices in our society.
America is a land of opportunity and everybody has an equal
chance to succeed.
Different oppressed racial groups share many similar experiences.
The way history is taught and the content taught impacts the racial
inequalities (that we saw from the quiz).
It should be mandatory for Philadelphia Public Schools to teach
African American History.

o For students who find the material too challenging:

The only real challenge that I can foresee is with comprehension of
the two historical readings. For this reason, before they go into
groups I answer any comprehension questions they have and have
them give a summary of each one.
o For students who need a greater challenge and/or finish early:
Since almost the entire lesson is group and activity based, most of
the time the students should be engaging with their peers or
moving around the room. The only possibility I foresee is if one of
the groups finishes their discussion questions before the others. In
this case, I will go over to the group and ask them the questions
and other related questions. This way they can continue their
discussion at a deeper level.
The main assessment in this lesson plan and the unit as a whole (since this is the
final lesson of the unit) is the closing Agree/Disagree activity. At the very beginning of
the unit they do the exact same activity. The only difference is that I add on the last two
questions about racial inequality and African American History. The statements that I
read are directly related to the Essential Understandings of the unit plan and thus I will be
able to tell whether their understandings have evolved from the unit. I add the last two on
because they are just being introduced to these topics in this lesson and I will do this
activity again much later in the year to see whether those understandings have
progressed. I can also assess their understandings from monitoring their group