- Describe several ways in which blacks attained freedom prior to the Civil War.
- Name restrictions placed upon free blacks and the dangers they encountered prior to the abolition of slavery.
- Discuss the details of Peyton Polly’s family’s tough road to freedom.
- Explain why the governor of Ohio tried to rescue the Polly children after they were kidnapped.
- Describe reasons why free blacks bought members of their own families as slaves.STANDARDS Common Core/English Language Arts Standards for History/Social Studies:- Key Ideas and Details:
- Grades 9-10: RH.9-10.2. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text. Grades 11-12: RH.11-12.2. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
- Grades 11-12: RH.11-12.3. Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.- Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:
- Grades 11-12: RH.11-12.7. Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
- Grades 9-10: RH.9-10.9. Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources. Grades 11-12: RH.11-12.9. Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.National Standards for History Basic Education United States History Content Standards for Grades 5-12
- Era 4: Expansion and Reform (1801 to 1861):
- Standard 3B: The student understands how the debates over slavery influenced politics and sectionalism. Therefore the student is able to:
- Analyze how the debates over slavery--from agitation over the "gag rule" of the late 1830s through the war with Mexico--strained national cohesiveness and fostered rising sectionalism.Historical Thinking Standards for Grades 5-12
- Standard 1: Chronological Thinking: The student thinks chronologically. Therefore, the student is able to:
- Reconstruct patterns of historical succession and duration in which historical developments have unfolded, and apply them to explain historical continuity and change.MEDIA COMPONENTSVideo:Finding Your Roots, Episode 9, selected segmentsAccess the video segments for this lesson at the Video Segments Page.Clip 1: “Wanda Sykes’s Free Black Ancestors in the 1850s” A look at the lives of Wanda Sykes’s ancestors in the 1850s and how a marriage certificate proves their free status.Clip 2: “Wanda Sykes’s Free Ancestors in the 1600s and 1700s”A look at how Wanda’s black ancestors became free in the 1600s.Clip 3: “The Story of Peyton Polly”A look at how John Legend’s ancestor, Peyton Polly, attained his freedom.Clip 4: “The Story of Peyton Polly’s Children”The story of the kidnapping of Peyton Polly’s children and their journey back to freedom.Clip 5: “Fighting for Freedom”An overview of how the Revolutionary War helped slaves attain their freedom.Websites:For use in Learning Activity 2:
This document is a message from Governor Dennison of Ohio in 1860 about the kidnapping of members of the Polly family from Ohio in 1850.
This article describes justice given to members of the Polley (also spelled “Polly”) family 162 years after their ancestors were kidnapped.MATERIALSFor the Class:Computer, projection screen, and speakers (for class viewing of video clips).PREP FOR TEACHERSPrior to teaching this lesson, you will need to:Preview all of the video segments used in the lesson. Prepare to watch them using your classroom’s Internet connection.Bookmark all websites you plan to use in the lesson on each computer in your classroom. Using a social bookmarking tool such as del.icio.us or diigo (or an online bookmarking utility such as portaportal) will allow you to organize all the links in a central location.Proceed to Lesson Activities.