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Slavery and the Making of AmericaPicture of slave women cultivating a village garden in Central Africa, Courtesy of the University of Virginia Library
Time and Place Slave Memories Resources The Slave Experience

K-12 Learning
Intro Historical Fiction Primary Sources Lesson Plans Virtual Museum Credits
Lesson Plans
Elementary Middle School High School
These high school lesson plans help teach students about the statistical story of slavery, as well as how slaves used various kinds of knowledge to resist, survive and succeed during the time period of slavery.
High School
Slavery by the Numbers: Using United States Historical Census Data to Research Slavery in the United States

Grade Level: 9-12

Subject Area: United States History, Social Studies, Geography
Topic: Using Online U.S. Census Data.


The U.S. Constitution requires that a national census be taken every ten years; U.S. census takers have done so since 1790. Historians have found census data to be an extremely important resource for identifying population shifts and trends. The online United States Historical Census Data Browser allows the user to select specific census categories and allows users to find data at the county level, when that data is available.

In this online activity, students will locate statistical information related to SLAVERY AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA using census data from the United States Historical Census Data Browser.

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Knowledge is Power: Knowledge and the Slave Community

Grade level: 9-12

Subject Area: History, Social Studies
Topic: How different types of knowledge are gained, used, and passed on.


In this lesson students will examine "knowledge" and the slave community: what constitutes "knowledge," how it is gained, and how it is passed on to others. Prior to viewing selected episodes from documentary series, students will discuss the difference between "education" and "knowledge," giving examples from each category based on their own experiences. Students will then view the documentary and discuss the various types of "knowing," including skills and work-related knowledge, literacy, knowledge of the land, and human relations. Students will study selected online documents that touch on different aspects of knowledge possessed by slaves. For a culminating activity, students will construct a game show in which contestants will be queried on different topics related to slavery in America.

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