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Abolition of Slavery


Social Studies  


7, 8, 9, 10  

Media Construction of Social Justice

Unit 1: Abolition of Slavery

Slide Lesson: Arguing For Freedom


Grade/subject area: 7-10


Lesson Objectives:

Students will learn the history of the abolition movement in the United States

Students will learn to analyze documents for key media literacy concepts relating to audience, authorship, and representation

Students will reflect on how arguments for and against slavery were depicted in the media of the time


Abolition, abolitionist, George Washington, Eli Whitney, cotton gin, king cotton, Frederick Douglass, North Star, Abraham Lincoln, emancipation, Civil War, Union army, Quaker, Freedom’s Journal, David Walker, William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator, George Thompson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Nat Turner, Dred Scott decision, C.L. Remond, Robert Purvis, Fugitive Slave Law, underground railroad, John Brown, Harper’s Ferry, Henry “Box” Brown, Emancipation Proclamation, Thirteenth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Fifteenth Amendment, slave narratives, Harriet Tubman


Lithograph, magazine illustration, poster, book frontispiece, book illustration, trading cards, newspaper front page, computer screen grab, advertisement, book cover, textbook pages, oil painting, mural

Materials Needed:

19 slide PowerPoint Slide Show 1/Lesson 1/U1-L1 PPT.ppt

38-page Teacher Guide 1/Lesson 1/U1_L1 Teacher Guide.pdf

Two-page Student Reading 1/Unit 1 Student Reading.pdf

One-page Student Assessment 1/Lesson 1/U1_L1 Assessment.pdf


50 minutes to two hours, depending upon how quickly the teacher moves through the slides

Lesson Procedures:  All Materials available at

  1. 1.       Review How To Use These Materials in the Introduction to the Kit
  2. 2.       Have students read the two-page Student Reading in class or for homework
  3. 3.       Introduce the lesson using information in the Teacher Guide.
  4. 4.       Using the Background Information and Questions in the Teacher Guide, lead students through decoding the slide documents. The Teacher Guide includes Possible Answers to model student application of key knowledge through evidence- based analysis. For more information on leading a decoding lesson, see the kit Introduction
  5. 5.       Add Additional Information and Further Questions where appropriate
  6. 6.       Administer the Student Assessment


Lesson Plan Source:  Project Look Sharp a media literacy initiative at Ithaca College

FREE Curriculum Kits at



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