K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

  • Students will analyze primary sources from the Documenting the American South collection.
  • Students will be able to identify some positives and negatives of the Great Awakening on race relations in America.
  • Students will write a “sermon” or persuasive essay for or against religion eliminating slavery and racism.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

90 minutes

Materials/resources

Technology resources

Pre-activities

Students should be familiar with the first and second Great Awakenings. The teacher should assign reading and teach the students about such events as camp meetings and revivals, and such people as George Whitefield, Lyman Beecher, Charles Finney, Jonathan Edwards, among others.

Activities

  1. Students should be taken to the Documenting the American South website.
  2. Students should examine specific pages of the following primary source documents from the website:
  3. Have the students answer questions from the Primary Document Question Sheet as they read the primary source documents.
  4. After reading the required pages and answering the questions, the students should also take the time to review race relations during the 19th century and the Great Awakening. Considering the historical context of these documents as well as what the documents themselves reveal, the students should make a chart of the positive and negative aspects of religion and the Great Awakening on race relations between whites and blacks.
  5. The students will then write a three paragraph persuasive essay (sermon), taking the role of a Southern itinerant preacher during the Great Awakening, arguing for or against religion as a cure for the social ills of slavery and racism. In the essay/sermon, the students will have to use evidence from both of the primary sources studied. The students will also have to make at least three arguments for or against religion as a cure for the social ills of slavery and racism.

Assessment

  • Qualities of essays earning an A: Thorough presentation of arguments using both of the primary sources from Documenting the American South. The sermon is in historical context. Includes at least three major arguments for or against religion as a cure for the social ills of slavery and racism.
  • Qualities of essays earning a B: Good presentation of arguments using one of the primary sources from Documenting the American South. Includes at least two major arguments for or against religion as a cure for the social ills of slavery and racism.
  • Qualities of essays earning a C: Adequate presentation of arguments using one of the primary sources from Documenting the American South. Includes only one major argument for or against religion as a cure for the social ills of slavery and racism.

Supplemental information

Comments

This lesson plan was created at the 2004 Documenting the South Summer Writing Institute and made possible through funding provided by NC ECHO, LEARN NC, the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education, and the UNC-Chapel Hill library system.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • History/Social Studies

        • Grades 11-12
          • 11-12.LH.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
          • 11-12.LH.6 Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • United States History I

        • USH.H.1 Apply the four interconnected dimensions of historical thinking to the United States History Essential Standards in order to understand the creation and development of the United States over time. USH.H.1.1 Use Chronological thinking to: Identify the...
        • USH.H.4 Analyze how conflict and compromise have shaped politics, economics and culture in the United States. USH.H.4.1 Analyze the political issues and conflicts that impacted the United States through Reconstruction and the compromises that resulted (e.g.,...
        • USH.H.5 Understand how tensions between freedom, equality and power have shaped the political, economic and social development of the United States. USH.H.5.1 Summarize how the philosophical, ideological and/or religious views on freedom and equality contributed...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 11–12 — United States History

  • Goal 2: Expansion and Reform (1801-1850) - The learner will assess the competing forces of expansionism, nationalism, and sectionalism.
    • Objective 2.06: Evaluate the role of religion in the debate over slavery and other social movements and issues.