Hey fifth graders! Welcome to week four of at home learning! As always, I am suuuuuper proud of all the amazing work you’re doing, and I so badly wish we could be learning in person together.
Remember how last week I said that I wished we had more time to learn about the abolitionists? Well… we do! Per many students’ requests for more projects and research, we are extending last week’s learning into this week. Woohoo!
This week for reading and social studies, you are going to research an abolitionist! You can pick any abolitionist you want, and I’ll give you a few lists to choose a name from. Follow this project outline to create your research project. This week is a little bit of a different set up: read this entire blog post on Monday, before you begin your project. This will help you to get a clear idea of what is expected of you this week.
Step One: Choose an Abolitionist
You may choose any abolitionist you would like to learn more about. Last week, we learned about Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass. You may continue to research one of these people, or you can find a new person to research. I would love for you to pick someone new who I don’t know much about!
There is one person you might want to choose who I don’t want you to research, because he already gets a lot of attention in the dominant narrative. Any guesses?
Maybe you guessed it: Abraham Lincoln. While many people might believe that Abraham Lincoln ended slavery, there were sooooo many people who fought for this to happen for a long time before President Lincoln jumped on the bandwagon. So for the purposes of revealing counter narratives, I’d like for you to research someone new.
Here are some lists to choose from:
- 24 Black Abolitionists, from the Zinn Education Project & adapted by Newsela
- Illustrated List of Abolitionists and Anti-Slavery Advocates, AmericanAbolitionists.com
- this list is huuuuuuge and includes so many names!
Once you’ve chosen the abolitionist you want to research, email your teacher to let them know who you’ve chosen.
Step Two: Research!
Start researching your abolitionist. The first place you will want to start is Newsela. Search the name of your abolitionist and see if any articles come up. I know that they have articles specifically about Harriet Beecher Stowe, the Grimke Sisters, John Brown, Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, William Lloyd Garrison, and Frederick Douglass (and probably more!). If you chose a less common name than what’s on this list, it may be a little harder to find some information, but you can do it!
You are required to read a minimum of two articles (or books, if you can find them) about your abolitionist. Write down the names of the articles and some short notes on what you learn from each article.
Here are some questions to guide your research (you do not need to have written answers to each of these questions! they are just to help you)
- Who is this person? Were they male, female, white, Black, enslaved, free, poor, wealthy, etc.?
- Where did this person grow up? What was their childhood like? What years were they alive?
- How did this person fight back against slavery? (this is a big question! this is what makes this person an abolitionist!)
- Was this person part of an anti-slavery societies, or did do their work outside of these official societies?
- Who agreed or disagreed with this person’s methods of abolition?
- Why is this person important?
Step Three: Publication
To publish your research, you are going to collect five household items that each symbolize something different about your abolitionist. These should be items you already have in or around your house. You do not need to purchase anything.
Item #1: their childhood
Item #2: the people closest to them
Item #3: how they resisted slavery
Item #4: their opposition (who was against them?)
Item #5: their legacy (how should we remember them?)
Collect each of these five items and put them into some kind of container with their name, birthday, and death day on it. For example, you can decorate a cardboard box, a gift bag, a paper bag from the grocery store, etc.
Write one paragraph explaining each item and how it symbolizes the abolitionist. Include these paragraphs inside your paper bag with the items.
When you have all of this assembled, you’re ready to present your research! See the rubric for options on how to present/submit your research.
- student contacted teacher with name of abolitionist on or before Tuesday 4/28
- student read at least two books or articles about the abolitionist and recorded names of the articles in a bibliography
- student thoughtfully chose five items to symbolize the abolitionist
- student wrote five well developed paragraphs, one explaining each item
- student placed all objects and writing inside a bag or box with the abolitionist’s name, birthday, and death day on it
- project shows student’s best effort
- student submitted their work to their teacher via any of the following options: live presentation to the class via Zoom (check in with your teacher about this option), video of student presenting the project, or photos of project (if you choose photos, make sure you show every part of your project)
Your project is due on Friday, May 8th.
You have two weeks to work on this project, but starting next week you’re going to have more Newsela articles to read and less time to work on the project, so my suggestion would be to do all the work that you can this week! Turn your project in early if you can.
Need Help? Want to Learn Together?
Ms. Green will be available on Zoom to help all fifth graders at the following times:
- Monday 4/27 at 10am: project introduction and answering any questions
- Tuesday 4/28 at 1:00pm: read aloud! learn about an abolitionist with me!
- Thursday 4/30 at 1:00pm: read aloud! learn about another abolitionist with me!
- Thursday 4/30 immediately following read aloud: open office hours to help with anything you need
Check your learning plan for the info you need to join the sessions!
That’s it! Please let me know if you have any questions, and know that we miss you and love you very much!