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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Antebellum America (1816-1860) (x)
  • Item Type > Teaching Activity (x)

We found 14 items that match your search

Gender, Sex, and Slavery

In this activity students read about slavery's effect on women from the perspectives of an enslaved woman and a plantation mistress. Then students create a dialogue between the two women.

Exploring Slave Life Through Found Poetry

In this lesson students look at primary source images and read short secondary texts to understand slave life.  In the activity, the teacher models and students practice differentiating between different types of text (primary, secondary, etc.) [...]

Telling the Whole Story: Irish Americans in Five Points

In this activity students gather and analyze data from the 1855 census of the Five Points neighborhood. Students compare stereotypes of Irish immigrants with evidence from the census. Then students compare their census research with other primary [...]

Reformers versus Residents in Five Points: A Role Play

In this activity students learn about the religious, class, and ethnic tensions between reformers and residents in the working-class Irish immigrant neighborhood of Five Points. Students research roles of a Protestant reformer and two Irish women [...]

Farm vs. Factory: Citing Evidence

This activity asks students to analyze three primary documents about the experiences of young women who worked in textile factories in New England during the 1830s and 1840s. It provides worksheets to guide and support students in writing a [...]

Neighborhood or Slum? Snapshots of Five Points, 1827-1867

In this activity, students look at census records from antebellum Five Points and compare them to depictions of the neighborhood and its residents. Students will evaluate whether observers described Five Points as a neighborhood or slum. The [...]

To Strike or Not to Strike in 1830s Lowell: A Role Play

In this activity students perform a role play of a talk show between Lowell workers and factory owners. To research their characters, students analyze primary sources. This activity is used to teach with the film Daughters of Free Men, but can be [...]

Active Viewing: Daughters of Free Men

In this activity, students watch short clips of the ASHP documentary Daughters of Free Men to learn about the experiences of Lowell mill girls in the 1830s. Students follow the life of Lucy, a young girl working in Lowell in 1836. After each clip, [...]

Understanding the 1855 Census Database

This activity helps students navigate and make sense of the information available in the Five Points census database. In the activity, students use the database to test hypotheses about life and residents in the Five Points. For this activity, [...]

Slavery: Acts of Resistance

In this activity students compare an excerpt of a WPA interview with an ex-slave with a more famous statement by Frederick Douglass to arrive at their own interpretations of slave resistance. This lesson is designed to work with the film Doing As [...]