This four page lesson is a brief biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe, who lived from 1811 to 1896. When Stowe visited plantations in Kentucky, she saw slavery in action, and it upset her. She never forgot what she saw and her hatred of slavery deepened. She became an abolitionist and a supporter of the Underground Railroad. After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, Stowe decided to write about the evils of slavery. The result was her influential book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which stirred the feelings of many Americans and fueled the abolitionist movement. It also contributed to the developing divide between the Northern and Southern states.
After about a page and a half of informational text, there are 12 multiple choice questions. Reading comprehension skills tested include making inferences, recognizing causes and effects, drawing conclusions, making a generalization, and identifying details. Vocabulary taught includes abolitionist, effect, Fugitive Slave Law, novel, revised, secede, segment, and Underground Railroad. The fifth page is the answer key, plus you get two public domain pictures -- one of Harriet Beecher Stowe and another of her with President Abraham Lincoln. This lesson can serve as a great reading comprehension and vocabulary builder as well as a helpful prep for standardized reading tests. You can also use it as supportive resource for studying the Civil War or for a literature resource. You can also use it for Black History Month and/or Women’s History Month. It will most likely encourage positive classroom discussion.