This lesson focuses on the scathing rebuke of slavery that Thomas Jefferson included in his original draft of the Declaration of Independence. This passage did not survive negotiations in the Continental Congress. Class discussion reveals both practical and ideological reasons that it did not. Then, students are challenged with the dissonant information that Jefferson, who so adamantly opposed slavery, was a slave owner. After learning how Jefferson justified this contradiction to himself, students speculate about how history might have been changed if the passage was included, decide which parts of Jefferson’s opinion on the matter were correct or incorrect, and vote on whether to retain or reject the passage.
Note – This product requires projection.
INCLUDED IN THIS PRODUCT:
• Deleted passage from the original Declaration of Independence.
• Additional revealing quotes by Jefferson
• Complete discussion guide
• Teacher background information
• Common Core Standard alignment
For Other Compelling Lessons on the Issues of Slavery and Racism Consider:
SLAVE SHIP SIMULATION - COMBINED MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL LEVELS
THE SLAVE TRADE: PHOTO IMAGES OF AFRICAN SLAVERY
CULTURE, DIVERSITY, EQUALITY, PREJUDICE, AND TOLERANCE
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