Perfect for Women’s History Month or American history, this packet is complete with activities that look at Prudence Crandall and her famous school for “misses of color” in 1830s America. In this packet, students learn about Prudence Crandall’s heroic struggle through poetry by Elizabeth Alexander and Marilyn Nelson in Miss Crandall’s School for Young Ladies & Little Misses of Color.
At a time when ladies were not even allowed to attend town meetings, Prudence Crandall stood up to an entire town in rural Connecticut in order to teach young African-American girls in her boarding school. Her fight, one that even pitted Crandall against the Connecticut State Legislature as well, is chronicled in this 47-page poetry book written by a Yale professor and a former Connecticut poet laureate. Alexander and Nelson have written twenty-four poems about Crandall’s extraordinary courage to fight for the rights of others.
This packet goes along with the book (if you don’t have a class set, you can purchase one copy online or through the Prudence Crandall Museum at 860-546-7800). Included are a double-entry template for the poems with a corresponding answer key for each poem, a vocabulary handout with matching answer key, poetry writing prompts and a poetry rubric. Also included are PowerPoint vocabulary presentations in the ExC-ELL Vocabulary format for poetry and literary terms. An additional bonus is the field trip scavenger hunt (with answer key) for the Prudence Crandall Museum in Canterbury, Connecticut.
These activities are scaffolded and differentiated: teacher decides on groupings for reading the poems and analyzing the text, and decides the extent to which the text will be explored. The whole class might read together or small groups might work together, presenting analyses to the class as reading continues. Vocabulary worksheets can be divided by groups and definitions can be supplied to differentiate. Teacher can also adapt the poetry rubric according to student need.
Duration depends on teacher objectives: usually one to two weeks, or more if students are responsible for coming up with their own working definitions. Since each poem can be read individually, teacher might even choose to use a select few of the poems if less time is necessary.
Kid tested, teacher approved. Yours from Paradise Unlimited New England!