This is an excellent activity for a GATE class or other high achieving students. It can be done as a whole class or in small groups inside a computer lab. Students are given 10 short primary sources (3 sentences to 2 paragraphs) and a set of thought provoking questions that go along with each primary source. After discussing the ideas presented, students rank the events along a continuum (high to low racial tension). Students will be forced to re-evaluate their positions and beliefs about the Antebellum South.
This helped my students understand the nuances of slave treatment and gain a further understanding of the antebellum south. There are examples of abuse and there are examples of great kindness. This activity challenges students to think deeper than any secondary source.
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