Engage your students in exploring the critical events of the 1850s that fostered greater sectionalism through this case study activity grounded in primary sources. Six cases are prepared for students to explore: (1) Caning of Charles Sumner; (2) the Dred Scott decision; (3) the Fugitive Slave Act; (4) John Brown’s Raid; (5) Bleeding Kansas; and (6) publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. With each case, a brief overview is provided along with four primary sources; each source has accompanying questions to enhance critical thinking. Using these sources, students will assess who or what is to blame for escalating tension in that particular case. This is a great activity to aid students in document analysis, argument development, and overall preparation for responding to document-based essay questions.
Product includes basic lesson plan, six cases, student information retrieval chart, and optional exit ticket.