This is a cross-curricular language arts/social studies lesson for Grades 7-9. Students read a moving 425-word public-domain excerpt from The Autobiography of Mark Twain (see Preview) which explains Twain's initial views on slavery when he was a boy and how his mother altered that one day.
This is followed by significant vocabulary work on ten words in the passage (definitions, synonyms and antonyms, context, analogies) and a selection of five analysis and interpretation questions on the passage. Answers provided.
**It is best if your students have some background knowledge of the history of slavery in the US and Mark Twain before beginning this activity.**