Looking for a strong female voice on Abolition, Equality, and Feminism in the Civil War Era? You have found the right lady. Meet Mary Ann Shadd Cary, a kick butt African American female abolitionist, lawyer, writer, and activist who deserves to be spotlighted and studied in every Civil War unit. This lesson allows students to do a CLOSE READING analysis on one of her speeches, a sermon she delivered in 1858 in response to the Fugitive Slave Act. This lesson bundle has two different close reading approaches (one reading comprehension, the other Historical thinking) then activities and writing prompts to choose from.
Cary was one of the most outspoken and articulate female proponents of the abolition of slavery of her day, and also promoted gender equality for all people. Mary Ann Shadd was born in Wilmington, Delaware in October of 1823. The oldest of 13 children, Mary was raised in a family dedicated to the abolition of slavery and her childhood home often served as a shelter for fugitive slaves. In 1850 with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, Mary Shadd and her brother Isaac emigrated from the United States to Canada along with scores of other African Americans who believed Canada offered better and greater opportunities. In 1853, Mary founded Canada's first-antislavery newspaper, the Provincial Freeman. This weekly publication encouraged blacks to emigrate to Canada. Cary lectured widely in Canada and the United States to increase subscription and to publicly solicit aid for runaway slaves, at great risk to her own personal welfare. The dynamic young female editor was known as "The Rebel" to her family and friends. When Civil War broke out, Shadd Cary returned to the U.S. to recruit black soldiers for the Union Army. She will go on to obtain a law degree, at age 60, from Howard University, becoming the 2nd black woman in America to do so.
This lesson allows students to CLOSE READ one of her speeches (sermon) from 1858, which calls for gender equality and abolition, as well as resistance to the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act.
- Background information reading with text dependent questions
- Close Reading documents of her 1858 sermon (Reading Comprehension lens)-- Gist, Ethos/Pathos/Logos, Message.
- Close Reading documents (Historical Thinking lens) of her same 1858 sermon
- Meet Mary Ann Research sheet (Visual learners, to do before or after the Close Read to bring her to life)
- Two essay prompts to choose from- one with an analysis question, the other argumentative (make a claim).
If you are interested in STATION ROTATIONS for your students to learn about Mary Ann Shadd Cary as they move through stations, plus read short excerpts of a variety of her works, then check out Mary Ann Shadd Cary Station Rotations Lesson in my store.
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