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Name of Teacher Candidate: Katelyn Hester

Date: 10/13/14
Length of Lesson: 40-50 minutes
Grade Level: 5th
Name of Social Studies Lesson: If I Were a Slave
Social Studies Core Curriculum Objectives:
Social Studies Standard 1: Distinguish between the rights and responsibilities held
by different groups of people during the colonial period.
Common Core Objectives (ELA or Math):
Writing Standard 1: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of
view with reasons and information.
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson
Paper to write their paragraphs on and draw their pictures

3-5 minutes

This lesson takes place at
the end of the weekly unit
on slavery in the United
States. The students have
already learned why there
was slavery in the U.S.
and how it started. This
lesson will focus on the life
of slaves before abolition
and add on to what the
students have already
learned about slavery.

Students are sitting at
their desks currently. Have
students quietly come up
to the front of the room
and sit down ready to hear
a story.

Have students come sit at

the front of the room on
the carpet. Conduct a
think-pair-share where
students think about what
they know about slavery
and then share what they
know with a partner. After
they pair share each
group will then share with
the rest of the class what
they already know about

Pair students up for the

think pair share by
pointing at two children at
a time and telling them
that they are partners.
Teacher will walk around
and listen to each pair as
they discuss what they

1. Write the following
words on the white
board and ask students
to help you define

Students are sitting on the

rug quietly. The teacher
will remind them to raise
their hand to be called on
to answer questions and

these words :
plantation -an estate

10-15 minutes

define the vocabulary


on which crops
such as coffee,
sugar, and
tobacco are
cultivated by
resident labor.
overseer- a person
master-a man who
has people
working for
him, especially
servants or
slave-a person who is
the legal
property of
another and is
forced to obey

2. Tell students to
listen for the
vocabulary words
as you read out of
the book.
3. Tell students that
the book you will be
reading is a
historical fiction and
ask if anyone knows
what a historical
fiction book is. It is
a story that was not
real but is based on
true events. Tell
them that the
author of the book
is African American
and combined
different stories of
his own family to
create this book
about the history of
African Americans
in America. Explain
to students that the
person telling the
story is not real but

The teacher will sit down

on a chair in front of the
students and expressively
read the story to the
students and show them
each illustration related to

15-20 minutes

the stories that take

place really
4. Read the premarked
portions of the book
Heart and Soul: The
Story of American
and African
Americans that deal
with slavery. Stop
and ask students
questions you read
that are written out
on sticky notes in
the book and define
some of the words
in the book.
pg. 7: Who do you think is
telling the story? (an
African American
pg. 15: What do you
notice about the boy in
the illustration?
Pg. 16-17: What do you
notice about this
illustration of the slave
ship? What does it make
you feel?pg.18: What did slaves not
have a right to?
pg.21: What would
happen when African
Americans fought against
being slaves?
pg. 23: What do you think
lined their pockets
pg. 23: Does anyone know
what the word justify
pg. 23: Why would the
southern white folks
justify that the African
Americans enjoyed being
5.After reading the
portions of the story
have students think
about what they learned
about the lives of

African Americans in
slavery. Have a few
students share their
responses out loud.

2 minutes

6.Tell students that they

will now write a one or
two paragraph narrative
about how they would
feel if they were a slave
and why they would feel
that way.
7.Explain to students that
after they write their
paragraph(s) they need
to draw a picture to go
with their paragraph(s).
8.After students have
written and drawn their
responses have
students share with a
partner what they have
written and drawn.

Closure: How will you

close this lesson with your
Have a couple students
answer the question
What did you learn about
slavery today? Then tell
students that slavery of
course did not last forever
and in the next few weeks
they will learn how slavery
1. What went well during
my lesson, and why did
it go well?
My lesson went
extremely well considering
I had never taught an
entire fifth grade class
before. I went in and

Students will walk quietly

back to their desks, get
out a pencil, and the
teacher will pass out the
papers to the students for
them to write and draw
The teacher will walk
around the room helping
students with their
assignment and assessing
how well students are
doing the assignment.

The students will stay at

their desks and the
teacher will walk around
the room as they close the

talked a lot with the fifth

grade teacher and her
student teacher about
what I could do in my
lesson to engage the
students and get them
motivated. They both
gave me the topic of
slavery to teach on
because they are doing a
unit on slavery and the
students are so intrigued
by it and some are almost
obsessive with learning
every single little fact
about it that they can. I
decided to find a historical
fiction book on slavery to
get them excited and
interested. The book I
found was perfect! The
book was told from the
perspective of an African
American grandma talking
about her family history.
She shares the story of
her grandfather who was a
slave kidnapped in Africa
and brought to America
and sold. She talks about
what it was like for him
growing up and the way
she shares the story is
interesting and very fifth
grade appropriate.
My lesson took on the
role of a text-talk and the
questions I previously
thought out worked so
well with getting the
students engaged in the
text and also in
formulating their own

questions. They had a lot

of background knowledge
on slavery from their
teacher so they already
knew some of the content
I read to them but hearing
it in the form of a story
really made them think
about how the slaves were
people and the thoughts
and feelings they had
about the situation they
were forced or born into.
This made the students
start to think about how
they would feel if they
were forced into slavery
and what they would try
to do about it. As they
wrote about how they
would feel if they were a
slave I could tell that
having read them a
historical fiction book that
was told in a personal way
made them think more
deeply about what they
were writing about. Their
writings show just how
deeply they thought about
the content and it is
amazing to see their
thoughts and feelings. I
have attached pictures of
some of the writings to
show you a sample of how
well it went.
2. What could I have
done differently during
my lesson?
My lesson seemed to
go very well but there

were a couple things I

definitely could have done
differently. The first thing
is knowing what my
students already have
learned before I teach the
lesson. From talking with
their teacher I had a
pretty good idea of what
they already had been
taught but there were a
couple things I should
have clarified that they
had previously learned. I
did not know where they
exactly were when it came
to slavery, abolition, and
the civil war and I stopped
right before abolition
which is exactly where
their teacher had stopped
the day before. The
students were so
enthralled with the story I
was reading them and
they were highly
disappointed when the
last sentence I read said
something about abolition
but then I did not go any
further. Their teacher then
had to get up and do a
short spiel about abolition
and the civil war and while
the students needed it, it
was a little distracting
from the point of my
lesson. If I were to do this
lesson again I would have
waited until the students
had a little more
knowledge about how the
slaves got their freedom
so that they were more

focused on slavery itself

and not wondering how
they got their freedom.
This would allow them to
focus more on the point of
thinking about how they
would feel if they were a
I also had the students
sit on the floor for the
majority of the lesson and
while sitting on the floor
does not seem like a bad
thing for fifth graders it is
nearly impossible with the
set up of the classroom I
taught my lesson in. The
classroom I taught in is a
technology based
classroom. This means
that the tables in the
classroom are bolted to
the floor and have
computers on top of them
that are impossible to see
around or walk around the
room efficiently. If I had
the students sit at their
desks as I read they would
not be able to see the
beautiful illustrations in
the story or pay as close
attention due to
distractions. Instead I
chose to have them sit on
the floor in front of me
while I sat on a stool. This
allowed them to see the
illustrations better but at
the same time the
students were sitting
practically on top of each
other or curving around

almost behind one row of

desks so I had to hold the
book out far in front of me
for those students to still
see. It was very
uncomfortable for
everyone. If I were to do
the lesson again I would
definitely want to do it in a
classroom that has a
better set up than the one
I taught it in!
3. Was my objective met,
and how do I know?
My objectives were:
Writing Standard 1- Write
opinion pieces on topics or
texts, supporting a point
of view with reasons and
information; and Social
Studies Standard 1Distinguish between the
rights and responsibilities
held by different groups of
people during the colonial
period. My main question
for the students was How
would I feel if I were a
Slave? I could definitely
tell that those objectives
were met by what the
students wrote down and
drew in their assignments.
A lot of students
wrote about how they
would miss their family
and hate having to work
out in the fields all day
long with the fear of being
whipped. Some also wrote
about how they would
want to fight, run away,
and, even more
dramatically, kill
themselves. They wrote
about how no one should

ever be the property of

another human being
because people are not
like cattle. They also drew
pictures of what they felt
life would be like if they
were a slave and their
pictures help support their
opinion of what it would
be like if they were a
slave. It is amazing how
detailed a lot of their
writing is and their
responses amazed me. I
have included pictures of
ten students assignments
as a sample of what was
I recorded the students
learning by going over
their written and drawn
responses with their
teacher and student
teacher. Their teacher
decided that this
assignment would be one
for points and told the
students that they would
be graded on this
assignment and it would
go on their report card.
This caused the students
to do their best work
because they wanted to
get a good grade. Going
over the papers with their
teachers helped me
assess how well the
students did because I had
no idea what level they
were at before. This
allowed me to give my
input on how well I
thought they did and
combine it with how well
their teachers thought
they did. We recorded
their learning in their
teachers gradebook.

Adaptations: Most of the students in the class are on about a second or third
grade reading and writing level so their paragraphs will not have to be as detailed
or as long as one would expect from those at a fifth grade reading and writing level.
A few of the students are mid-level English proficient and for them I will help more
during the writing portion and discuss with them the vocabulary words. Early
finishers will be able to pull out their library books and read. Those who are slow
starters will be able to finish their writing and picture during free work time the next
Integration: This lesson is integrated into writing as they are required to write their
own response. It is also integrated into listening as students have to listen to me
read parts of the story to them. The lesson also could be technologically advanced
by having students type their responses on their computers since each of them
have a computer at their desk. I also could use the Elmo or document camera to
show the illustrations in the book on the projector.

If I Were a