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Teacher: Jared Kaltwasser

Lesson Title: The Americo-Liberians: When Colonists Headed East Across the Atlantic

Class / Grade: Global Studies II / 9th Grade

Central Focus: Students will examine black history through a global studies context by
exploring what happened when African-Americans decided to return to Africa and form
their own democracy there. Students will consider how the Americo-Liberians, though they
shared a common ancestry, were different from the West Africans in what became Liberia.
They will probe the consequences of colonialism, imperialism, and forced relocation.

Student Learning Goals / Objective(s):

Identify at least two motivations that led former American slaves to found the
country of Liberia
Summarize how tensions between Africans and Americo-Liberians led to conflict and
political instability

Academic Standards (NJPST, NJCCCS, others):

NJSLS 6.2.12.C.3.e Compare the impact of imperialism on economic development in

Africa, Asia, and Latin America regarding barriers or opportunities for future
development and political independence.
NJSLS 6.2.12.B.3.a A
ssess the impact of imperialism by comparing and contrasting
the political boundaries of the world in 1815 and 1914.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a
primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or
ideas develop over the course of the text.


Formal (Summative):

Tandem Writing Activity - Students will divide into partners, one of whom will read an excerpt
from the point of view of Liberian colonizers; the other will read an article from the point of view
of native Africans in Liberia. Then, partners will debate the issue of whether it was right for
former slaves to return to Africa and form a country. Partners will write, paragraph by paragraph,
expressing the point of view they read.

Informal (Formative)

Video Debrief - Students complete a short Google Forms Quiz to gauge understanding of video.
Discussion - Cold call a few questions to ensure students can clearly enunciate motivations behind
move to Liberia.
Instructional Strategies and Learning Tasks (Procedures)

Launch (Opening, Anticipatory Set) -- 5 minutes: Students arrive, pick up Agenda packets for the day,
and free write in response to this question: If you were starting a new country what would you call it and
what aspects of America would you bring with you?

Instruction (Procedures) -- 10 minutes:

1. Instructor asks for 2-3 volunteers to share their Do Now responses. Instructor explains that today well
be talking about Black History Month by talking about some Americans who actually did start their own
2. Two students read days objectives aloud for the class.
3. Instructor plays video: From Abe Lincoln to Ebola: A Short History of Liberia. Students follow along by
writing down three facts that intrigue them.
4. Instructor asks students video comprehension questions to ensure they understand motivations of
Liberian founders but also the concerns of locals. (10 minutes)

Structured Practice -- 15 minutes:

1. Students take out laptops and navigate to quiz, which will be in a Google Form with a shortened URL.
2. 10-question quiz will be designed to gauge video comprehension, but also allow students to do Internet
research (for instance, Whats the capital of Liberia? If students dont know, they can look it up in
another tab.)
A. One quiz question will ask students the distance (via air travel) from Norfolk, VA, to Monrovia,
Liberia in order to give students a sense of just how far Joseph Jenkins Roberts and other Liberian
founders traveled. To complete this, theyll need to use Google Maps.
3. Instructor leads first three questions as a class, then students work individually.

Closure -- 15 minutes:
1. Students pick a partner. One person is Liberian Founder Joseph Jenkins Roberts. The other will be a
native West African in what became Liberia.
2. Students create a Google Document and share it with each other, so that both students are working
simultaneously on the same document.
3. Students debate the logic and appropriateness of American blacks returning to Africa to start their own
country. Debate will be in written format, with one partner writing a paragraph, then the other partner
responding below. This continues until class ends, with at least three paragraphs required per side.
4. Students share document with instructor to turn it in.

Support for Accommodations and/or Modifications

Video captions and printed transcript of video with key information bolded.
One-to-one computer assistance as needed.
Google Doc with hints for students completing Google Forms video quiz. For instance, doc
contains a hyperlink with the Google Maps query already performed.
Option to complete debate on paper instead of computer, with sentence-starters provided.
Students who finish early can use internet research to complete a worksheet probing Abraham
Lincolns views on Liberia/segregation.

Materials / Use of Instructional Technology:

Teacher Materials: Create and/or print agendas, Lincoln worksheet, online Google Forms quiz, and
accommodation materials (transcript, Google Doc with hints). Prepare smartboard slides and links.

aptops and documents

Student Materials (Include Adapted Materials for Differentiated Instruction): L
mentioned above.

Homework / Assignment for Next Class: S hare dialogue/debate with instructor. Ensure
document is in complete sentences and free of spelling/grammar errors.