Slavery and Freedom: Frederick Douglass, Tom Sawyer, and Huckleberry Finn
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No American issue has proved as divisive as the issue of slavery. When the Founding Fathers stated that "all men are created equal," that phrase came with a caveat that excluded a large portion of the citizens of the United States. It took reformers like Frederick Douglass, who boldly declared the evils of slavery he had lived through, to awaken American into action. The result was a conflict that tore the country apart. Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage so effectively captures the reality of a Civil War battle. Even after the Civil War, racial equality has still not been achieved. Writers like Mark Twain tried to make Americans aware of their lingering prejudices through satire.
"LIFE ON A SOUTHERN PLANTATION" This worksheet gives vivid, real-life accounts from the lives of real slaves living in the South before the Civil War.
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS (SALE ITEM) This three script-story collection dramatizes the narrative of Frederick Douglass as well as two African-American folktales, "The People Could Fly" and "Tales of Brer Rabbit." For a free preview click here.
ROMANTICISM VS. REALISM ASSIGNMENT This activity asks students to think about a series of topics first romantically then realistically. This helps them understand the difference between Romanticism and Realism in literature.
THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE SCRIPT-STORY COLLECTION (SALE ITEM) Penning the ultimate novel of the Civil War, Stephen Crane takes us into the mind of a soldier. The Red Badge of Courage portrays one youth’s struggle against himself as he fights his first battle. Because of its psychological realism, the novel still resonates with young readers today. This two-script adaptation is perfect for teachers who need an engaging way to exposure their students to the events of the novel. For a free preview, click here.
"THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER" SCRIPT-STORY (SALE ITEM) This script-story adapts just a few scenes from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Tom's famous whitewashing the fence scene gives students a taste of Twain's humor and sets up the relationship between Tom and Huck before they read Huckleberry Finn.
HUCKLEBERRY FINN SCRIPT-STORY COLLECTION Ernest Hemingway stated that all modern American Literature began with Huckleberry Finn, yet this classic has repeatedly come under fire. This collection of six script-stories adapts the novel to make it easier to understand for students. Since they are read aloud scripts, all instances of racist language have been eliminated. The deeper themes of the novel remain however. For a free excerpt from "Huck Finn: Part I" click here. In my own classroom I use these script-stories in conjunction with the three excerpts from Huck Finn listed below.
"THE WRECKED STEAMBOAT" FROM HUCKLEBERRY FINN This reading passage is excerpted from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and can be used in conjunction with the Huckleberry Finn script-stories available for download on this site. (Warning: This excerpt contains examples of racist language from the time period.)
"THE SHEPHERDSONS AND THE GRANGERFORDS" FROM HUCKLEBERRY FINN This reading passage is excerpted from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and can be used in conjunction with the Huckleberry Finn script-stories available for download on this site. (Warning: This excerpt contains examples of racist language from the time period.)
"AN EPISODE FROM ARKANSAS" FROM HUCKLEBERRY FINN This reading passage is excerpted from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and can be used in conjunction with the Huckleberry Finn script-stories available for download on this site. (Warning: This excerpt contains examples of racist language from the time period.)
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SEARCHING FOR AMERICA: VOLUME FOUR, SLAVERY AND FREEDOM
How do you teach classic American literature and great moments in American history in a meaningful and impactful way? Searching for America takes some of America's greatest works of fiction and non-fiction and adapts them into Reader's Theater script-stories. Let your students live the excitement of classic texts like The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, African-American folktales, The Adventure of Tom Sawyer, and The Red Badge of Courage. Then allow them to design a video-game-style fighter based on a fictional character with Clash of the Characters, a tournament to see who has the mightiest fists in all of fiction.
Each script-story in this collection is approximately 30-50 minutes and intended for use with students from 6th-12th grade. A 2-page teacher guide complete with background information, summary, recall questions, teachable terms, and discussion questions accompanies each script. Click HERE to find out more!