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Great Paradox: A look at how our founding documents protected slavery
Students will engage in an interactive guided tour learning about the free and enslaved people who lived and labored at Marietta, a tobacco plantation. The special focus of this field trip is on how the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution protected slavery and shaped the lived experiences of multiple enslaved generations. Two activities especially designed for these grades are integrated into the 95-minute visit. In-class pre-visit and post-visit lessons are included.
Students exam the Bill of Rights in a group activity to see how civil and human rights are outlined in the first amendment. This activity illustrates how the Bill of Rights affected enslaved people’s pursuits for freedom. After reviewing the preamble of the U.S. Constitution, students can think like a founder! Students will dissect the language of the preamble and discuss what it meant for enslaved people. Students get to use a feather pen and sealing wax to finalize their amendments to the U.S. Constitution!
- Founding of the New Government (1776-1791)
Unit Enduring Understandings: Nations are constructed and governed through compromise and conflict.
Topic: United States Constitution
– Students will identify the specific language and goals in the Preamble of the Constitution
Topic: Ratification and the Bill of Rights
– Students will assess key language and the impact of phrases of the Bill of Rights to draw conclusions about civil and human rights protections
From Enslavement to Freedom: Duckett Family Found in Primary Sources
Students engage in an interactive guided tour learning about the free and enslaved people who lived and labored at Marietta, a 19th century tobacco plantation. The focus for this field trip is on how to use primary sources to discover the history of the people who lived and labored at Marietta and how they lived immediately after the U.S. Civil War. The Duckett family was enslaved at Marietta for over three generations, and they settled in D.C. and Alexandria, VA after Emancipation. Students use authentic documents from census records, maps, tax records, wills, and court records to connect the Ducketts to life after the Civil War.
- Topic: Using Primary Sources
Students will identify data in U.S. Census records, tax records, photographs, maps and newspaper articles.
Topic: Historical Thinking Skills
Using inductive reasoning students will use data they collect to build a brief family narrative about the formerly enslaved Duckett family freed from Marietta by 1865.