Overview: Students will use prior content knowledge about slavery to discriminate between an example and non-example of slavery while building on a working definition of slavery. The mentor text, The People Could Fly, is used to identify examples of internal and external conflict. This text will also be the foundation for a writing assignment that focuses on the wish-fulfillment motif and character’s motivation.
Time Needed: one 45-minute class session, then time to develop (draft, revise, edit) the piece of writing.
Writing skills (traits) to stress while teaching this lesson:
- Idea Development (writing with a clear theme or topic in mind; putting researched ideas into one's own words)
- Voice (conveying passion towards the topic; and making accomodations for the one's audience)
- Sentence Fluency & Word Choice (using a variety of sentence types, sentence beginnings, and figurative language)
- Students will describe the motivation for a character’s actions.
- Students will identify the internal and external conflict in the story.
- Students will draft a narrative demonstrating an understanding of character development and motivation. (Wish-fulfillment Motif)
- Students will explain why slavery was introduced into colonial America.
- Students will explain how the interactions among Africans and Europeans during colonial American resulted in unique economic, social, and political institutions.
- Play the PowerPoint slideshow: Slavery, Yesterday and Today.
- Have students write their definition own of slavery and a paragraph on how they personally feel about slavery. Students need to use details to support their opinion.
- Display the dictionary's definition of slavery. Have students check their definition and make adjustments.
- Show the example and non-example of slavery (freedom). Discuss these in groups.
- Read aloud The People Could Fly.
- Have students discuss the mentor text questions and share as a class.
- Pass out the Pre-write graphic organizer. Inspired by the mentor text, students will develop a piece of writing around one of these topics:
- Think of a time when you have felt powerless. If you had a magical power, what power would you have and how would it solve your problem.
- Think of a group of people that are vulnerable or powerless. Give them a magical power and explain how that would solve their problem.