Slave Narratives

Using this lesson plan, students will examine oral histories with former slaves (“the slave narratives”) collected by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s, to gain an understanding of what life was like for African Americans in slavery and following emancipation in the 19th century. Lesson activities include a group analysis of two FWP narratives using a 5W graphic organizer, and a creative writing exercise constructing a narrative based on the life of an individual mentioned in one of the attached slave sale documents, incorporating relevant details gleaned from reading the FWP narratives.

Creator: Arkansas State Archives

Grades: 5-8 Middle School; 9-12 High School

Time period: Civil War Through the Gilded Age 1861-1900

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