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Jefferson and Slavery

Jefferson and Slavery

Author: Beth Barsness
  1. Students will practice the skill of critically reading and evaluating primary sources.
  2. Students will understand that doing history means reevaluating what we already “know” when confronted with new sources.
  3. Students will have a fuller understanding of the complexities of race relations in America in the period of the establishment of the Republic (approximately 1776-1800).

Goals of this lesson are to develop historical inquiry and critical reading skills, as well as an understanding of the historical struggle between slavery/racism and liberty.

Length of time needed:  1-2 class periods (50 minutes each)

This lesson was written by Richard Rosivach.

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Lesson Plan

This lesson plan can be downloaded to your computer as a PDF document. If you would like to edit this document for your classroom needs, go to the "Handouts and Materials" section and click on the corresponding link.


Source: Rick Rosivach

Handouts and Materials

The following files can be downloaded to your computer:

Lesson Plan (Word document)

Notes on the State of Virginia [Excerpts] (Word document) 

Jefferson Writing Assignment (Word document)


Article: “The Trouble with Thomas Jefferson”

Source: Rick Rosivach