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Civil War Abolitionists with Charleston Stage

Civil War Abolitionists
through Drama
Charleston Stage
James Simons 5-6th grade


Reading for Informational Text:
• Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas or concepts in a historical . . . text based on specific information in the text.
• Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly . . . .
• Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

• Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information
• Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly
• Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
• Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work . . . .
• Write routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes and audiences.

Duration, Purpose*, Teacher Procedures, Student Activities

Day 1: Activate Prior Learning/Pre-Assessment

• Review concepts from previous grades on slavery
• Ask: Why does freedom mean to you?
• Using the give one get one strategy students will exchange ideas with their classmates. We will then share their ideas as a class.
• I will tell students they will be learning about a woman named Sojourner Truth who was an advocate for women’s rights and an abolitionist.
• Students will respond to writing prompt: “Using your previous knowledge on Sojourner Truth, write a one paragraph autobiography of your life including your feelings, struggles and accomplishments
• Students will watch a short video clip that gives biographical information about Sojourner Truth on Discovery Education.

Day 2: Skill Development

• Read the speech, “Ain’t I a Woman”
• Discuss what was happening during the time period and what prompted Sojourner to write the speech.
• Ask: How would you feel if you were not given equal rights to someone of the same race or gender?
• Students will watch the famous speech “Aint I a Woman” from discovery education.
• After listening to the speech, they will receive a copy and they will respond to the following writing prompt: What is Sojourner Truth trying to say in her famous speech? They will analyze the primary source to understand its meaning.

Day 3: Guided Practice

• Introduce Timeline Poster
• Model how to sequence important events and discuss how this activity relates to the research project on Sojourner Truth.
• Students will create a timeline of their life beginning with birth date, adding at least (3) additional important events in their life. This will be added to their timeline posters that they will share with the people at their group.

Ongoing: Independent Practice/Closure

• The Teacher and Media Specialist will support students as they research important historical events of Sojourner Truth from birth to death.
• Students will use a variety of resources to research important events of Harriet Tubman
• Students will research at least (10) historical events to include on their timeline.
• Students will use index cards to write historical events and sequence events. They will add these events to their timeline.


*Students will write a three paragraph autobiography (in first person) including at least five historical facts that they have learned about Sojourner Truth’s life.

*Activate Prior Learning/”Hook”, Skill Development, Guided Practice, Closure, Independent Practice

ELE Partner Presentation Plan

Overall Duration: 5 days in school PLUS field trip to performance at Dock Street Theatre


January 25th
Duration: 2 –30 minute presentations

• Introduce students to theatre, color blind casting, using quotes
• inspire strong research projects
• Present expectations for attending performance at Dock Street and creating their own
• Introduce actor’s tools voice, body imagination

Presenter Procedures:
• Actors presented a short performance piece based on facts about Sojourner Truth.
• Discussed how piece was created and introduced idea that students would have the same opportunity based on their research work

Student Activities:
• Audience/Observers

Teacher Role:
• Observe, encourage, share topic for student research
• Frederick Douglass, Sojoutner Truth, Harriett Tubman


February 6th
Duration: 4-45 minute classes

• Fact Finding-collect details students researched about their historical figure
• Introduce Stage Picture using ‘level’ ‘angel’ plane’
• Introduce solo voice vs. group voice
• Review actor’s tools voice, body imagination

Presenter Procedures:
• Show example of desired Stage Picture
• Divide students into 4 smaller groups, each working with CS staff

Student Activities:
• Working with CS present 3 facts using frozen picture
• Re do by adding a quotes from figure in solo, or group voice
• Advanced groups add song/dance

Teacher Role:
• Confirm fact accuracy
• Observe, encourage help with management where needed


February 13
Duration: 4-45 minute classes

• Review actor’s tools voice, body imagination
• Add on to previous lesson using timeline format
• All groups add movement in the form of dance

Presenter Procedures:
• Divide students into 4 smaller groups, each working with CS staff
• Each group given a section of timeline to create
• Work shared in chronological order –creating basis for performance

Student Activities:
• Working with CS present a portion of timeline of the assigned historical figure using skills from previous lesson and adding transition skills

Teacher Role:
• Observe, encourage, help with management where needed


February 20th
Duration: 4-45 minute classes


• Stage final script

Presenter Procedures:
• Introduce script created by CS staff based on previous class work
• Stage as a short performance piece
• Introduce role and responsibilites of director

Student Activities:
• Work as actors in a blocking rehearsal
• Students were assigned lines and blocking

Teacher Role:
• Notate line assignment
• Observe, encourage, help with management where needed
• Review script and performance with students prior to next visit


February 27th: Students and teachers will attend performance of A Woman Called Truth at the Dock Street Theatre featuring the staff that worked in the school.


March 6th
Duration: 2- 1 hour session


• Review performance piece
• Present for another class

Presenter Procedures:
• Run rehearsal
• Side coach as needed during performance
• Provide and run music used for performance

Student Activities:
• Use the actors tools; vice, body and imagination to share a living timeline of figure researched.
• Memorize short lines, including quotes from figure
• Move and work collaboratively in limited performance space

Teacher Role:
• Observe, encourage, help with management where needed