People who helped abolish slavery

People who helped abolish slavery

I can explain how different people took action to abolish slavery.

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People who helped abolish slavery

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In this lesson, students will learn about slavery and the role abolitionists, including Samuel Cornish, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman, played in ending slavery. There is a worksheet for students to jot down notes about each abolitionist covered in the lesson (on the title slide).

Learning objective

Students will be able to explain how different people took action in a combined effort to abolish slavery.


Students will discuss what they already know about slavery. They will also look at an image of a slave memorial and discuss what life might have been like for slaves. Students will read about how and why slavery began, as well as what slaves did. They will also read about abolitionists and highlight important details.


Students will turn and talk about what it must have been like to be an abolitionist. They will learn about four abolitionists and wrote jot down notes in their note catchers. First, they will read about Samuel Cornish, a free black man who founded the first African American newspaper in the United States, Freedom's Journal. They will read about William Lloyd Garrison, who started his own newspaper, The Liberator. Its purpose was to educate people about the cruelty of slavery. Next, they will read about Frederick Douglass, a freedman who was inspired by William Lloyd Garrison's newspaper to speak against slavery at church meetings. They will also read about Harriet Tubman and all of her contributions to abolish slavery.

After that, students will discuss what they notice about two images of safe homes and slave quarters. They will watch a video about Harriet Tubman to learn some more about her.


Review abolitionists with 10 true/false questions.


Have students recall what they learned about slavery and abolitionists. They will Spin the Wheel activity to share what they learned about each abolitionist in this lesson. They will also write a short paragraph about each abolitionist and draw a picture that depicts what slavery was like.

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