Read Kansas! Middle School - M-11 Dispute Over Slavery in Kansas Territory
This lesson can apply to Kansas or United States history. It focuses on the dispute over slavery in Kansas Territory. The students will use two pieces of persuasive writing from the period (primary sources) to understand the views of proslavery and antislavery settlers. By comparing and contrasting to gain information, the students will write a persuasive ending to the antislavery document. The lesson is designed to take two class periods but can be adjusted to meet individual class schedules.
To view a PDF of the front and back, click on the card.
7th Grade Kansas History Standards:
- Benchmark 2, Indicator 2: The student describes how the dispute over slavery shaped life in Kansas Territory (e.g., border ruffians, bushwackers, jayhawkers, the Underground Railroad, free-staters, abolitionists).
- Benchmark 2, Indicator 3: The student analyzes the importance of “Bleeding Kansas” to the rest of the United States in the years leading up to the Civil War (e.g., national media attention, caning of Senator Charles Sumner, emigrant aid societies, Beecher Bible and Rifle Colony).
7th Grade Reading Standards:
- Benchmark 4, Indicator 14: The student identifies the author’s position in a persuasive text and describes techniques the author uses to support that position (e.g., bandwagon approach, glittering generalities, testimonials, citing statistics, other techniques that appeal to reason or emotion).
Common Core Reading:
- RH.6-8.6: The student identifies aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
7th Grade Writing Standards:
- Benchmark 4, Indicator 12: The student uses language that is appropriate for persuasive writing and easy for the audience to understand (Word Choice: prewriting, drafting, revising: N,E,T,P).
Common Core Writing:
- WHST.6-8.1(a-e): The student writes arguments focused on discipline-specific content.