ERIC Number: ED442131
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Perspectives on the Slave Narrative. [Lesson Plan].
This lesson plan introduces students to one of the most widely-read genres of 19th-century American literature and an important influence within the African American literary tradition today. The lesson focuses on the "Narrative of William W. Brown, An American Slave" (1847), which, along with the "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" (1845), set the pattern for this genre and its combination of varied literary traditions and devices. To help students recognize the complex nature of the slave narrative, the lesson explores Brown's work from a variety of perspectives. Students first consider the narrative as a historical record, examining episodes that describe the conditions Brown lived through as a slave. Next, they examine it as a work of literature, investigating the rhetorical techniques Brown uses to shape his experiences into a story. Third, students consider the work's political dimension, weighing the arguments that Brown presents as an abolitionist spokesman and the degree to which his narrative should be treated as political rhetoric. Finally, students approach the narrative as an autobiography, a work of self-actualization in which Brown charts a spiritual as well as a literal journey to freedom. To conclude the lesson, students produce an essay explaining how Brown's narrative challenged the prejudices of white readers in his own time and how it challenges prejudices today. The lesson plan also contains the subject areas covered in the lesson, time required to complete the lesson, the skills used in the lesson, the grade level (9-12), and lists of the standards developed by professional or government associations that are related to the lesson, as well as activities to extend the lesson. (RS)
Descriptors: Autobiographies, Black Literature, High Schools, Language Arts, Lesson Plans, Racial Discrimination, Slavery, United States Literature, Writing Assignments
For full text: http://edsitement.neh.gov/lessonplans.html.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.; Council of the Great City Schools, Washington, DC.; MCI WorldCom, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: N/A