Lesson

Putting Together History – The Life of Robert Smalls

Lesson Overview

  • Part of this activity is based very loosely on the game Mastermind
  • This activity is designed to be completed in small groups, but could be modified to be completed by individual students.
  • Each group will be assigned a time period of Robert Smalls’ life that must be researched. Each time period is labeled with a specific title, indicating a chronological period. (1.While Still in Bondage, 2.The Events that Changed Robert Small’s Life, 3.Robert Smalls’ Service for the United States during the Civil War, and Reconstruction)
  • Students/groups are given a series of facts that are mixed up and in no specific order. The only hints they are given are the titles of the sectioned facts, and the number of facts which go with each chronological period.
    • While Still in Bondage (10 facts)
    • The Events that Changed Robert Small’s Life (12 facts)
    • Robert Smalls’ Service for the United States during the Civil War, and Reconstruction (11 facts)
  • Students/groups will be asked to complete five tasks: 1)Research the time period assigned, 2)Determine the facts that go with their assigned time period and place the facts in the correct chronological order, 3)Research and find a historical picture that represents the assigned time period, 4)Create an interactive photograph, using the site Thinglink, that allows students to infuse the facts into the photograph creating an immersive teaching experience. And finally, . . . 5)Write a compelling three paragraph response/reflection paper that explains Robert Smalls’ contribution to society, both on a national and local level, the significance of the group’s chosen photograph and the significance to Robert Smalls and the time period, and lastly, what we can learn from Robert Smalls that can be applied today.

Duration
3-4 hours
Lesson Type
1:1 Lesson

Grade(s):

Subject(s):

Other Instructional Materials or Notes:

4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

English Language Arts

Additional Activities:

Study the map of the Charleston Harbor drawn by US engineers for the Union army in 1863.  Other than the forts that defended the harbor, how did the Confederacy attempt to defend the harbor from Union forces?  Why would Robert Small’s service on vessels blockading Charleston Harbor be of invaluable help to Union forces?

Research the SC constitution of 1895. Considering the SC constitution of 1895, and the rights that were taken from blacks, were the accomplishments of Robert Smalls all in vain?  Write a well-developed argument (minimum of 20 sentences) explaining and defending your position.

 Design a tombstone and write an epitaph for Robert Small’s headstone which summarizes his character and/or the values he cherished.

 

 

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Standards

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