Catching Runaway Slaves

Students will consider point of view and historical facts when responding to a text-dependent prompt and article about the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

By Mr. Capuzzi
August 28, 2017
11th Grade History

Writing Prompt

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was controversial during its time; it required that all escaped slaves be returned to their masters upon capture in free states and was called "The Bloodhound Law" by northern abolitionists for the dogs that were used to track runaway slaves.

Given the consequences set forth in the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, would you have been willing to accept the risks involved in helping runaway slaves escape? Be sure to consider your background (gender, race, and so on) and explain how this impacted your decision. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks that would have affected your decision. Think about and explain how each aspect of your life would play into your decision-making process. Support your answer with details from the article, as well as ideas of your own.  

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11th Grade Literacy Standards in History/Social Studies

This lesson teaches the following grade level appropriate state literacy standards. The cubes provide an abbreviation of the standard name and reference number. Click Add to My Lesson Plans to make a copy of the lesson. Making a copy will allow you to update any information including the literacy standards.

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.
Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.
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