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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Unit

Curriculum Tie:


 

Summary:
Throughout this unit on Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, students practice the same six skills with greater scaffolding and modeling at the beginning, and more independence toward the middle and end. The tasks include: 1. writing to an essential question to access background knowledge; 2. using context clues and root words to determine word meaning; 3. close reading with the aid of a glossary; 4. taking notes one of two graphic organizers (sequence of events and/or empathy map); 5. re-reading to answer text dependent questions; and 6. summarizing the chapter.

Main Curriculum Tie:
English Language Arts Grade 7Reading: Literature Standard 1
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Materials:

Attachments

Background For Teachers:

Note to Teachers
Throughout this unit, students practice the same six skills with greater scaffolding and modeling at the beginning, and more independence toward the middle and end.   The student tasks for each chapter include

  1. writing to an essential question to access background knowledge;
  2. using context clues and root words to determine word meaning;
  3. close reading with the aid of a glossary;
  4. taking notes one of two graphic organizers (sequence of events and/or empathy map);
  5. re-reading to answer text dependent questions; and
  6. summarizing the chapter.  

Additional explanation about each of these tasks can be found in the “Chapter Structure” section below.  If your students are unfamiliar with the characteristics of autobiographical writing and irony, you may want to pre-teach these concepts, as they are included in the chapter work.  At the end of the unit are a number of performance assessment tasks.  If you choose to have students write to one of the assessment topics, I recommend giving them the topic at the onset of reading, so they can take notes and collect evidence as they read. 

It is not imperative that students complete all of the tasks for each chapter.  In fact, it may be useful to explicitly teach one or two skills per chapter and continue to incorporate them as group or partner tasks until students are ready to move toward greater independence with the skills.  Use your professional judgment as to which tasks are most appropriate for your students, and what order is most useful.   The amount of scaffolding needed will depend on your context.  However, according to the CCSS it is important that students move toward independent reading of increasingly complex text.  The scaffolding tools provided at the beginning of this unit are removed toward the end of the unit in service of independence.   

Chapter Structure

  • Pre Reading
    • Vocabulary-It is important to help students become independent and self-sufficient in determining word meaning, especially in complex text.  For that reason the vocabulary in the glossary for each chapter is used in three different ways: if the word is underlined context clues may be used to determine definition; if the word is bolded the root of the word may be used to determine definition; otherwise, the definition is provided in student friendly language.  Manipulate the glossary for each chapter so students are required to determine the meaning of words with context clues and familiar roots.  NOTE: The words defined in the glossary for each chapter were chosen with language learners in mind.  It is important that you choose vocabulary that is appropriate for your students.  DO NOT feel it is necessary to include ALL of the words for each chapter in your student glossary.  
    • Write to essential question:  Writing to an essential question before reading allows students to activate their background knowledge, which aids in their comprehension of complex text.  When students have a limited amount of time to make connections with the content it increases both their motivation and their learning. 
  • During Reading
    • Empathy Map Graphic Organizer: As a genre, memoirs include an incredible amount of emotional reflection. Because it can be difficult for students to grasp the significance of this type of reflection, the Empathy Map is included as an optional task.  To compete the Empathy Map students jot down what the narrator or other characters “say” or “do” while they read, and then use that information to determine what the narrator or characters “think” or “feel”.  It may be useful for students to draw connecting arrows from what the narrator or characters “say” or “do” to the correlating inference about what the students conclude narrator or characters “think” or “feel”.  Students can also identify emotion words in the text and add that information to the “feel” column.  

Ultimately, the Empathy map is meant to help students see the narrator as a multidimensional character and to learn to understand others’ perspectives.  Additionally, the Empathy map aids students in close reading to make inferences and draw significant conclusions.

    • Sequence of Events Graphic Organizer: This task will help students to identify concrete events in each chapter, as opposed to narrator reflections.  Distinguishing between the two will support students as they write summaries. 
  • Post Reading
    • Summary:  Summary writing is one of the most effective strategies to aid comprehension of complex text.  Students can use the Sequence of Events Organizer and Empathy Map notes to write their summaries.  Communicate the importance of including the most significant events of a chapter AND the most significant realizations or understandings of the narrator.  Both are critical aspects of autobiographical writing.
    • Text Dependent Questions:  Students should reread specific parts of the text to answer the text dependent questions.  These types of questions require that students use evidence from the text to support their answers, thereby ensuring that students are reading closely and carefully to justify their thinking.  It is recommended that students are guided in a close reading or work in groups or pairs to answer TDQ’s in the first few chapters rather than being asked to answer them independently.   

SCAFFOLDED TASK SEQUENCE:

  • Students write to the essential question; discuss responses as a class
  • Teacher read words from the glossary aloud while students whisper read, so that students hear the pronunciation of unfamiliar vocabulary.
  • Read Chapter I aloud to students, or switch readers every few paragraphs.  All students should follow along silently, tracking with their finger or bookmark as they read.
  • Students refer to the glossary as they read to remind them of definitions of unfamiliar words. 
  • During reading, stop to add information to the empathy map, so students can see how to delineate what belongs in each domain. 
  • During reading, stop to ask questions about words with clear context clues or roots (bolded or underlined in the glossary). Model for students how to use context clues and roots to determine word meaning.  Identification of words with context clues or roots are removed from the glossary by chapter 4 so students can work to use identify word meanings more independently. 
  • After completing the reading, add the concrete events in the chapter to the Sequence of Events graphic organizer. 
  • Refer back to the text and reread as necessary to answer text dependent questions.  Scaffold students in answering questions at the beginning of the unit with class discussions and pair share conversations. 
Use the Empathy Map and Sequence of Events note sheets to complete a summary of the chapter. 

Instructional Procedures:

CHAPTER 1
Note to Teachers: To adequately scaffold students in their reading of this complex text, it is recommended that the work for the first chapter be completed as guided or whole class activities. Additionally, students should have opportunities to read parts of the chapter multiple times. With each task, students may need to refer back to the text to reread or pull evidence directly from the text.

Essential Question: Is family history important in shaping a person’s identity? If so, how? If not, why not?

Write to the EQ: What do you know about your family history? How does this history affect your identity?

Glossary: If the word is underlined context clues may be used to determine definition; If the word is bolded the root of the word may be used to determine definition.

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4

deprived-lacking
inquires-questions
deemed-believed
impertinent-disrespectful
parentage-parents
means-ways

blunt-dull
inevitable-unavoidable
duration-period of time
contrary-opposite
seldom-rarely
recollect-remember
tidings-notification
intimation-hint
odiousness-hatefulness
ordained-ordered
invariably-always
mistress-female owner
disposed-likely

mulatto-biracial with one white  
       parent and one black parent
deference-respect
flesh mongers-slave traders
dictate-order to do
ply-use
partiality-favoritism
multitudes-crowds
statesmen-politicians
prophecy-prediction
lineal-familial
ushered-lead
cudgel-club or stick
barbarity-cruelty
joist-beam in ceiling

exhibition-display
conjecture-assumption
infernal-fiery
amid-among

Empathy Map Example:

Complete the Empathy Map as you read the chapter. Underline the emotion words from the text in the Douglass Feels column.   If you add information to the Douglass Thinks or Douglass Feels columns, but it is not explicitly stated in the text write inference behind it.

Douglass Says
He doesn’t know his age, just like a horse
Slave holders want slaves to be ignorant
His father is white, maybe the master
He didn’t know his mother well, but she traveled at night to see him
Children of slave women are, by law, slaves themselves
Slave masters father many slave children
Slave masters often sell their slave children to please the mistress
His first master, Captain Anthony, was not rich and he was cruel as was his overseer
Hester went out with Lloyd’s Ned and was brutally beaten for it
Douglass Thinks
Slave children were taken from their mothers to destroy natural affection
That his mother must have loved him to risk punishment to travel to see him (inference)
The Captain Anthony did not want Hester going out with Lloyd’s Ned because he wanted her for himself
He will be next to be beaten after Hester
Douglass Does
Not ask his master his age
Not get to go to his mother’s funeral
See his aunt Hester be brutally whipped
Douglass Feels…
Unhappy and deprived that he doesn’t know his age/birthday
Little more than if a stranger died when his mother passed away
Like his mother suffered
Slave masters are wicked and lusty
Like slavery is hell when he first sees Hester being whipped
Scared and horror-stricken when he sees Hester being whipped

Text Dependent Questions (use evidence from the text to support your answer for each question):

It is important to guide students as they learn to answer text dependent questions.  All students should answer each question, yet it should come back to a whole class activity or discussion, so students can adjust their thinking as necessary.  As you ask students to share their answers, be sure to press their thinking and ensure that they justify their answers with evidence by asking what in the text led them to that understanding.

  1. In the first paragraph Douglass writes, "By far the larger part of the slaves know as little of their ages as horses know of theirs,” What does Douglass mean in this statement? Then he states, “and it is the wish of most masters to keep their slaves thus ignorant."  Why would most slave masters want this?
  2. Toward the bottom of the second page Douglass acknowledges, “the whisper that my master was my father.”  Why does he use the word “whisper” in this sentence? Then he writes, “the children of slave women shall in all cases follow the condition of their mothers”?  What does he mean by the “condition of mothers” and in what way do “the children of slave women…follow the condition of their mothers”?
  3. “By this cunning arrangement, the slaveholder, in cases not a few, sustains to his slaves the double relation of master and father.” What is the double relation of master and father?

Summary:
Model the first summary for students.  Be sure to distinguish between Douglass’ thoughts and his feelings, which can be divergent, versus the more linear events in the story.  The during reading activities of empathy mapping and sequencing organizer will help students distinguish between the experiences and events of Douglass’ life and his commentary on those experiences.

Example Summary: Frederick Douglass begins Chapter I of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by recounting his birth in Maryland to a slave woman.  Douglass was told that his father was a slave master, but his mother, whom he barely knew, never confirmed this.  As an infant Douglass was taken from his mother and raised by his grandmother on another plantation, so when        his mother died he had little emotion about it. Douglass’ first master, Captain Anthony, was a cruel man who Douglass watched mercilessly beat his Aunt Hester.  This was the first time Douglass witnessed the brutality of slavery first hand, and he intuitively feared that he too would experience such barbarity.    

 

CHAPTER 2

Essential Question: What tools do human beings use to transcend difficulties?

Write to the EQ:  When you have difficulties, what things do you do to overcome them?

Glossary: If the word is underlined context clues may be used to determine definition; If the word is bolded the root of the word may be used to determine definition.

Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9

transaction-matter
principal-main
abundance-large amounts
sloop-a boat
vessel-boat, or container
esteemed-respected

overseership-state of being an overseer
disputes-arguments
evinced-showed
determination-strength or willpower
coarse-rough
privation-need
facilities-services
summoned-called
halting-hesitating
woe-misery
betides-

quarter-rooms
midst-middle
manifesting-showing
fiendish-cruel
barbarity-viciousness
profane-wicked
commenced-began
merciful-kind
providence-wisdom
course-way
esteemed-respected
reposed-relaxed

conferred-awarded
sought-wanted
diligently-thoroughly
peculiarly-unusually
dense-thick
reverberate-echo
compose-create
consulting-referring to
pathetic-sad
sentiment-feeling
rapturous-joyful
exultingly-with joy
jargon-language
incoherent-unclear
feeble-weak
deliverance-release
testimony-evidence
ineffable-overwhelming
recurrence-return

conception-idea
dehumanizing-degrading
brethren-members
bonds-slavery
chambers-spaces
obdurate-stubborn
utterly-completely
astonished-shocked
conceive-imagine
cast-thrown
desolate-deserted
contentment-calmness
prompted-caused

Text Dependent Questions:

  1. In a short paragraph, describe the living conditions and rations of most slaves on Colonyl Lloyd’s plantations.  How did some slaves supplement their necessities?
  2. Douglass states, “The same traits of character might be seen in Colonel Lloyds slaves, as are seen in the slaves of political parties.”  In this passage Douglass is referring to the slaves that work at The Great House Farm.  How are they similar to “the slaves of political parties”?  Why does Douglass make this comparison?
  3. According to Douglass, what does the singing of a slave communicate? How does Douglass feel about slave songs?  In what way is slaves singing misinterpreted by some people? 

 

CHAPTER 3

Essential Question:  What are the effects of some people having great riches, while other live in extreme poverty?

Write to the EQ:  Respond to the essential question in a free write.  Think about what happens when there is extreme wealth and also extreme poverty.   Give some concrete examples from things you know about the world, your community, or something you have read or watched.

Glossary: Words with context clues or common roots are not defined in this section, so students may work to determine word meaning independently. If the word is underlined context clues may be used to determine definition; If the word is bolded the root of the word may be used to determine definition.

Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12

cultivated-cared for; loosened soil
abounded
virtue-goodness
vice-evil
scarcely-barely
stratagems

sufficient-enough
splendid-impressive
equipage-carriage
livery-uniform
gig-a one horse carriage
dearborn-a curtained carriage
barouches-a large covered
      carriage
inattention
unpardonable
supposition
indulged-attended to
curried-rubbed and cleaned
brook-allow
contradiction-disagreement

 ascertaining-discovering
conversing
sundered-separated
unrelenting-persistent
contented
maxim-saying
untried

imbibe-swallow
mutually-equally
execrate-hate
deemed
disgrace-shame

Text Dependent Questions (use evidence from the text to support your answer for each question):

  1. What is ironic about Colonel Lloyd's treatment of his horses compared to the treatment of his slaves?
  2. Slaves would often say that they were content and their masters were kind when asked.  Why? What is the slave maxim Douglass uses to explain this and how does the maxim justify what slaves say?
  3. Douglass describes how slaves would argue about whose master was greater, in spite the fact that they may hate their masters.  How does he explain their reasoning for boasting about their masters? 

 

CHAPTER 4

Essential Question: How does dehumanization render a person powerless?

Write to the EQ:  Dehumanization is the process of removing or denying a person of human qualities.  How were slaves dehumanized? 

Glossary: If the word is underlined context clues may be used to determine definition; If the word is bolded the root of the word may be used to determine definition.

Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15

severity-harshness
eminent-important
indispensable-necessary
persevering-determined
obdurate-stubborn

impudence-disrespect
availed-helped
immutable-absolute
debasing-humiliating
homage-worship
servile-obedient
descend-go down
insensible-unaware
reproving-disapproving
sparingly-not much
bountifully-very much
reluctantly-not willingly
savage-violent
barbarity-cruelty
consummate-complete

scourging-torturing
consultation-discussion
deliberation-reflection
musket-gun
expedient-measures
subversion-rebellion
advisedly
benefactor-supporter

untimely
arraigned-accused
deficiency-lack
scanty-small
premises-property
offence
fiendish-cruel
transaction-matter

Text Dependent Questions (use evidence from the text to support your answer for each question):

  1. Why is Mr. Austin Gore seen as a "first-rate overseer"? Why is this description ironic?
  2. What does Douglass mean when he says, “"He dealt sparingly with his words, and bountifully with his whip, never using the former where the latter would answer as well."  How do Mr. Gore’s actions reflect the slaveholders’ maxim?
  3. Douglass states that Mr. Gore’s crime “was not even submitted to judicial investigation.”  Why? 

 

CHAPTER 5

Essential Question:  When good things happen to people is it because they deserve it, or is it chance or luck in play?

Write to the EQ: Describe a time when something good happened to you and it was because of previous actions you had taken.  Share with a partner.  Now, describe a time when something good happened to you and it was a matter of chance.  Share with a new partner.

Glossary: This weeks’ words are not identified as having context clues or roots/afixes.  In groups have students discuss which words they already know, and which words they can define from roots or affixes.

 

Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19

leisure-time off
fowls-birds
impose-force, or push around
gashes-cuts
scurf-scraps, flakes, or scales

nigh-near or nearly
relish-to enjoy a lot
proverb-a wise phrase
eloquent-well spoken
gratification-satisfaction
compensate-pay back
sustain-endure

aft-the back of a ship
bows-the front of a ship
sloop—a type of sail boat
imposing—impressive
rapture—delight
prospect—outlook
galling—frustrating
subsequent—following
manifestation—display
providence—fate
remarkable—amazing

 

egotistical—self centered
interposition—interruption
sentiments—feelings
incurring—experiencing
ridicule—mocking laughter
abhorrence—hatred

Text Dependent Questions (use evidence from the text to support your answer for each question):

  1. Douglass was approximately eight years old when he went to live with the Auld family.  How does Douglass contrast his childhood on Colonel Lloyd’s plantation with this arrival in Baltimore at the Auld’s?
  2. What does Douglass mean when he says “We were not regularly allowanced”? How were they “allowanced”?
  3. How is Douglass using the word “trial” in this section?  Why does Douglass “find not severe trial in his departure” from the Lloyd plantation? 
  4. "I may be deemed superstitious, and even egotistical, in regarding this event as a special interposition of divine Providence in my favor."  What event does Douglass consider a “special interposition of divine Providence,” and why might people think he is “superstitious and even egotistical”?

 

CHAPTER 6

Essential Question: How does education give us power?

Write to the EQ: Frederick Douglass once said, “There can be no freedom without education.”  How would your life would be different if you could not read or write?                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Glossary: This weeks’ words are not identified as having context clues or roots/afixes.  In groups have students discuss which words they already know, and which words they can define from roots or affixes.

Page 19 Page 20 Page 21

preserved—saved
blighting—weakening
scarcely—barely 
manifested—showed
impudent—bold, sassy or shameless
tranquil—peaceful
commenced—began
accord—harmony
discord—disharmony

sentiments—feelings
slumbering—sleeping
revelation—realization
perplexing—confusing 
merest—simplest
shunned—avoided
diligently—persistently
 sought—pursued

vestige—trace
atrocious—terrible
lacerated—cut up
incur—experience
odium—disgust
mangled—injured, torn up
emaciated—thin
gip—a person who deceives
offal—the innards of an animal

 

Text Dependent Questions (use evidence from the text to support your answer for each question):

  1. Why does Douglass choose to alter his behavior around Sophia Auld?  How does he act differently?
  2. How does Mrs. Auld change, and why?
  3. According to Douglass and Mr. Auld, keeping slaves illiterate allow the slave holders to keep them enslaved.  What evidence do they give to support this claim?
  4. What does Douglass hope to gain by learning to read? 

 

CHAPTER 7

Essential Question:  Why is learning to read is so important to practicing freedom?

Write to the EQ:  How does knowing how to read give you power in society?

Glossary: This weeks’ words are not identified as having context clues or roots/afixes.  In groups have students discuss which words they already know, and which words they can define from roots or affixes.

Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26

stratagems—strategies
commenced—began
depravity—wickedness
brute—animal
chattel—cattle
divest—get rid of
precepts—teachings
apprehension—anxiety
apt—quick or smart

ell—a large amount
bestow—give
urchins—hooligan
testimonial—statement
prudence—carefulness
unpardonable—unforgivable

emancipation—freedom
unabated—constant
denunciation—criticism
vindication—proof
abhor—hate
loathed—hated
anguish—suffering
writhed—struggled
animate—living

perplexed—confused
wharf—waterfront
scow—a kind of boat
treacherous—disloyal
hewing—cutting

 

tedious—boring

 

Text Dependent Questions (use evidence from the text to support your answer for each question):

  1. Why is it ironic that Douglass bribed the white boys to teach him to read? How is his life different from theirs?
  2. Why would Douglass avoid giving the names of the boys who taught him to read?  Why does Douglass find this statement ironic: "It is almost an unpardonable offence to teach slaves to read in this Christian country."
  3. After reading “The Columbian Orator” Douglass states this about his writings: “They gave tongue to interesting thoughts.”  What does the word tongue mean in this sentence?
  4. What prediction did the slave holder make about what would happen if Douglass learned to read?  Did it come true?  Explain. 
  5.  When Douglass states, "I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out," What is the horrible pit he speaks of? 

 

CHAPTER 8

Essential Question:  Does doing harm to another harm the wrong-doer as well? 

Write to the EQ:  How are we affected when we choose to mistreat someone else?

Glossary: This weeks’ words are not identified as having context clues or roots/afixes.  In groups have students discuss which words they already know, and which words they can define from roots or affixes.

Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30

disposal—removal
detestation—hatred
valuation—deciding what something is worth
indelicate—not careful
entreaties—pleas
sunder—separate
wretch—wicked person
profligate—wasteful
dissipation—over use of something

providence—fate
infernal—hellish
base—immoral
fiendish—evil
barbarity—cruelty

hearth—fire place
desolate—empty
gropes—feels

interval—period of time
betwixt—between

 

Text Dependent Questions (use evidence from the text to support your answer for each question):  

  1. In this chapter Douglass states, "At this moment, I saw more clearly than ever the brutalizing effects of slavery upon both slave and slaveholder."  What evidence does Douglass give to support his claim that slavery is brutal for slaveholders as well as slaves?
  2. In the second paragraph, Dougalss states, “We were all ranked together at the valuation.”  Who are the “we” he is talking about?
  3. Douglas describes in great detail what he supposes his grandmother’s experience to be after being set out on her own.  Why does he tell this story?  What was the effect of this experience on him?
  4. Why does Douglass include the poem by John Greenleaf Whittier after he tells the story about his grandmother?

 

CHAPTER 9

Essential Question:  How do people justify wrongdoing to others?

Write to the EQ:  When people make excuses or justifications for their mistreatment of others, do you think they really believe those justifications? Give an example and share with a partner. 

Glossary: This weeks’ words are not identified as having context clues or roots/afixes.  In groups have students discuss which words they already know, and which words they can define from roots or affixes.

Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34

subsist—survive
mouldering—molding
bay craft—a type of boat

conspicuous—obvious
depravity—wickedness
sanction—support
pretensions—showing off
piety—religiousness
exhorter—encourager
revivals—church meetings

sagacity—wisdom
pious—religious
lacerated—cut up
benevolent—kind, good

pernicious—wicked
tilled—plowed
compensation—payment

 

Text Dependent Questions (use evidence from the text to support your answer for each question):  

  1.  What is different in Douglass’ life that may affect him now knowing the date?
  2. Thomas Auld violates one of the few rules of decency that most slave owners adhere to.  What is this unspoken rule, and how does it affect Douglass?
  3. Douglass states of Captain Auld, “After his conversion, he found religious sanction and support for his slaveholding cruelty.” How does Captain Auld justify his actions as a slave-holder with religious reasoning? Give examples from the text to support your answer. 
  4. What does Douglass mean when he says, "Here was a recently converted man, holding on upon the mother, and at the same time turning out her helpless child, to starve and die! Master Thomas was one of the many pious slaveholders who hold slaves for the very charitable purpose of taking care of them."

 

CHAPTER 10

Essential Question:  What is humanity?

Write to the EQ: What does it mean to be a human being (vs. an animal)?  With a group or partner, share your quick write and develop criteria by which you could judge human, (and/or humane) behavior.    

Glossary: This weeks’ chapter is very long, so there are many vocab words.  Break the chapter in to chunks to make it more manageable.

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in hand ox—the oxen on the right
off hand ox—the oxen on the left
full tilt –full speed
upset—turn over
yoked—attached with a stick
trifle—waste

fodder—food
faculty—ability

forte—gift
commenced—beginning

elasticity—bounciness
languished—declined
habitable—able to be lived in
shrouded—covered
compel—force
utterance—speaking
moorings—a line holding a boat
gale—wind
gallant—gentlemanly
betwixt—between
turbid—muddy
ague—feverish chills

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goaded—provoked
reconciling—settling
epoch—long period
hopper—a piece of machinery
hastily—quickly

exceedingly—extremely
feeble—weak
overhauled—overtaken
bogs—swamps
briars—a prickly bush
sundry—various

humbly—weakly
entreating—begging
interpose—interfere
wearied—exhausted
unaccountable—unexplainable
alternative—option
solemnity—seriousness

render—make
earnestness—seriousness
bade—instructed
virtue—benefit
curry—groom
assurance—confidence
quailed—to show fear

Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46

rekindled—relit
expiring—dying
embers—ashes
departed—left
gratification—satisfaction
afforded—given
triumph—success
compensation—payment
repelled—disgusted
resurrection—rise from the dead
constable—officer
unbounded—limitless

staid—serous
industrious—hard working
scarcely—barely
insurrection—rebellion
conductors—devices that  
                transmits electricity
woe betide—when something
                bad happens to someone
part and parcel—an essential part
professedly—supposedly
benevolence—kindness
downtrodden—oppressed

dissipation—self indulgence
virtuous—honest

reverence—respect
peculiar—strange
fretful—worrying
vices—bad habits
pretensions—showing off
infernal—hellish
calamity—disaster
basest—most immoral
astonish—surprise

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wanting—lacking
reverence—respect
venture—attempt
vindicate—justify
conduct—behavior
censured—faulted
impudence—sassiness
presumptuous—disrespectful
flogging-beating
professions--announcements

mustered up—found
availed—took advantage of an
                   opportunity
deem—think
imprudent—foolish
ardently—passionately
smite—hit
reputable—decent
liable—likely

agency—help
confide—to share secrets
assertion—statement
mutual—joint
consultation—discussion
commencement—beginning
prudence—carefulness
ascertain—determine
imbue—fill

feasible—doable
disposed—willing
liable—likely
sentinel—guard
hemmed in—restricted
beckoning—calling

Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54

notion—thought

indispensable—necessary
assuring—promising
afresh—once again
solemn—serious
bosoms—chests
agitated—upset
hazardous—dangerous
conceal—hide
dismounting—getting off a horse
constables—officers
haste—hurry

scrape—fight
defiance—disobedience
mullato—a person of mixed race

calamity—disaster
befallen—happened
unanimous—agreeing
hinder—get in the way of a thing
concert—reaching an agreement
scarcely—barely
ascertain—determine
fiends—monsters
perdition—hell
taunting—teasing
impudently—boldly

Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58

contrary—differing
calk-- to seal with a white paste
engaged—involved
man of war brigs—large boats
vessels—boats

bowse—haul
impropriety—offensiveness
journeymen—skilled workers
commenced—began
hectoring—bullying

surge—rush
seized—grabbed
interposed—inserted
indignation—anger

insufficient—not enough
manifestation—development
denounced—spoken against
liabilities—charges
redress—resolution
mallet—hammer
leisure—rest
perpetual—continuous
whirl—spin
annihilate—destroy
inconsistencies—conflicts

Text Dependent Questions (use evidence from the text to support your answer for each question):

  1. When Douglass states that, "Mr. Covey succeeded in breaking me. I was broken in body, soul, and spirit. My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!"
 how does this passage portray the mental and emotional state of a slave who has been dehumanized? What images does the passage bring to mind?
  2. Re-read the passage Douglass writes after he fights with Mr. Covey. What does Douglass mean by, “however long I might remain a slave in form, the day has passed forever when I could be a slave in fact.”
  3. What is the purpose of including the religious imagery in this passage: "from the tomb of slavery, to the heaven of freedom"?
  4. Compare the passage after Douglass’ fight with Mr. Covey to his description of being "broken" by Mr. Covey? How does the language Douglass uses in each passage differ? How does the language demonstrate Douglass’ mental and emotional state during each event?

 

CHAPTER 11

Essential Question:  Can people truly rise to great expectations?  

Write to the EQ: Discuss a time when someone believed in your ability and you rose to the occasion.  Or, discuss the ways that you believe in yourself and how that helps you to succeed.   

Glossary: This weeks’ words are not identified as having context clues or roots/afixes.  In groups have students discuss which words they already know, and which words they can define from roots or affixes.

Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62

peculiar—strange
induce—cause
vigilance—watchfulness
heretofore—before now
galling—maddening
impels—causes
suppress—hold in
deprive—deny
imputations—accusations
exculpate—clear

emphatically—definitely
persecution—suffering
avowing—swearing
assured—certain
enlightening—informing
whilst—while
stimulate—motivate
enhance—make greater
hinder—harm
profoundly—extremely
flight—escape
infernal—hellish
commensurate—equal
dashed—beaten
agency—group
render—give
tyrant—oppressor
entitled—permitted

stratagem—clever plot
exhorted—urged
compelled—forced
relinquish—give up
perseverance—persistence
industry—hard work

 

 

occasioned—caused
detained—held
scarce—hardly
wrath—anger
forthwith—immediately
retaliation—revenge
blows—fighting
raved—shouted
resolved—determined

Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66

bade—told
contemplated—anticipated
contend—struggle
apprehension—anxiety
appalling—awful
sustained—suffered
assured—confident
depict—create
perpetually—continuously
conveyance—transportation
subsided—decreased

subjected—exposed
ardor—love
ferocious—cruel
motto—saying
liability—danger
seized—caught
pursued—chased
famished—starving
subsist—survive
trying—difficult
toil—work
vigilance—care
perseverance—persistence
afflicted—suffering

devising—planning
hemmed in—blocked
forthwith—immediately
notwithstanding—although
ascertained—learned
assurance—promise

hospitably—kindly
lively—energetic
dispensed—gotten rid of
distinguish—tell the difference
preserve—keep, maintain
erroneous—incorrect
scarcely—barely
exceedingly—extremely
accustomed-used to
imbibed—absorbed

 

Page 67 Page 68 Page 69  

refinement—sophistication
uncultivated—uncultured
pomp—showing off
conjectures—inferences
palpably—obviously
wharves—piers
oaths—promises
betokened—demonstrated
dignity—self respect
exceedingly—extremely
cultivated—grown
dilapidated—worn down
thither—here
refuge—protection
venture—attempt
assert—state

intercepted—stopped
timid—fearful
vengeance—revenge
stowing—hiding
sloop—boat
rapture—joy
habiliments—equipment

 

casks—barrels
hod—bucket
idle—lazy
brethren—brothers
bonds—slaver
scathing—disapproving
denunciations—criticisms
principles—ideas
measures—actions
reform—movement for change
seldom—rarely
reluctantly—cautiously

 

 

Text Dependent Questions (use evidence from the text to support your answer for each question):  

  1. What is Douglass argument about escaped slaves recounting their methods of escape, and what reasons does he give to support his claim?
  2. At the end of his autobiography Douglass spoke about his initial difficulties speaking publically about slavery: "It was a severe cross, and I took it up reluctantly. The truth was, I felt myself a slave, and the idea of speaking to white people weighed me down. I spoke but a few moments, when I felt a degree of freedom and said what I desired with considerable ease." The Pygmalion effect (otherwise known as a “self-fulfilling prophecy”) refers to he situation that occurs when great expectations are placed upon people, and as a result they perform better. How does Douglass’ belief in himself, and the belief that others have in him, help him to succeed in this new forum of public speaking?

Assessment Plan:

POSSIBLE CULMINATING PROJECTS/PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS

  • Is Douglass successful in convincing his audience that slavery is not only negative for slaves, but also for slaveholders?
  • Douglass’ narrative is a scathing commentary on the ironic role of religion in Southern slaveholding culture. Discuss Douglass’ view in detail and give specific examples from the text that exemplify his perspective.
  • How does Douglass's story embody the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness—the right which the Declaration of Independence granted to all but slaves and women?
  • In what ways does Douglass demonstrate his courage? Is courage a defining element of the human spirit?
  • William Andrews' asserted that the purpose of the slave narrative was "to enlighten white readers about both the realities of slavery as an institution and the humanity of black people as individuals deserving of full human rights." Does Douglass successfully achieve this purpose? Explain and give specific examples as to why Douglass's Narrative is or is not successful at achieving the purpose Andrews’ stated.
  • Throughout the narrative Douglass makes several important points over and over. Review the narrative to find quotes related to these points:
    • justice for slaves is different from justice for whites

    • no one can be enslaved if she or he has the ability to read, write, and think

    • the way to enslave someone is to keep them from all learning

    • slaves were treated no better than, sometimes worse than, livestock

    • slaves were not granted basic humanity
    • slavery harmed slave holders as well as slaves
    • slave holders use Christianity hypocritically to justify their actions

Author:
kenna rodgers

Created Date :
Jun 26 2013 11:40 AM

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