Use the smaller-sized text Use the larger-sized text Use the very large text


By Nancy Mussetter
Standards: 4.1, 4.3, 4.5, 4.9
Grade Level: Elementary
Topic: Wisconsin in the Civil War Era

Lesson Plan Text:

Introduction/Background: There was a dramatic change in the United States during the first half of the 1800s due to industrialization and westward movement, both of which created new social issues. Moral and social improvement in Wisconsin was very pronounced resulting in surges of church organizations. The issues of temperance and abolition of slavery also received a great deal of attention. Sympathy for fugitive slaves was common in Wisconsin and grew as years passed.

Lesson Objectives: The students will:
1) read an account of a city working together to ensure freedom for a fugitive slave.
2) write a play based on the article and present it to an audience.
3) complete analogies

Information/Resources: Article: He Came for the Slave.-- A Janesville resident tells how a crowd of people rallied behind an escaped slave to thwart his former owner's attempt to return him to slavery.

Suggested Activities:
1) Pass out a piece of graph paper (1/2 inch squares) to each student. As a class, make a list of words that have something to do with fear. Teacher writes words on the board or overhead as students write them on the graph paper (one letter per square) to make a word search. After completing the list have students randomly fill in the remainder of the squares with letters of the alphabet. On the back of the paper have students write "Created by ______________(student's name)" and
"Solved by_____________________" and hand word searches in to teacher.
2) Have students write a paragraph on the following topic: "A Time that I was Really Scared."
3) Introduce article by telling students that the article tells of someone who feared for his life.
4) Assign students to read the article.
5) As a class, use the article to write a class play with the following elements:


Sam (fugitive slave)
Mr. Eager (blacksmith)
Janesville "friend"
Steuben (Kentucky slave owner)
Members of old city fire department
Hotel folks

Setting: Janesville street with blacksmith shop and hotel


abolition--the doing away with slavery in the United States
fugitive--one who has fled from danger

Conclusion: Perform the play for another class or for parents.

Assessment: Complete the following analogies:
Sam is to death as ______________ is to _____________.
                               (student's name)         (student's fear)
Blacksmith is to Sam as ________________is to ___________________.
                                        (student's name)

Possible Lesson Extensions: Have students solve another student's word search in spare time.

Search lesson plans

Browse all lesson plans

  • Questions about this page? Email us
  • Email this page to a friend
select text size Use the smaller-sized textUse the larger-sized textUse the very large text