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Needs Assessment

The Instructional Problem

7th grade students’ learn half of their social studies curriculum during this year and half of it during their eighth grade year. To be better prepared for their beginning of their eighth grade year they need to have an understanding of how slavery impacted the United States in the years leading up to the Civil War.

Learner Analysis

The Learners in this course will be seventh graders in a small rural school district. It is mixed ability inclusion classes with a 1/1/20 teacher to aid to student ratio. The students reading abilities are between grade level and up to two and a half years below grade level.

Instructional Context

The classroom is equipped with a projector, screen, computer, DVD player and the middle school laptop lab has been requested for this course. Students will also have access to their class notes and their textbooks as well as the ability to search the internet.

Instructional Content

  • Where did slavery exist in America
  • Why did slavery exist in America?
  • What events caused sectional conflict in America?
  • What sectional compromises were made to avoid conflict?
  • What were the beliefs of the different sides of the slavery debate?
  • How did sectional conflict bring the America closer to Civil War?

Initial Goals

  • Students will understand the conflicts and attempted compromises of the issue of slavery in America
  • Students will understand how sectional conflicts over slavery led to the American Civil War

Performance Objectives

  • Students will describe slavery in the earlier 19th century and be able to describes its place in pre-Civil War America.
  • Students will analyze a map of the Missouri compromise and understand its meaning.
  • Students will evaluate historical documents that relate the the sectional conflicts of the mid 19th Century. Students will create an audacity file that their classmates can listen to to hear their analysis.
  • Students will compose a newspaper editorial on Microsoft word taking the side of either a slave owner or a abolitionist in order to demonstrate what they have learned about slavery in America.

Task Analysis

Course Purpose

After completing this course, students will be familiar with how the institution of slavery shaped the course of history in the United States.


Learning Outcomes

  • Gain a deeper knowledge of slavery in America
  • Understand the Missouri Compromise.
  • Create an audacity file which analyzes historical documents.
  • Understand why people supported or opposed slavery.
  • Create an editorial representing one side of the slave debate in 19th century America


Essential Prerequisites

  • Familiarity with a lap top
  • Experience with Microsoft Word
  • Ability to write a short essay about a given topic.

Supportive Prerequisites

  • Positive attitude
  • Knowledge of Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
  • Work with Audacity in Past

Course Outline

Unit 1: Missouri Compromise

  • Lesson 1: The History of Slavery in America
  • Lesson 2: Missouri Compromise


Unit 2: Slavery and Primary Sources

  • Lesson 1: Slavery Primary Sources
  • Lesson 2: Audacity project comparing and contrasting two primary sources.


Unit 3: The North and South view of Slavery

  • Lesson 1: Journals and Editorials of people who supported slavery and abolition
  • Lesson 2: Final Project
  • Lesson 3: Course Reflection

Curriculum Map

Slavery Content Map


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