Compelling Question: Did African Americans struggle for their freedom in New York? 

Standards and Practices:

New York State Social Studies Framework: 7.2 Colonial Developments

Social Studies Practices:

Gathering, Interpreting, and Using Evidence

Comparison and Contextualization

Civic Participation

Staging the Question:

What are rights and freedoms? Teacher facilitates a discussion distinguishing between rights and freedoms. Students brainstorm to list all the rights and freedoms they have. 

Supporting Question 1: What were the living conditions for a slave in New York before and immediately after the American Revolution? 

Formative Performance Task:

Using evidence from the documents, write a paragraph describing the conditions of a slave in New York during the 1700s. 

Featured Sources: 

Manumission of Mink

New York Slave Code of 1730

Last Will and Testament of Rachel Bogardus

Supporting Question 2: How did slaves resist their conditions in New York? 

Formative Performance Task: 

Using evidence from the documents, discuss the ways in which slaves tried to resist their conditions and how owners tried to prevent slave resistance. 

Featured Sources: 

Runaway Negro Advertisement 

Killis Broadside

Killis Letter 

Supporting Question 3: How and when did slavery end in New York? 

Formative Performance Task: 

Create a timeline depicting the end of slavery in New York. 

Featured Sources: 

1855 Census Records

Gradual Abolition Act

Overseer of the Poor Record

Summative Performance Task: 

Argument: Write an argumentative Essay in which you answer the compelling question using evidence from the documents. Be sure to describe the life of slaves in New York during the colonial period and early national period, explain the ways slaves resisted their condition, and evaluate the way in which slaves gained their freedom in New York. 

Taking Informed Action: 

Is there a group in your local community that has not been given equal rights and freedoms? Brainstorm reasons why these rights and/or freedoms are restricted and how you might take action to change these restrictions.