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My Lesson Title: The Use of Free Speech to Effect Social Change

Unit Title: Great Migration

Grade Level(s): Grade 8 and 9

Age Level(s): 13-15

Subject Areas: History and Social Studies

Essential Question: How did William Monroe Trotter, on behalf of himself and all African Americans during the Great Migration, exercise freedom of speech, a democratic principal originally espoused and championed by Voltaire, in pursuit of equality for African-Americans.

Unit Goals: TBD

Curriculum Standards:

USI.20:
Explain the evolution and function of political parties, including their role in federal, state and local elections.

WHI.34 Describe the concept of Enlightenment in European history and describe the accomplishments of major Enlightenment thinkers, including Diderot, Kant, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Voltaire. (H)

WHI.35 Explain how the Enlightenment contributed to the growth of democratic principles of government, a stress on reason and progress, and the replacement of a theocentric interpretation of the universe with a secular interpretation. (H)


Materials/Resources:

Timeframe: 3 or 4 days (55 minute periods)

Student Foundational Skills: (Students will be able to:)

- Explain how individuals use freedom of speech to promote equality?

- Expalin what motivates people to exercise free speech?



Learning Activities and Organizational Notes:

Before starting this lesson,


(1) Pre-Assessment - Day 1

During this three-day lesson, you will be guided by one Essential Question: How did William Monroe Trotter, on behalf of himself and all African Americans, exercise freedom of speech, the democratic principal originally espoused and championed by Voltaire, in pursuit of equality for African-Americans.

To answer this essential question, we will take seven steps over this three-day period:

(1) First, we will briefly review the ideas of Voltaire and their impact on the First Amendment to the United States Constitution

(2) Second, we will learn about a historical event/period in American/African-American history known as "The Great Migration"

(3) Third, we will learn about the life, work and ideas of William Monroe Trotter

(4) Fourth, we will examine the views of Voltaire and Trotter on freedom of speech by looking at selected quotes made by each man on this topic.

(5) Fifth, we will consider and assess the extent to which each man had this right, and how having this right or not having this right impacted the life of each of these men (and their respective countrymen)

(6) Sixth, we will consider and assess how William Monroe Trotter utilized freedom of speech as a vehicle to make social change --- pursue equal rights for African-Americans

(7) Seventh, we will consider the power of freedom of speech and how it can be used as a vehicle for making social change.

Organizational Notes: none


(2) Activity 1:

A. Voltaire and Founding Documents:

Review Prezi/clip on Voltaire and complete Frame, Focus, Follow-up Handout

Freedom of Speech: Concept vs. Right?

Frame, Focus, Follow-up:

Frame: How did speaking out against intolerance and for free speech impact Voltaire's life? How did Voltaire's advocacy for free speech impact the U.S. Constitution? And, how would Voltaire's life had been different if he had the right to free speech?

Focus: What makes a quote memorable?

Follow-up:
Which quote from the list of Voltaire quotes in the Prezi did you find most memorable? Why? Next, take five minutes to explain and support your position on your favorite quote to your assigned partner.


Prezi Presentation on Voltaire (VIDEO on process page)

B. The Great Migration:
Review clip on Great Migration and complete Frame, Focus, Follow-up Handout


The Great Migration Prezi (VIDEO on process page)

Frame: Why do ethnic groups migrate?

Focus: Why did African-Americans migrate from the South?

Follow-up: For the next five minutes turn and talk to your assigned partner about what you heard from the video about why African-Americans migrated from the South. Revise your notes based on this discussion.


C. William Monroe Trotter and the Guardian Newspaper:
Listen to audio summarizing the life of William Monroe Trotter

Embedded Questions:

Who was William Monroe Trotter? Did he have the right to freedom of speech? If so, how did he chose to exercise his freedom of speech? What were some of his accomplishments/sacrifices? Did he have the right to equality? What were his views on equality? How did he advocate for these rights?

Answer Questions via table or spoke or ...


William Monreo Trotter Bio (Audio):


(3) Activity 2:

Recall what you learned about Voltaire and William Monroe Trotter from day one.

A. Review quotes made by each man on freedom of speech and/or equality:

Can words really effect change? Are words best?

"Is the pen of a scholar more powerful than the blood of a martyr?" (Cite) (Teacher will model how to interpret a quote utilizing think aloud and mark it up strategies)

Students will be broken into groups to review quotes and analyze quotes from Voltaire. During this exercise, you will determine the meaning of their assigned quote and then categorize the quote as either relating to free speech or equality. You will then turn and talk to your assigned partner to discuss and revise your response. You will be given ten minutes to complete this assignment.


Voltaire

  • Quotes: (Each student will review and analyze one of the following three quotes)

  • To hold a pen is to be at war.Voltaire

  • "To be governed by law is man's most cherished right."

  • “All the citizens of a state cannot be equally powerful, but they may be equally free.” Voltaire (Thinkexist.com --- Voltaire quotes on equality)

Students will be broken into groups to review quotes and analyze quotes from Trotter. During this exercise, you will determine the meaning of your assigned quote and then categorize the quote as either relating to free speech or equality. You will then turn and talk with your assigned partner to discuss and revise your response. You will be given ten minutes to complete this assignment.

Trotter:
  • Quotes: (Each student will review and analyze one of the following three quotes)

  • The Guardian Newspaper: "For Every Right, With all thy Might."

  • The Guardian Newspaper: "An organ to voice intelligently the needs and aspirations of the colored Americans."

  • Letter to newly elected President Woodrow Wilson from William Monroe Trotter as Corresponding Secretary to the National Independent Political League and Manager of its Campaign Headquarters for the Eastern States: "In a Republic the Citizens Most Effective Weapon is his Ballot

 

Embedded Questions: Students will select and respond to one of the five questions in the question bank below. After doing so, selected students will share their answers in a brief whole class discussion. This exercise will be completed in 15 minutes.


Free Speech

  • Did each man believe in free speech? (Support your answer by citing and relying on your assigned quotes and by identifying specific actions each man took to promote the right to free speech or to use it.)

  • Did each man have the right to free speech protected by the laws of their country? (Give examples of the benefits of having the right to free speech by considering how having this right or not having this right impacted the life of Voltaire and the life of Trotter.)

  • Did each man think free speech was important to promote, achieve and protect equal rights? (Support your answer by citing and relying on your assigned quotes and by identifying specific actions each man took to promote equality.)

Equality
  • Did each man believe in equality for all? (Support your answer by citing and relying on your assigned quotes and by identifying specific actions each man took to promote equality.)

  • Did either man have the right to be treated equally based on the laws of their country? If so, to what extent? (Support your answer by citing and relying on your assigned quotes and by identifying specific actions each man took to promote equality.)

B. Review and examine letters written by William Monroe Trotter addressed to different Presidents of the United States of America:

Students will break into three groups to review one of three different letters sent to different Presidents of the United States of America by Trotter
(Harding letter 5/10/21, Harding letter 5/7/21 and Wilson letter) In reviewing the relevant letters, you will complete an APPARTS Chart to help you identify, among other things,
  • why it was written

  • its main idea

  • historical topics being discussed

  • why it is a significant historical document

  • For homework, you will write at least one well-developed paragraph summarizing your assigned document and explaining what rights Trotter is exercising and/or advocating for in the letter and on whose behalf.

Download chart.
2 Column Notes apparts Worksheet.pdf



Click the link to view image to view in full size.
(NOTE: requires wiki login)


President Harding Letter - May 10, 1921

President Harding Letter - May 7, 1921

President Wilson Letter - March 11, 1913


C. Introduce product for tomorrow:


Organizational Notes: none


(4) Activity 3:

Recall what you learned from Day 2 of the lesson about the power of free speech and motivations for using this right. In today's lesson you will be working with your assigned group to create a 30-60 second radio spot to answer the lesson questions. More specifically, you will create a public service announcement that addresses the power of free speech or motivations for using it. Your spot must incorporate your research and analysis of the writings of Trotter and Voltaire.

Organizational Notes:

 

Additional Notes and Sources:
1. Will students complete Voltaire/Founding Documents Comparrison handout? It is probably better to do this when covering chapter 35. (LPH Created Handout - List of Voltaire Ideas/Quotes on top; Below portions of Preamble and 1st, 13th-15th Amendment. Students highlight portions of founding documents influenced by Voltaire. Have dates showing when each founding doucment became effective during the period 1776-1870.)
2. See, M. Napoli sources, Summer Institute sources for clip on the Great Migration.
3.For Lesson 1: Find short video on history channel or Google search with key words, See PBS, Time period, motivations, multimedia and have students complete brief recall/summary exercise. Same for Great Migration; Same for Trotter; Or, complete Venn Diagram or Cause - Effect table addressing Voltaire and Founding Fathers; and Trotter???)
4. Trotter background
5. Model how to decipher quotes and letters first.
6. Computer Lab???
7. Both arrested! Quote regarding same from each.
8. Postcard --- Return to Voltaire's homeland. Irony. Peace Conference ...

James Monroe Trotter was born in Mississippiin 1842, the son a slave named Letitia and her owner, Richard S. Trotter. Around 1854, James Monroe Trotter, his mom and 2 siblings were sent to live in Cinncinati Ohio, a free city. James Trotter was well-educated at a famous school for blacks and taught for a while. Two years after the Civil War began, blacks were allowed to fight in the war for the Union Army on behalf of the North. He served in the Fifty-Fifth Massachusetts, an all black regiment headed by white officers. He distinguished himself and rose in rank from private to second lieutenant. James married Virginia Isaacs (the granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson based on oral tradition). James had a successful career in the U.S.post office and in politics eventually being appointed to a lucrative political job as recordership of deeds in Washington,D.C.which was the highest federal office held by negroes in this era. They settled in Boston early in their marrage and eventually had 3 children. One of them was named William --- William Monroe Trotter.

Like his dad, William was well-educated. He went to Harvard Universityand distinguished himself. He was the first negro at Harvard Universityt o be elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He was on the typical path of a "colored elite." Salons. Meets wife. He considered and hoped for a career in business or banking but hit a racial glass ceiling. He eventually decided to pursue a career in real estate. Does well. He meets ... at reading club and decide to open black newspaper, at first thinking this would be a part-time endevour. As time moved on, this part-time interest became a passion to which William Monroe Trotter dedicated his life. He said, ... How he got involved in civil rights. Now let's explore his life and work as newspaper owner, publisher and editor and advocate for equality. Arrested like Voltaire.


Assessments: Pre and Post Survey