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Units January 27, 2022

The '20 and Odd' Who Built the United States

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Lesson Summary: This unit focuses on themes of conflict, human rights violations, and power. It introduces students to the year 1619 as a starting point in which the “20 and odd” built the United States. Students will explore primary sources from The 1619 Supplementary Broadsheet, text from "Sugar" by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, and other 1619 Project and primary source resources before creating an infographic and audio recording to express their learning and reflections. Downloads: Unit resources
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This unit was created by UBUNTU: High School for Law Advocacy & Community Justice, part of the 2021 cohort of The 1619 Project Education Network. It is designed for facilitation across approximately two-to-four weeks, or ten class periods.

Essential Questions

  1. What were some major conflicts that existed before and after the year 1619? Were these conflicts or disputes justifiable? Who do you think is to blame for the conflict or dispute?
  2. Can human rights violations be justified? In your opinion, why is freedom one of the most violated human rights in the history of the world?
  3. How is power determined? How has power shifted over time?

Objectives

Students will be able to…

  • Identify and understand the year 1619 and the arrival of “20 and odd Negroes” as a major turning point in the development of the institution of slavery in America.
  • Analyze primary source documents that detail the enduring issues of conflict, power, and human rights violations as contributing factors to the development of the institution of slavery in America.
  • Analyze and gain insight into the perspectives and experiences of individuals who contributed to the development of the United States. 
  • Investigate historical events, laws, and key individuals who contributed to slavery, racism, discrimination, and issues of inequality toward African-Americans.
  • Distinguish among and discuss the social, political, and economic issues surrounding slavery in America.

Unit Overview

“The ‘20 and odd’ Who Built the United States” is a two–four-week unit that will focus on the themes of conflict, human rights violations, and power. The pedagogical vision of this unit is to introduce students to the year 1619 as a starting point in which the “20 and odd” built the United States. Students will explore the themes by examining various historical content in conjunction with The 1619 Project collection of articles and primary source documents. In this unit, students will think critically, discuss, investigate, collaborate, and interpret historical content. Through this unit, students will understand the perspectives of key individuals and the motives behind many of the actions and decisions that contributed to the development of the United States.

Performance Task

Culminating/Summative Project: Students will create an infographic with audio and media image component based on “Sugar” by Khalil Gibran Muhammad from The 1619 Project. This performance task is divided into three parts: text, audio, and visual.

Text - Students will create an infographic focusing on a section and incorporating language from the article “Sugar” by Khalil Gibran Muhammad. When choosing an article section or quote, students will consider the following:

  • Relevance: Why is this important to self, society, and/or the world?
  • Reframe: How would you reframe this topic to make it appealing to others?
  • Revisit: Revisit the text to think about which section that made you think critically or shifted your thinking.
  • Share the dialogue.

Audio - Students will create a recording (audio or video) in which they read aloud the article section included in the infographic. After reading their section, they will briefly share thoughts about why the section was important to them.

Visual - The image(s) should be relevant and connect to some aspect of the article section. When selecting or creating an image, students will consider the following:

  • How can I capture the viewers’ attention?
  • What is the central message? What do I want people to know  about the chapter selection or topic?
  • How can I visually display the words from “Sugar” by Khalil Gibran Muhammad?

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