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.
- 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?
- 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?
- How is power determined? How has power shifted over time?
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.
“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 Students will explore the themes by examining various historical content in conjunction with The 1619 Project collection of articles and primary source documents. In this unit, students will think critically, discuss, investigate, collaborate, and interpret historical content.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.
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?
Two-four week unit plan for teachers, including pacing, texts and multimedia resources, and worksheets for student projects. Download below, or scroll down to read the complete unit plan.
New York State Social Studies Framework (Grade 11 U.S. History and Government)
11.1 COLONIAL FOUNDATIONS (1607– 1763): European colonization in North America prompted cultural contact and exchange between diverse peoples; cultural differences and misunderstandings at times led to conflict. A variety of factors contributed to the development of regional differences, including social and racial hierarchies, in colonial America. (Standards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Themes: MOV, TCC, GEO, GOV, ECO, EXCH)
11.2 CONSTITUTIONAL FOUNDATIONS (1763 – 1824): Growing political and economic tensions led the American colonists to declare their independence from Great Britain. Once independent, the new nation confronted the challenge of creating a stable federal republic. (Standards: 1, 5; Themes: TCC, GOV, CIV, ECO)
Common Core Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.6: Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Explore below students' responses to this unit and the article "Sugar" by Khalil Gibran Muhammad from The 1619 Project. These infographics and accompanying audio recordings were created by students at UBUNTU: High School for Law Advocacy & Community Justice in fall 2021. (Click the play button at the bottom of each infographic to hear students' recordings.)