Confessions of Nat Turner

Students work in teams to integrate and evaluate information from slavery-era primary documents.


S&L2: Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.


Estimated timeframe:

Activity steps

  1. Ask a student or student(s) to dramatically read aloud the introduction to Gray’s pamphlet opens in a new window Confessions of Nat Turner. Have students form teams and discuss the accompanying questions. Give students no more than ten minutes to working together on each question. Show students a opens in a new window Collaborative Work Skills Rubric (teachers can create these on Rubistar) and score students according the rubric.
  2. Next, students, still in teams, will analyze a slavery-era propaganda poster and discuss and answer the related questions.
  3. Extensions:
    • Read the opens in a new window full text of the pamphlet Confessions of Nat Turner.
      • A few historians don’t believe Nat Turner said those words. Do you believe they are the words of Turner? Why or why not?
      • How do you think the pamphlet affected the Northerners? the Southerners? Why?
    • Read the Civil Rights era (1968) novel, Confessions of Nat Turner, by Virginia author William Styron. How does the fictional rendering compare to the pamphlet?

Other skills

Extensions can be made to GED® Social Studies Assessment Targets:
  • CG.b.1: Natural rights philosophy
  • USH.c.1: slavery

Workforce readiness skills

opens in a new window Central Idea
opens in a new window Finding Themes
opens in a new window Alumni Spotlights

opens in a new window External Resources
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