Confessions of Nat Turner

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

Anchor(s)

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

Level(s):

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
ELA Activities for Level E
Listening and Responding Across Subject Areas
Students listen to and discuss informational audio presentations. Read More Listening and Responding Across Subject Areas
Confederate Flag Controversy Discussion
After reading an article on a controversy at a Virginia high school regarding the Confederate flag and viewing primary sources related to the flag’s role in history, learners discuss the flag’s symbolism and how the high school should have responded to the incident. Read More Confederate Flag Controversy Discussion
Job Search Vocabulary
Students research specific jobs and markets using opens in a new window Virginia Workforce Connection; they identify and define unknown words and use them in resumé building, cover letter writing, and mock interviewing. Read More Job Search Vocabulary
Before It’s Too Late
Students will read and summarize an 8-page chapter from a book on the subject of raising children to be responsible. Read More Before It’s Too Late
Using Multimedia Strategically
Students discuss good and bad presentations and read tips for avoiding multimedia mistakes. Then, they revise one of their own presentations by adding or changing a multimedia element. Read More Using Multimedia Strategically
More Activities