Views of Freedom

I have actually been struggling deciding where I want to take my DBQ project. This biggest issue for me is that I want to connect it to the historical fiction novel, Chains, which we will be reading for my work sample, and I just can’t narrow my thoughts. I am not sure if I have refined it or gone backwards a bit, but I would really enjoy any thoughts or comments on what I have so far.

So, basically I want to focus on freedomThe novel takes place during the American Revolutionary War and talks about the events during that time through the lens of a young slave girl. That being said, a generative question that I would like to explore would be: How do understandings of freedom in Chains compare to other historic sources?


The Declaration of Independence

Obviously, one of the main documents I would use would be the Declaration of Independence. But through other sources, I want the students to explore and compare different visions and realities of freedom – Loyalist versus Patriots, officers versus infantrymen, freed blacks versus slaves, etc. I realize that many of these sources will be text based – letters, pamphlets, declarations, notices – so I will need to do a good job uncovering other mediums to explore this question.

As for the Common Core, besides analyzing primary sources, the students would be required to determine the central ideas of the texts, cite their evidence to support their analysis, and identify aspects of the text that reveal’s the author’s point of view. Hopefully I’ll be able to make little historians out of these students in the end.

One Reply to “Views of Freedom”

  1. This is a very interesting DBQ because every single person has a different vision of “freedom” and it will be beneficial for students to begin defining their personal perspective. In terms of documents, try an excerpt from “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine and maybe a newspaper article from a British newspaper to alternate perspectives a bit. The Declaration of Independence will serve the lesson well because I bet most students will not have experience reading the document.

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