Causes of the Civil War
Lesson 3: John Brown's Raid at Harper's Ferry
Time Estimated: 2 days, 50 minute periods days
- Review differences between a primary source and a secondary source and give several examples of each.
- Explain who John Brown was and why he is famous.
- Analyze different newspaper accounts of John Brown’s raid of the U.S. arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia -- give two contrasting perspectives of the raid.
- Explain how John Brown’s raid was an event that moved the South and the North closer to war.
- John Brown’ Raid (videocassette)
- Two different newspaper accounts of John Brown's raid (transcripts)
- Original version of the Valley Spirit article
- Questions to guide analysis of newspaper accounts
- List of vocabulary words
- Play videocassette. Pause tape periodically to ask questions and make comments.
- Review the definitions of primary and secondary sources, and have volunteers give examples of each.
- Distribute and review the list of difficult words students will encounter when reading the newspaper accounts.
- Distribute copies of newspaper accounts along with the list of questions to guide students’ analysis of the accounts. Working in groups of two or three, students will analyze the stories and respond orally and in writing to the questions provided. Teacher will lead the follow-up discussion.
Teacher will provide clarifying commentary during the playing of the video. A list of difficult terms and their definitions will be provided in order to facilitate the students’ understanding of the newspaper articles. Students of high reading ability will be paired with students who are reading below grade level.