Teach

K-12 Lesson Plans

Information Wanted Ads are unique primary sources that allow students to hear former slaves, in their own voices, describe their families, recall the sales that separated them from their loved ones, and recount daring and dangerous escapes. These skills-based lesson plans guide K-12 educators in using the ads in the classroom.

Elementary School

Middle School

High School

Lesson plan

History's Cold Cases

Students will construct timelines from Information Wanted Ads to solve a historical mystery.

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Student work

Examples from Myra Smoot Corbin's Classroom

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Lesson plan

Information Wanted Ads as Oral History

Students will use a "grapevine" activity to explore how people shared and received word about missing family members.

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Lesson plan

SOAPS Museum Gallery Information Wanted Activity

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Lesson plan

Vocabulary and Discussion Prompts

Students will use language cues and discussion questions to situate vocabulary used in ads in a historical context.

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Classroom visit

Last Seen Middle School Visit

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Lesson plan

Tweeting the Past

Using an Information Wanted Ad, students will write a Tweet with a historical question for social media.

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College Teaching Assignments

Digitized Information Wanted Ads allow college instructors to bring the archival experience to their classroom through guided or open-ended research assignments. Explore these suggestions for guided research.

Using Context to Analyze Primary Sources

A guided research activity designed to give students in the college survey experience working with primary sources.

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Telling a Story Like a Historian (and with StoryMap)

A guided research activity designed for college students studying historical methods that produces digital content.

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Find and Contribute Information Wanted Ads

Instructions for involving your students in the work of collecting these important primary sources.

Transcription in college classrooms

Advice on how and when to assign students to transcribe the ads.

As a Social Studies teacher, this is the type of collection I search for. These ads bring the Civil War era experience of slaves and former slaves searching for family members vividly to life. The result allows students of history to see, first hand through rare primary sources, the active agency of African Americans during this critical moment in our nation’s history.

Charlie Withers,
Social Studies Teacher
Haverford High School