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.
History's Cold Cases
Students will construct timelines from Information Wanted Ads to solve a historical mystery.Download
Examples from Myra Smoot Corbin's ClassroomDownload
Information Wanted Ads as Oral History
Students will use a "grapevine" activity to explore how people shared and received word about missing family members.Download
SOAPS Museum Gallery Information Wanted ActivityDownload
Vocabulary and Discussion Prompts
Students will use language cues and discussion questions to situate vocabulary used in ads in a historical context.Download
Last Seen Middle School VisitDownload
Tweeting the Past
Using an Information Wanted Ad, students will write a Tweet with a historical question for social media.Download
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.Download
Telling a Story Like a Historian (and with StoryMap)
A guided research activity designed for college students studying historical methods that produces digital content.Download
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.
Social Studies Teacher
Haverford High School