Inspiring through Experience

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

Frederick Douglass House Speech

LILI Unit: Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

Essential Question: How did Frederick Douglass embody perseverance? Pre-trip lesson:  This program focuses on Douglass’ pivotal role in 19th century U.S. history, from his birth as a slave to his ultimate escape from slavery and emergence as a leader of the abolitionist cause and as a renowned statesman.  Students first examine slavery and the Civil War before focusing on Douglass himself.  They learn his life story and examine the historical impact of his newspaper, The North Star, and of his powerful speeches.  Students also learn about three pivotal moments in Douglass’ life and analyze how in each moment he exhibited perseverance.
Level of Difficulty:Low Trip:  At Douglass’ former home, students view a video of his life, examine various artifacts in the Visitor’s Center, receive a guided tour of his house and grounds, and recite one of his speeches from his front porch.
Academic Standards:

  • English Language Arts (CC.5.R.I.2; CC.5.L.4.a)
  • Social Studies (5.4.7, 5.5.2, 5.5.4)
Post-trip lesson:  As a culminating activity, students create short biographies of Douglass using photos, maps, and other images, as well as their own written text, to describe major events in Douglass’ life. Students also test their knowledge of Douglass and 19th century U.S. history as they compete in a collaborative review game and take written assessments.