The Crafting Freedom Materials Project

Reach Beyond the Black History and Literature You Already Teach

The mission of the Crafting Freedom Materials website is to provide teachers of social studies and language arts—as well as teachers of other humanities–related subjects—with a comprehensive resource on the African American experience during the antebellum (pre–Civil War) period. It uses the "lived experiences" and creative works of nine black artists, artisans, entrepreneurs, and abolitionists as a lens through which to learn about slavery and freedom during the decades before the Civil War.

This material can be used at all grade levels as well as in a broad range of educational settings. A social studies and language arts lesson plan with suggested steps is provided for each of the nine freedom crafters. These lesson plans target the elementary (3rd–5th) grade levels and the middle (6th-8th) grade levels because there are fewer educational materials on these topics available for students in these age groups. Student handouts, short videos, PDF slide shows, and teacher tools (teacher guidance material) are usable at all grade levels. The middle grade lesson plans can be easily adapted for high school, college, and older adult learners.

The lesson plans provided on this website do not require teachers to have a background in African American history. An important part of the mission of this website is to teach teachers this subject matter by providing in–depth, yet concise, background material and all the media and materials needed to facilitate a successful learning experience for students. Although extensive preparation is not required beyond the teacher preparation material on the site, teachers are encouraged to make use of the scholar–vetted bibliography and extensive web links. Those with more experience teaching this subject mattter will also find much here to enhance and extend what they are already teaching.

In sum, our mission is to provide you with a very teacher friendly, high–quality, field–tested, and scholar–vetted set of resources containing all the teacher support, suggested lesson plans, student handouts, videos, PDF slide shows, and web links you need to teach important historical and language arts subject matter in a very engaging manner.

So what are you waiting for? Reach beyond the black history and literature you already teach.