This Friday– Class Debate on Slavery and a Christmas Party :)

So I talked to Mrs. Kim and we have everything all planned out. This Friday we are going to take the whole two hours we use for both of our classes and have a huge debate on the issue of slavery. You have been divided into two groups–the pro-slavery group and the abolitionists.

This means that half of you will have to argue in support of beliefs that you do not hold as true. Sometimes in debates you will have to practice arguing in support of the other side. Do not feel bad! We all know you are not evil!!! What you will do is just use persuasive techniques and present the same arguments that people those days would present. To help you do this, everyone on all sides will be able to choose a persona that they want to adopt. This will be on a first come first serve basis.

For example, if you are on the pro-slavery team you can choose to be either a historical or a literary figure (Haley, Legree, or Calhoun). If you are an abolitionist you get the same opportunity (Uncle Tom, Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe or Frederick Douglass). You can argue from their point of view, using their opinions (not yours). There will be a chart below of people to choose from. Just let me know in the comments section who you want to be.

What you will need to do: 

  • Think about what you would say if you were that character? What would be your reasons? Would they be opinions? Observations on human nature? Experiences with slavery? Scriptures? Darwinist ideas? Etc.
  • Jot down some notes that you can refer to during the debate. What are the main points you want to make?
  • Make sure that you are ready to argue! This is going to be a fun, and interactive activity. We want you to get into it. “RAwr!”

You will be graded on participation. And we will select a winning team. Now of course they won’t win just because they are right, but because of how well they knew their arguments and played the game. We already know who the right side was, the abolitionists!

Here are your groups and your people to choose from. Please let me know in the comments below who you would like to be this Friday.

The Pro-Slavery Group (7)

 Tristan, Buggy, Matthew, Alexis, Lilly, Severen, Serena

John Calhoun is so creepy!!!

Here is a link to some Common Pro-Slavery Arguments

Pro Slavery Historical and Literary Figures that you can choose from:

  • John Calhoun
  • Stephen Douglass
  • James Buchanan
  • Mr. Shelby (Tristan)
  • Mr. Hayley (Alexys)
  • Mr. Legree (Severen? maybe)
  • Marie St. Clare (Serena)
  • Mrs. Joanna Douglass Ward (wife of the largest slave holder in the south, Joshua John Ward)– might want to google her?
  • Mary Eastman (who wrote a response to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, that portrayed slavery as positive–Aunt Phyllis’s Cabin) –might want to check her out a bit? (Buggy)

The Abolitionist Group (7)

Christahn, Nait, Macy, Kayley, Samantha, Mitchell (Nat Turner), Donnica (Harriet Tubman)*

Here is a link to some Common Anti-Slavery Arguments

Abolitionists to choose from:

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe (herself) (Kayley)
  • Frederick Douglass
  • E. W. Taylor
  • Charles Sumner
  • Dred Scott
  • Lincoln (Samantha)
  • Uncle Tom (Christahn)
  • Eliza
  • Eva St. Clare (Nait)
  • Augustine St. Clare
  • Emily Shelby (Macey)
  • George Shelby
  • Aunt Chloe

* I assigned Mitchell and Donnica historical figures since they are not in the American Literature class

So if you are not familiar with your character, you might want to do a little research. Write some note cards on what points you want to argue, and get ready for a lively debate. Again, please don’t feel bad if you are arguing pro-slavery. We know you are not creepy and evil like John Calhoun.

A Class Christmas Party!

After the debate we are going to have a little party. Mrs. Kim is going to make a cool punch with the ice cream in it.

And I am going to bring some treats too. Please feel free to bring in some Christmas cookies, or treats to share with the class.

You might want to bring in a camera as well to capture the magic of interactive learning and merriment.

See you Friday.



So I also thought I would share these interesting memes comparing the pro-abortion group with the pro-slavery group. They use the same tactics.

Oppression is easier when you “dehumanize” the victim of oppression.


36 thoughts on “This Friday– Class Debate on Slavery and a Christmas Party :)

  1. I think I’m gonna go with Eva. I feel like changing my gender (lolno). I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about the things I’m gonna say with Eva. I just gotta get her voice now.

    1. Underline any sentences that stick out to you as either important to you (personally touching) or important in that they go along with the themes of the book–Slavery, Christianity, Freedom, Love, Sacrifice, Duty, Christlike qualities, etc.

    1. Good question, the debate will probably be about 45 minutes. So overdo it! haha 🙂 Plan to have at least 4-6 reasons for your opinion, that you are ready to argue and explain. And maybe a couple reasons the opposing arguments are foolish. Other people will talk too, but you will be graded on participation, so you want to have enough so that you can volunteer to say things.

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