Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech

sojourner_truth

Sojourner Truth was an amazing woman who lived an extraordinary life.

Her famous speech given in Ohio in 1851 is a simple yet eloquent argument on the equality of the sexes.

There is a bit of controversy, however, as two versions have been recorded, one during the convention, a second a few years later.

The second version is the widely known speech. It is notable though that the second version is in a southern-style dialect which is not how the native New Yorker who only spoke Dutch for her early years talked.

We have included both and encourage adding questions to the assignment we have included for your classroom use.

MLK Day 2013

In honor of the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we are posting this short clip containing a portion of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington in 1963.

For more information on this era check out our PowerPoint presentations:

 

The Great Society by LBJ

LBJ_GreatSociety

President Johnson and others in the 1960s hoped to end poverty and racial injustice through a series of programs known as “The Great Society”.

In one of LBJ’s first speeches about the program at the University of Michigan on May 22, 1964 he outlines some of the major goals.

We have included an excerpted copy of the speech along with questions and answers. It is an accessible speech for students of all reading levels, which makes it a great primary source document lesson.

For more resources on teaching this era check out our:

US History PowerPoints

Classroom History Games

Lincoln’s message to the Senate, 1861

The Civil War is rich with primary source materials ranging from photographs to speeches to letters and much more. What a great opportunity for students to experience firsthand the depths of despair people felt at having a war within the nation.

President Lincoln hoped to end the conflict without bloodshed, but when it became obvious that was impossible he wanted to expedite the process as much as possible.

At the time of this speech, on July 5, 1861 several states had seceded and the attack on Fort Sumter had already occurred.

This speech is Lincoln appealing to the first session of the 37th Congress to take action in order to end the war quickly. We have included a page from the Journal of the Senate as well as questions and answers.

For more resources on teaching this era check out our PowerPoints:

Classroom history games:

Duties of an American Citizen, TR 1883

Teddy Roosevelt was known as a brilliant orator, and this 1883 speech made as a NY State Assemblyman is no exception. He argues that participation in the government is an important part of being a good citizen, and that no one is exempt.

We have excerpted the speech and created questions and answers for your students.

This lesson could be used in any Social Studies class at any given moment as the concepts covered are applicable in many situations and ought to spark excellent discussions.

For more US History teaching resources check out our PowerPoints that cover this era:

The West

Rise of Industrialism

Response to Industrialism

Imperialism

Immigration

Progressive Era

WW I

Alexander the Great speech questions & answers

A dynamic leader who studied under Aristotle, this famous speech from the 4th century BCE attempts to convince his battle-weary army to continue fighting.

We have created questions and answers for this speech.

For more resources on teaching ancient history check out our PowerPoints and Image Libraries:

Fertile Crescent

Ancient Egypt 

Aegean Civilizations

Ancient Rome

World History Image Library

Frederick Douglass speech “What the Black Man Wants” 1865

Given at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society days before the end of the Civil War, Douglass argues in favor of suffrage for Blacks, as well as equality, rather than generosity.

Douglass wants Blacks to be allowed to fail or succeed on their own.

He also points out the irony that Blacks have been considered citizens in time of war but aliens in time of peace.

We have included an excerpt from the speech, along with questions and answers.

For more on this time period check out our PowerPoints:

  • Slavery in America
  • Expansion and Reform: The United States from 1829-1860
  • Causes of the Civil War
  • The Civil War
  • Reconstruction: 1863-1877
  • Also check out our simulation games:

    Marcus Garvey’s 1921 “If you believe the Negro has a soul” speech

    After World War I ended, many Black Americans expected to return home to celebrations of their contributions in the war fought to preserve democracy and human rights in Europe. Instead, racism was alive and well. This is evidenced by the rebirth of Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, and discriminatory practices in the segregated south.

    The Universal Negro Improvement Association was headed by the charismatic Marcus Garvey. He believed that the best course of action would be for Blacks to leave the United States and have a self-sufficient nation in Africa. He did not believe that racial equality and harmony would be possible in the U.S. and Europe in the 1920s.

    We have included his 1921 speech with questions and answers.

    For more on this era check out our 1920s PowerPoint.

    Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give me Death”, 1775

    We have included an excerpt along with questions and answers from his passionate speech given on the eve of the revolutionary war.

    It is short and well-suited for use as a primary source since the language is easily understandable.  This can help students feel good about reading a “real speech”.

    For more on this era check out our Colonial Era, Revolutionary War, and Early US History Review PowerPoints and our classroom ready simulation games:

    President Grant, Congress, and the Fifteenth Amendment

    President Grant sent a telegram to Congress in March of 1870 announcing the ratification of the 15th amendment, an action he acknowledged was breaking protocol.

    He wanted to emphasize the importance of the amendment, as he believed it to be the single greatest action taken since the founding of the nation.

    We have included a copy of the telegram, as well questions and answers for students.

    For more on this era check out our Reconstruction PowerPoint.

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