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.

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:

    Churchill speech, “Owed to so few” 1940

    Churchill was a great orator who could evoke powerful images and memorable quotes.

    His 1940 speech to the House of Commons is no exception.

    Deep in the Battle of Britain, Churchill wanted to give hope to British citizens that victory was possible.

    We have included a copy of an excerpt from the speech as well as questions and answers.

    Here is a link to the audio of the speech.

    For more on this era check out our PowerPoints:

    US History – Causes of WWII, World War II

    World History – Europe Between the Wars, World War II

    Simulation Games:

    President Kennedy’s Ich bin ein Berliner speech, 1963

    This quintessential Cold War speech was given in June of 1963 in West Berlin.

    We have included a transcript of the speech as well as questions and answers.

    For more on this time period check out sample slides of our US History PowerPoints:

    and some simulation games:

    Gulf of Tonkin Incident, 1964

    Few American troops had been sent to Vietnam prior to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.

    The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution had far reaching consequences, not only in Vietnam but for the executive branch since it allowed the president to send troops into combat without an official war declaration.

    President Johnson addressed the Congress and we have included a copy of his speech along with questions and answers.

    For more on this era please see our US History PowerPoints: Vietnam, Cold War Part I and II; and our World History Modern Era 1945-1970and 1970-2009.

    President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural speech

    President Lincoln’s wartime second inaugural address is considered one of the most important speeches in US history. It speaks for itself!

    We have included a transcript of the speech as well as questions and answers for students.

    For more on this time period check out our PowerPoints: Causes of the Civil War, The Civil War, and Reconstruction.

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