Documentary: Slavery and the Making of America by Betty Wood

Slavery is one of the topics which attract most of students’ attention. This topic is also associated with numerous discussions concerning historical facts and falsifications, morality in the 17th–18th centuries and modern days, numerous lessons to learn for teenagers. This topic has been explored by many researchers and there are numerous data on the matter.

A valuable source for new teachers (and students, of course) is the book by Betty Wood. Wood (2005) provides a detailed description of key events between 169 and 1776. The book is written in simple language and it will be easy and interesting to read for students. There are numerous descriptions and major events are highlighted in detail.

The book includes numerous pictures and graphs which make it is easier for people to understand the material and get a full picture of events. The book also includes numerous extracts from the most important documents concerning slavery. Admittedly, students need to read exact extracts from documents to be able to understand the way people thought and acted at that period.

Another relevant and helpful source is the book by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. The book is not very recent but it has reference to enormous number of additional online resources. Holt, Rinehart and Winston (2005) provide an account of American history and the period of slavery is also highlighted in detail.

The online resources of the book include charts, pictures, additional quizzes and tests. These supplementary materials will help students better grasp the information. It will also help the new teacher to understand which types of tasks are challenging, interesting, boring, and so on.

Apart from books, students and teachers can benefit from a very interesting application. The application provides a brief and concise account of the ‘black’ history (App detail, 2014). It is compatible with iPhones and iPads and it is cheap, which means that the vast majority of American students will be able to use it. The application contains description of major events. It also has a timeline and quick facts.

The application also includes pictures and graphs which are useful for better understanding of the material. One of the greatest benefits of the application is that students can have it everywhere with them. On a school bus or during their lunchtime, students can read about slavery. One more application is not that detailed and comprehensive, but it is also exciting.

The application is designed for iPads and is very cheap (The Atlantic slave trade, 2013). It contains pictures and certain animation. The application shows the ways the slave trade was held. This additional material will help students picture the trade.

Websites are also very valuable sources for students and new teachers as they contain a lot of useful information. South Carolina’s Information Highway is a website which contains numerous links to primary sources, pictures, charts, useful facts on slavery in America (South Carolina, 2014). Thus, the website contains precise prices for slaves (boys, girls, men and women, families) and different accounts of former slaves (South Carolina, 2014).

Admittedly, students will find a lot of information on the topic. What is more, they will be able to choose information they are interested in. Students can be given a choice. This will be their self-development and self-learning.

This freedom in choosing facts and stories they want can make students more interested in the activity. They will be responsible for expanding the scope of knowledge they have on the matter. This can be challenging as well as captivating.

Another website which contains tons of facts and additional materials on the topic focuses on slavery as one of the makers of the American nation (Slavery and the making of America, 2004). Clearly, the website contains numerous articles, pictures, graphs and even audio files which can help students learn more about slavery.

Students will learn more from former slaves reading their stories or reading documents concerning slavery. Apart from this, the website provides an interesting perspective which can broaden students’ horizons. Slavery is one of potent factors which had a great impact on the development of the nation.

Finally, students can benefit from watching a video on the topic. There are numerous documentaries and short video clips online. Slavery and the making of America (2013) is an interesting documentary which tells different stories. Thus, it depicts the way people became slaves and the way they were sold and resold. Stories of several people are told in a very interesting form.

This film can be shown in parts during several lessons or only some specific extracts can be taken. In any case, students will be able to see and discussed what they have seen. Films are often perceived better and evoke more discussion as students get involved.

In conclusion, it is possible to note that each source can be helpful in a number of ways. It is important to use these sources adjusting them to each class as all classes and all students are different.

Reference List

. (2014).

Holt, Rinehart & Winston. (2005). Call to freedom. Orlando, FL: Holt McDougal.

Slavery and the making of America. (2004). Web.

Slavery and the making of America. (2013). Web.



Wood, B. (2005). Slavery in colonial America, 1619-1776. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

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