Lesson 1 (from Gustavus Vassa)
Vassa opens his narrative by discussing the culture and customs of his tribe. Students will explore this culture in order to understand the world from which Vassa is taken.
1. Reading activity: Students will read chapter one of Vassa's narrative in order to be familiar with the material. While students read the chapter, they will make a list of attributes about Vassa's culture.
2. Small groups: Students will divide into groups of three or four to discuss Vassa's culture. What things do students find surprising about these people? What information is unclear? In what ways is Vassa's culture similar to Jewish culture? In what ways does it differ? What do students predict will happen to embroil Vassa in the slave trade?
3. Class discussion: Based on the title, readers can assume that Vassa is about to enter the slave trade. What do students already know about...
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