African Americans in the Columbia River Basin: Lesson Plans for Teachers

“African Americans in the Columbia River Basin” is a learning module that introduces students to the history of African Americans in the region. It is designed for students grade 8 and above, and to be accessible to community people who have an interest in black history. The module consists of four lessons that examine four fundamental aspects of the African American experience in the Columbia River Basin since the early 1800’s to the present: migration and settlement, formation of communities, interaction and relations with white society, and work experiences. Students will use a variety of primary sources to explore the history of blacks in the region. These primary sources include oral history interviews, photos and other images, newspaper articles, manuscripts, records of cultural groups, churches and other organizations, and personal collections of families and individuals stored in the Tri-State Project database.

LESSON PLANS

Lesson 1: Migration and Settlement

In this lesson students will explore the reasons why African Americans migrated to
and settled in the Columbia River Basin.

Lesson 2: Building Communities

In this lesson students will learn how African Americans built their own communities
and institutions.

Lesson 3: Problems of Race and Space

In this lesson students will explore the experiences of African Americans in relations
with white society in the Columbia River Basin

Lesson 4: The Work Experience of African Americans

In this lesson students will learn about the work experience of African Americans in
the Columbia River Basin

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this module students will:

  • acquire a basic understanding of when and why African Americans first
    migrated to the Columbia River Basin and why they continued to settle in
    the region
  • acquire a basic understanding of how African Americans built communities in the Columbia River Basin
  • acquire a basic understanding of the problems African Americans faced in their interaction with white society in the Columbia River Basin
  • acquire a basic understanding of the work experiences of African Americans in the Columbia River Basin


INTENDED AUDIENCE

Grade 8 and above


RESOURCES

Academic Learning Standards
African Americans in the Columbia River Basin
Tri-State Database

African Americans in the Columbia River Basin: Lesson Plans for Teachers

Lesson 1: Migration and Settlement

In this lesson students will use primary sources stored in the Tri-State database
to explore the reasons why African Americans migrated to and settled in the
Columbia River Basin.

This lesson consist of three activities:

Students will examine and evaluate three photographs of early African American settlers;
students will review and critically examine two oral history interviews with descendents of early African American settlers in the region;
students will select and examine two other sources of their choice from the Tri-State the database

Learning After completing this lesson students will acquire a basic
Objective: understanding of why and when African Americans first
migrated to the Columbia River Basin, and why they continued to settle in
the region.

ACTIVITIES

For these activities students will review primary sources stored in the Tri-State Database following the instructions below.

Activity One: Reading and Interpreting Oral History Interviews with Descendents of Early African American Settlers.
In this activity students will read and critically analyze
two oral history interviews selected by the teacher.

Activity Two: Evaluation and Interpretation of photos of early African American settlers.
In this activity students will read and critically analyze three photos of early African American settlers in the Columbia River Basin selected by the teacher.

Activity Three: Students will examine two additional sources.
In this activity students will examine two additional sources of their own
choice, selected from the Tri-State database collections.



RESOURCES

Academic Learning Standards
African Americans in the Columbia River Basin: How Do we Interpret Sources to Understand the Past?
African Americans in the Columbia River Basin (Historical Overview)
Oral History:
Eugene Settle, Interview #1
Clara Terrell, Interview
Photos: Elvina Moulton, 1878;
Flowers family farm, ca. 1885;
Rodeo Cowboy, 1900.

STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS

What do the sources you examined reveal about early African American settlers in the Columbia River Basin?

What do the sources say about why, when, and where African Americans settled in the region? Who were some of these early African American settlers?

What do the sources reveal about the family life of early African American settlers?

What do the sources say about the experiences of early African American settlers in the
communities where they settled? Did these experiences meet their expectations?

Do you have any questions that your sources do not answer satisfactorily? If so, search the Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Archives for additional sources that may help you answer these questions?

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