The young boy in the primitive drawing sits in the wooden box that became his transport to freedom along the Underground Railroad during the abolition movement. A vivid painting shows a group of enslaved men and women straining to cut sugar cane in the American South. A political cartoon from the period argues that the lives of slaves are superior to those of the working poor in England.
The images are among dozens found in lesson plans accompanying a four-hour series to be broadcast on public television next month.
“Slavery and the Making of America,” airing Feb. 9 and Feb. 16 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time, brings to life personal stories of struggle, tragedy, and triumph, throughout the rise and fall of slavery in the United States.
Online lessons include links to primary documents, personal narratives by slaves, and historical artwork, as well as recommended activities for students.
New materials submitted by teachers will be added over the coming months.
A version of this article appeared in the January 12, 2005 edition of Education Week