Mollie Gabe: A Former Slave's Perspective

By: Jonathan Watson



This short, stand-alone lesson seeks to give students a perspective of life as a slave from a former slave's perspective. Although this is but one view, it is a view nonetheless. Students will also be asked to use and improve their reading skills by the associated worksheet.

Keywords: planter, Southerner, slave owner, biography, slave, black, African American, negro, woman, lady, mollie, gabe, mollie gabe


Students will be able to describe the life within a Southern community during the mid-1800s.


1. Examine the experiences and perspectives of significant individuals and groups during this [mid-1800s] era of American History. (SS.8.A.4.3)
2. Analyze the role of slavery in the development of sectional conflict. (SS.8.A.5.2)


Academic Preparation

1. Download and copy worksheet "Mollie Gabe"
2. Make enough copies for each student.


Have students write a descriptioin of what they think life was like for a Black female on a Southern plantation in the mid-1800s.
1. Pass out to each students copies of the the worksheet "Mollie
2. Read aloud the passage provided.
3. Have students reread passage, using "Active Reading" tools:
a. Circling terms they do not recognize.
b. Underlining Main Ideas.
4. Have students answer the attached questions, using the article.
Once students have completed the worksheet, review answers and discuss student perspectives.


Have students create journal entries in which they write down events that have happened to them in the course of a week if they were a slave living under similar circumstances as Mollie Gabe.

Estimated Lesson Duration

1hr 00min

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