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Students will analyze the Dred Scott Decision and its impact on increasing regional tension by reading different sources about the decision.
In groups of 3-4 create a newspaper article about the Dred Scott Decision make sure to include a short biography of Dred Scott, a political cartoon about sectionalism (design your own), a feature article about the Dred Scott Decision, and a Letter to the Editor (a response to the feature article which often includes strong opinions about the topic)
In pairs have students create two different political cartoons about the Dred Scott Case one from a northern perspective and the second one from the southern perspective make sure to include a short description of each of the political cartoons. Be prepared to share with the class.
In groups have students debate the outcome of the Dred Scott Decision. One group should try to argue from the northern perspective/abolitionists and the other side from the southern perspective/slavery supporters. Have students gather evidence for their side of the debate using the documents provided in this assignment. Students can also do their own research to gather information for their side of the debate. Students should then select one person who will represent them in the debate. The two students will then debate against each other while the rest of the students will be the jury deciding which side had the stronger arguments/evidence. The students must come to a consensus on the decision.
Have students reenact the Dred Scott Decision, and assign students certain roles to play in this recreation of the Dred Scott Case. The reenactment should be based on historical facts from the case. Teachers could expand this activity to be an altered version of the case. Students can work in groups to create their What if scenarios. For example, students can create a skit in which Dred Scott wins his case and how that would alter the history of slavery & regional tensions moving forward.