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Ms. V. from Oakland CA is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Understanding the Slave Experience

My students need 4-5 copies each of 7 historical fiction books about slavery, as well as report covers and poster boards to present unit projects.

  • $337 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My 8th grade classroom is part of a K-8 charter school in a high-need community. It is filled with inspired students who care about the world around them, and who learn best through connecting their lives to the lives of fictional and real characters throughout history. The students of color to whom I teach history and language arts understand the importance of understanding the history of their own culture and other cultures, and they show great insight when exposed to quality literature.

In our U.S. history course, we will soon arrive at our unit on the American Revolution, followed by our Civil War unit. We have textbooks, but students are best able to connect when they can interact with history through the eyes of young people (real or fictional) who lived through the time period we are studying. Unfortunately, our school does not have the resources to purchase multiple copies of the sorts of books to which I know my students could truly relate.

With small group sets of six different books - Chains, Copper Sun, Letters from a Slave Girl, Letters from a Slave Boy, Nightjohn, and Amos Fortune: Free Man - my students would have access to a variety of important fictional depictions of life during slavery, set in the 1700s and 1800s. Literature circles will allow my students to read at their level, develop confidence and independence as they run their own reading groups, and teach each other as part of a culminating project that will include reports with activities that address every level of Bloom's Taxonomy. My students will not only develop a better understanding of slavery in America, but hopefully also an appreciation for historical fiction and its ability to link reality to engaging characters that make history accessible to young people. Finally, the purchase of report covers and poster board will allow my students to create organized presentations that will become part of their portfolios as they apply to and enter high schools next year.

Your help will ensure that this important project becomes a reality. I feel confident that these literature circles and the accompanying assignments will challenge and engage all of my students, as well as integrate literature and history in my classroom. It is rare that my students receive brand new books and the chance to truly engage with historical characters. Also, this will be an amazing opportunity for them to make presentations to and learn from one another. Thank you for supporting this meaningful unit!

Ms. V.
Grades 6-8
  • E C Reems Academy of Tech & Art
  • Oakland, CA
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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10 donors10 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 22 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
SUPER VALUE POSTER BOARD -- Bemiss-Jason Super Value Posterboard • Quill $14.39 1 $14.39
VINYL REPORT COVER PUNCHLESS -- C-Line No-Punch Vinyl Report Covers; Clear • Quill $18.89 1 $18.89
Nightjohn Charles Burnett, Carl Lumbly, Beau Bridges, Allison Jones • Barnes and Noble $7.19 1 $7.19
Chains Laurie Halse Anderson • Barnes and Noble $9.31 4 $37.24
Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs Mary E. Lyons • Barnes and Noble $5.39 4 $21.56
Letters from a Slave Boy: The Story of Joseph Jacobs Mary E. Lyons • Barnes and Noble $5.39 5 $26.95
Nightjohn Gary Paulsen • Barnes and Noble $5.39 5 $26.95
Amos Fortune : Free Man Elizabeth Yates, Nora S. Unwin (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $6.29 5 $31.45
Copper Sun Sharon M. Draper • Barnes and Noble $8.09 5 $40.45

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Total project goal


10 Donors


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Project Activity

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