Reading Questions

The prompts for you to consider in your reading journal for each class session will be listed below. Keep in mind that you should bring your journal with you to class.


Date Topic Question(s)
(01F) Mon., Sept. 10

(002) Tues., Sept. 11

How do historians work? In the episode, each historian offers his or her explanation for how and why they study the past. Which of these explanations did you find most intriguing, and why?
(01F) Weds., Sept. 12

(002) Thurs., Sept. 13

What is an autobiography? Based on your prior knowledge and on reading Samson Occom’s account, what do you think are the most important elements that make a piece of writing an “autobiography?”
(01F) Mon., Sept. 17

(002) Tues., Sept. 18

The Segregated Society of Jim Crow America What was your experience of learning about segregation and civil rights before this course (for example, in high school or through movies/TV)?
(01F) Weds., Sept. 19

(002) Thurs., Sept. 20

The Long Battle for Civil Rights How did Beals describe her experience of Jim Crow as a child?
(01F) Mon., Sept. 24

(002) Tues., Sept. 25

Brown v. Board of Education and the Fight over Schools Why do you think the white students felt so threatened by the presence of the African-American students at Central High School?
(01F) Weds., Sept. 26

(002) Tues., Oct. 2

Civil Rights and the Cold War Why do you think Beals included so many newspaper headlines in her narrative of the school year?
(01F) Mon., Oct. 1

(002) Thurs., Oct. 4

The Little Rock Nine OPTIONAL Free Write – Offer any reflections you like on reading Warriors Don’t Cry.
(01F) Weds., Oct. 3

(002) Tues., Oct. 9

Other Perspectives on Little Rock What’s one major difference you found between the perspectives of President Dwight Eisenhower and Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus on desegregation?
(01F) Weds., Oct. 10

(002) Thurs., Oct. 11

Laboratory Day No journal entry
Oct. 15-19 Slavery and Freedom in Antebellum America

The Abolition Movement

No journal entries
(01F) Mon., Oct. 22

(002) Tues., Oct. 23

Frederick Douglass and a Life in Slavery OPTIONAL: Free write on first half of Douglass, Narrative of the Life
(01F) Weds., Oct. 24

(002) Thurs., Oct. 25

“How a Slave Was Made a Man” How did Douglass’s experience reflect the larger experience of slavery, freedom, and abolition in antebellum America?
(01F) Mon., Oct. 29

(002) Tues., Oct. 30

Douglass as an Abolitionist Politician Would you describe Douglass’s speech as more optimistic or pessimistic about the role of slavery in the United States? Why?
(002) Thurs., Nov. 15

(01F) Mon., Nov. 19

Boston, London, Philadelphia I Why do you think Franklin addressed Part I of his autobiography to his son William?
(002) Tues., Nov. 20

(01F) Weds., Nov. 21

Boston, London, Philadelphia II Select one person from the Autobiography who played a major role in Franklin’s life. What else can you find out about that person online? Does he/she have a Wikipedia entry?
(01F) Mon., Nov. 26

(002) Tues., Nov. 27

Thinking About Franklin Select one event from the Autobiography that you found particularly interesting. Why did you select it? How does it help us understand Franklin’s life?
(01F) Weds., Nov. 28

(002) Thurs., Nov. 29

Research Day Which research topic would you like to explore for the paper? Write a paragraph about your thinking, what Franklin said about that topic in his Autobiography, and what questions you’re interested in pursuing through the paper.
(01F) Mon., Dec. 3

(002) Tues., Dec. 4

Research Day Select one document you found in the Founders Online database. Describe what the author of it said and explain how you think it relates to the topic in the Autobiography.
(01F) Weds., Dec. 5

(002) Thurs., Dec. 6

Peer Editing No journal due – please complete your draft for class.
(01F) Mon., Dec. 10

(002) Tues., Dec. 11

What is an autobiography? No journal due – please complete your paper for class.
(01F) Weds., Dec. 12

(002) Thurs., Dec. 13

What is an autobiography? Reflecting on the course as a whole, in what ways do you think autobiographies are useful as historical sources?