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https://www.storyboardthat.com/lesson-plans/narrative-of-the-life-of-frederick-douglass/myth-vs-reality

Activity Overview


One of Douglass’s main goals throughout his narrative is to debunk a number of claims slavery supporters commonly used to justify slavery. Douglass chooses his topics carefully in order to respond to popular misconceptions. Using a T Chart, students can identify and share the myths Douglass uses to strengthen his abolitionist argument. They will depict the pro-slavery myths Douglass attacks in one column and contrast it with depictions of the realities that Douglass explains. Students can accompany the storyboards with explanations in their own words or specific quotations from the narrative.


Extended Activity

As an extension, have students do further research into the myths and realities of slavery using other first hand accounts like Olaudah Equiano's autobiography. Students can add to their T-Chart or create a new one.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/8/1] Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/1] Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/8/6] Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/8/8] Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/9-10/6] Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/9-10/8] Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.


Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Create a storyboard illustrating the myth vs. reality of slavery.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In one column, describe the myths/pro-slavery views Douglass identifies.
  3. In the other column, describe the realities using direct quotes from the text or your own words.
  4. Create illustrations for each cell using appropriate characters, items, and scenes.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.


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