Primary Sources, Student Activities, Teacher Reference Materials

Enslaved Women & Revolutionary Resistance

Grade Level:
High School: Ninth Grade through Twelfth Grade
Social Studies
Common Core Standards:
9-10.RH.8, 9-10.RH.9, 11-12.RH.1, 11-12.RH.2, 11-12.RH.3, 11-12.RH.7, 11-12.RH.9, 9-10.WHST.2
State Standards:
Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for History and Social Science
Grade 5: Topic 1 (5.T1) #7, #7A
High School - US History I: Topic 4 (USI.T4) #1, #2, #2A, #2B

Students practice using primary sources to support a historical argument. 


  1. Teacher introduces students to the difference between primary and secondary sources. (Definitions are included in student materials.)
  2. Students read the first part of this webpage - Women's Revolutionary Resistance to Slavery
  3. Students choose two or more newspaper advertisements to read (second part of the webpage). 
  4. Prompt students to identify primary and secondary source text from the webpage. 
  5. Students use two advertisements and their knowledge of history to answer guiding questions from the student materials packet. 
Note: the teacher materials packet includes an expanded version of text found on "Women's Revolutionary Resistance to Slavery" webpage. Also included is background information and notes/tips to reading historic newspaper advertisements. 

A Note on Language

Over the course of American history, the language used to describe Black people has changed and most likely will continue to change. Be sure to discuss with students that some of the primary sources use outdated terms as well as racist, sexist, and offensive language to describe Black people. We recommend developing a plan or guidelines to ensure a respectful, reflective classroom discussion. 


Student Materials: Guiding questions and vocabulary definitions.

Download Student Materials

Teacher Materials: Expanded version of background information. Notes/tips on reading historic newspaper advertisements.

Download Teacher Materials

Last updated: February 25, 2023