Migration North to the Promised Land
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Sequence of Lessons
This unit is intended for seventh grade Social Studies students. The reading level ranges from third to seventh grade and can last from four to six weeks. Included are human and urban geography as well as history, political science, and economics.
Week I—Geographic locations
Using atlases and maps, students should learn and be able to identify the migration routes: 1) Mississippi River and 2) railroads on the Atlantic Coast. Students will also become proficient in citing states and Caribbean islands involved in migration. With only physical, resource, and climate maps of the United States, students will study locations of Chicago, Illinois, and New York, and discuss why people would select these areas to settle.
Week II—Social conditions of the South
Students will learn and develop an understanding of social conditions in the South after the Civil War. Topics to be discussed include disenfranchisement, Ku Klux Klan, Plessy v. Ferguson, Jim Crow laws, discrimination, segregation and disillusionment.
Week III—Economic conditions
Students will develop an awareness of the reasons why economic conditions caused a full-scale migration. The migrations of 1873, 1880’s, and 1890’s and finally, the great migration are the migrations that will be studied. Emphasis should be placed on national conditions as they affected the South, the faltering agricultural economy, and lack of employment for blacks in southern cities.
Week IV—Life in the South
Students will write a paper about living condition in the South. They will participate as characters and discuss their dissatisfaction with the lack of work, discrimination, low wages, and will discuss why the North has started to look like a promised land.
Week V—Migration, two studies and Harlem
Students will realize that job agents promised blacks jobs but not housing. They will become aware of difficulties besetting migrants. DuBois’
and Drake and Cayton’s
will be discussed. Harlem is to be studied, especially the development of a slum that becomes particularly ugly during the years of the Great Depression as well as the emergence of a middle-class culture that could sustain a renaissance.
Week VI—Current trends in Connecticut
An analysis of recent statistics from the Census Bureau will culminate the unit. Current trends in Connecticut illustrate a dramatic turning point in the migration of blacks.