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Without Sanctuary

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Without Sanctuary

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This lesson has students analyzing lynching postcards from the site  A simple writing prompt will allow students to share their thoughts, in the form of a letter, on these powerful and sometimes graphic images from Jim Crow.
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Material Type: Assignment
Technical Format: Website
Date Added to MERLOT: May 12, 2011
Date Modified in MERLOT: March 13, 2012
Keywords: jim crow, lynching, slavery, reconstruction, withoutsanctuary


  • Reviewed by members of Editorial board for inclusion in MERLOT.
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    Very good quality; in queue to be peer reviewed
    avg: 5 rating
  • User review 5 average rating
  • Discussion (3 Comments)
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Primary Audience: High School, College General Ed
Mobile Platforms: Not specified at this time
Technical Requirements: access to
computers for students
word processing program
Language: English
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: no
Accessibility Information Available: unsure
Creative Commons: unsure


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Discussion for Without Sanctuary

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Avatar for Leslie Sniegowski
6 years ago

Leslie Sniegowski (Teacher (K-12))

This is a great lesson that incorporates the use of primary documents and anaylzing photographs.  The lesson is useful because it allows students to analyze photographs and then create a product from their understanding.  I also like that the lesson is structured for lower-level learners where the teacher can provide a fill-in letter form to help them develop their final product.  Great inclusion of UDL principles including visual and expressive learning. 

Technical Remarks:


Time spent reviewing site: 15 minutes

Avatar for Lindsay Sanders
6 years ago

Lindsay Sanders (Teacher (K-12))

This lesson was moving and gives students a personal look into history. Your UDL principles are clearly listed in your lesson plan by offering alternatives and/or additional support to students with those needs. Giving the students the ability to share their letters and reflect on the horrible past that the postcards depict will give students a sense of understanding of what actually occurred in terms of race relations and what that means for them today. I agree that the age level for this lesson should be no younger than 15. The accompanying Google Docs lesson plan offers many different activities that can help students understand the objectives you set for them.

Time spent reviewing site: 15 minutes
Used in course

Avatar for Deborah Johnson
6 years ago

Deborah Johnson (Teacher (K-12))

This seems like a lesson that will elicit powerful emotional responses from students. Although the site is rather disturbing, it gives history and talks about conditions that cannot be forgotten. I can see how the lesson would draw students in and make them eager to give their opinions in the letters. From a Universal Design for Learning perspective, it is good that you included graphic organizers and sample writing to help guide students in their thinking and what is expected of them. Having the visual pictures available to support student learning also is important. It will make their learning more memorable for this particular assignment.

Technical Remarks:

Thank you for including the link to the website.  I did not find any technical problems.

Time spent reviewing site: 15 minutes
Used in course