Nat Turner’s Revolt and Its Effects

Lesson 2: Reactions to the Rebellion

Time Estimated: 1 days



Students will:

  1. Read and evaluate selections from two articles by two whites at the time, one from the North (Garrison), and one from the South to determine the author’s points of view.
  2. Compare and contrast the perspectives presented in the two articles.







  1. Hook: Teacher says, “There’s been a rebellion by the cafeteria workers and they have injured 50 students. They got sick of working and they felt the students were taking advantage of them. What do you think of this?”
  2. Students share reactions.
  3. Ask students to predict how they think people will respond to Turner’s rebellion. What will their reactions be? Discuss.
  4. Teacher provides background on Garrison—who he was and what The Liberator was about.
  5. Teacher hands out two articles— selections from Garrison’s article and another newspaper article.
  6. Review how to read primary sources. Teacher reads beginning of article with students and again performs a think aloud to determine what Garrison is saying. Re-word his difficult words for the students. Then give the students an opportunity to re-word the next few sentences. Correct / revise their answers as necessary. What is Garrison saying?
  7. The students will analyze and answer the guiding questions on Garrison’s article with a partner first to determine Garrison’s perspective on the rebellion.
  8. Students will read the second newspaper article and answer the guiding questions trying to determine what type of person might have written the article. What is the author’s perspective? (Remind the students again of the strategies for reading primary sources).
  9. Students will answer questions comparing and contrasting the views presented in the two articles. What would the two authors think of each other’s opinions? (Teacher may need to guide students—point out specific words / phrases that they should compare in contrasting the two views. Encourage the use of Venn diagrams).
  10. Partners share their conclusions with their group of 4 that they are seated with.
  11. Groups share conclusions with the class about the author’s perspectives.
  12. Teacher asks: “What other points of view do you think people had?”
  13. Students share and teacher clarifies the multitude of opinions.
  14. Homework: Students write a paragraph explaining their opinion of the revolt and how they would respond.




Students of lower reading ability will be provided with highlighters to use as they read the articles. They will again be encouraged to scratch out less important details in the articles. The pairs will be heterogeneous as well to provide for support. Difficult vocabulary will again be defined in parenthesis after the word. The guiding questions for the lower ability students will be more direct in leading students to their conclusions. I will have the students who have trouble identifying the similarities and differences between the articles go back through the articles with another color pen to circle the sentences that explicitly state their opinions concerning the revolt. These sentences can then be compared.