Title of Book: To be a Slave
Author: Julius Lester
Name: Hannah H.
Class Period: 5th
Context Clues
Word
Sentence
Correct
Dictionary
Definition
Vivid
They knew, and when given the
opportunity, they would talk in
vivid, fresh, and alive language.
Strikingly bright or intense as color
or light.
Whig
He was a Whig who owned
slaves, but was against slavery.
To move along briskly.
Sow
He called up an old sow that had
thirteen pigs all different colors.
To scatter (seed) overland, earth.
Henceforth
You are to call me papa
henceforth.
From now on.
Lenient
Other drivers were more lenient.
Agreeably tolerant.
Text Purpose
• I think the author wrote this book to
explain. The reason why is to tell us how
life was for a slave. They were treated
very badly. The intended audience for this
book would be whoever wants to learn
about the history of slaves. If they were
interested, this book would be good for
learning about them.
Text Structure
• The author uses description in this book.
When you read the author actually
describes what it was like back then. He
puts actual facts that slaves wrote, who
were actually slaves.
Text Representation
Slave Owner
Slaves
They would buy slaves
Whip the slaves if they
didn’t listen
Treated the slaves
like they weren’t human
Had a plantation for a
slave to work on
They got separated from their families
Both human
Both meet
New slaves
month
They would starve and get dehydrated
lack of water and food.
Try to run away from master.
Both might have Most of them don’t get educated.
been separated
from their families
Author’s Perspective/Point of View
Subject
Author’s
Feelings
Text Evidence
To be a Slave
He’s wanting to
give true
feelings on
what the slaves
endured.
Sometimes the
slaves were
kept overnight
and longer at a
specially built
slave jail.
Main Idea
Paragraphs
Main Idea
Beginning-Page # 59
The author describes
how the plantation looks.
Middle-Page # 69
The author is saying,
basically a slave worked
from dawn to dusk, doing the
same thing every day.
End-Page #75
The slaves were forced
to work everyday. Their
moans sounding like the
living deaths.
Supporting Details
Details
Page # Comments
Some preferred
to kill themselves
if they were
being captured or
returned to their
masters.
122
He told us their opinion on what the slave
would rather do if he/she ever got caught
or returned.
It was
uncommon for
slaves to hide out
in the woods.
121
He’s telling us where it was uncommon for
a slave to hide if he/she ever ran away.
I’ve labored you
for 40 years now.
127
The slave is telling us he’s old and can’t
work anymore.
Draw Inferences
What the Book Says
Conclusions Drawn
Situation: Missus threw her apron
over her face. Granma knew it was
true then.
The slaves left the
house.
Character Actions: Granma yelled,
"I'm free! Ain’t got to work for you
no more.”
Situation: The news said that they were
free. It was the fulfillment of the dream they
had taken to bed each night and risen with
each morning.
Character Actions: They were
happy slavery ended.
They would tell everybody
they were free.
They stopped working
and left.
Compare-Contrast
Title: To be a Slave
Title: How Slavery Really
ended in America
Both:
1.The slaves would sing
1. Listed the top 5 slave
states
1. Emancipation
Proclamation
2. The article said three
black men rowed across
the James River
2. Slaves all
around joined the
union
2. In the book it said a
slave would kill
themselves than be
caught if they ran away
3. The article said that
the fugitives had a new
name: contrabands
3.The slaves
shared stories
3. In the book it said if a
slave had to pick cotton,
they would fill cloth in
their shoe
4. Lincoln and his cabinet
met to discuss matters
4.They got
separated from
their families
4.In the book it said
slaves would get the day
off on special occasions
5. Slaves began flocking
to union lines
5. They helped
out the union
5. They would have
religious meetings
Facts
Facts
Page #
Comments
Laws were made governing
every aspect of a slave’s
life, giving the slave no legal
rights and the owner all.
102
The slave should have all
rights not their owner.
These laws gave the slave
owners control over the
bodies of their property.
103
I wish the slaves didn’t have
to go through this.
White men were hired to
patrol the plantation to catch
any slave escaping or
gathering.
103
They should let them go.
Slaves brought several
instruments to this country.
112
Is that how we got most of
our instruments?
They used music as means
at expressing their joys.
112
That’s a clever idea.
Opinions
Opinions
Page #
Comments
The slave determined right
and wrong very easily.
102
That would be helpful.
The prayer meetings, the
parties, and holidays did not
make being a slave
pleasurable.
111
At least they got day offs.
Often the words of a song
are meaningless.
112
How can words from a song
be meaningless?
If slaves had had weapons
whites possessed, they
would not have used them
effectively.
129
Did they not know how to
use the weapon?
They were only held as
salve because they did not
have the necessary means
to make themselves free.
129
So they could’ve been free
if they had the necessary
means to make themselves
free?
Reading Response
• And through the religious songs made up from biblical
stories, they expressed their real feelings about slavery.page 84- I like singing, me calm down when I get mad. It’s
really brave of them to sing about their feelings through
song.
• Not all slaves had to march in a coffle.-page 56- Why did
the slave have to walk in coffles? Was it easier for the
owners to see all of them? I’m glad not all of them had to
walk in a coffle.
• On many plantations house servants were hated by the
slaves who worked in the fields.-page 90- I could relate to
that if I had to work in a cool house instead of being under
the sun, I would work in the house. Working in the house
is probably the easier job too.
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