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Relive this scenario during the Paths to Freedom field trip program while students recreate the events surrounding the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Each student researches and acts the part of an historic character from the 1860s and traces President Abraham Lincoln's steps as he considered emancipation and its alternatives. These scenes are videotaped and transferred to a DVD for the class to keep.

This field trip experience invites students to explore notions of bondage and freedom within the real historic spaces of Decatur House.

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This program is:

  • Standards-based
  • Free of charge
  • For Grades 4-6
  • A three hour (+) experience
  • Includes a free lunch for Title One Schools (upon request)

Within the real historic spaces of the Stephen Decatur House, students engage in critical thinking to answer these questions:

  • How did Charlotte Dupuy, a slave owned by Secretary of State and Decatur House resident Henry Clay, use the legal system to seek her freedom?
  • How did President Lincoln come to his decision to proclaim emancipation?
  • How did Abraham Lincoln use his Constitutional powers as the president in signing the Emancipation Proclamation?

Common Core State Standards Correlations

Grade 4

Reading/Informational Text

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.1: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.4: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.

Speaking and Listening

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.2: Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Grade 5

Reading Informational Text

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.3: Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.4: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

Speaking and Listening

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.2: Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Grade 6

Speaking and Listening

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2: Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study. History/Social Studies
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7: Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Additional Information

More detailed information on standards correlations for teachers in DC, MD, and VA is available once a program is requested; or you may request a detailed standards document by emailing: OUTREACH, subject line "Standards Request."