In the 15th century, decades before they sailed into the Caribbean, Spanish merchants, captains,
Grade Range: 5-8
Resource Type(s): Reviewed Websites, Primary Sources, Lessons & Activities
Duration: 90 minutes
Date Posted: 10/13/2016
This inquiry provides students with an opportunity to evaluate the relationship between the dramatic increase in European sugar consumption in the 18th and 19th centuries and the reliance on the labor of enslaved persons to produce sugar in the Western Hemisphere. In examining the compelling question–“How did sugar feed slavery?” students explore the environmental, economic, and social consequences of increased sugar production. Students work with featured sources focused on sugar production and the treatment of enslaved workers on sugar plantations. The goal of this inquiry is to provide students with an opportunity to examine the human costs of consumer behaviors through the historical example of sugar production in the Western Hemisphere. Such knowledge may help students as they make economic decisions of their own.
United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)
3: How the values and institutions of European economic life took root in the colonies, and how slavery reshaped European and African life in the America
Historical Thinking Standards (Grades 5-12)
Common Core State Standards (Grades K-12)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 (Text Types and Purposes): Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 (Text Types and Purposes): Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 (Production and Distribution of Writing): Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 (Research to Build and Present Knowledge): Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9 (Research to Build and Present Knowledge): Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Common Core State Standards (Grades 6-8)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2 (Key Ideas and Details): Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.9 (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas): Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (Grades 6-8)
D2.His.1.6-8. (History): Analyze connections among events and developments in broader historical contexts.
D2.His.3.6-8. (History): Use questions generated about individuals and groups to analyze why they, and the developments they shaped, are seen as historically significant.
D2.His.14.6-8. (History): Explain multiple causes and effects of events and developments in the past.
D3.3.6-8. (Developing Claims and Using Evidence): Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.
D3.4.6-8. (Developing Claims and Using Evidence): Develop claims and counterclaims while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both.
D4.2.6-8. (Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions): Construct explanations using reasoning, correct sequence, examples, and details with relevant information and data, while acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the explanations.
D4.3.6-8. (Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions): Present adaptations of arguments and explanations on topics of interest to others to reach audiences and venues outside the classroom using print and oral technologies (e.g., posters, essays, letters, debates, speeches, reports, and maps) and digital technologies (e.g., Internet, social media, and digital documentary).