Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Visualizing Emancipation - An Interactive Map for U.S. History Students

Visualizing Emancipation is an interactive map developed by historians at the University of Richmond. The purpose of the map is to show how the institution of slavery slowly came to an end during the Civil War. The events on the map are based upon newspaper reports, official military and government records, personal papers, and books.

While viewing the Visualizing Emancipation map you can choose to display emancipation events according to source type or event type. There are ten event types included on the map. Those events types include topics like "African-Americans Helping the Union," "Orders or Regulations," and "Fugitive Slaves." You can also choose to view the map as an animated heat map that depicts emancipation activities as the Civil War progressed.

Applications for Education
The "for teachers" section of Visualizing Emancipation offers a small collection of lesson plans and questions to guide your use of the map in your classroom. One of the lesson plan activities that I would use is the activity on local emancipation. The local emancipation activity features a series of questions designed to get students thinking about the reasons why slaves in some parts of the United States were emancipated before others. The questions prompt students to utilize some of the information found on the interactive map in formulating their answers.

H/T to Maps Mania