Learning Objectives

To encourage students to enter imaginatively into the campaign to end slavery.

To encourage students to analyze the case for abolition.

To help students formulate and communicate a persuasive argument.


Imagine you are a speechwriter for Governor John Graves Simcoe. He is going to address a meeting of slave-owners, abolitionists and citizens in the young province of Upper Canada. He wants to persuade them to outlaw slavery. Therefore, his words have to make a dramatic impact on the audience.

You must write a speech convincing people not only to support the abolition of slavery but also to become active campaigners in the international fight.

Include in your speech:

• a brief history of slavery;
• an opinion statement;
• at least 3 arguments against slavery;
• a conclusion that recaptures your message; and
• a catchy slogan for the audience to chant in the streets while protesting the practice of slavery.

Speeches should be approximately 2 minutes in length.

Have students role play and deliver their speeches to the class. The class can act as the audience of law-makers, slave-owners, abolitionists and citizens. Encourage students to heckle or applaud key points in the speeches.

Have a vote to see who came up with the catchiest slogan.

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