Skip Redundent Navigation
Territorial Kansas Online 1854-1861 Explore Topics Territorial A-Z Map Lesson Plans  
Untitled Document

Lesson Plans

Title: Dear Wife & children every one

Grades: 6-8
Download the Complete Lesson Plan (.pdf, 320KB)

Social Studies:

  • KH8B3I4: Describe role of important individuals
    during territorial period (e.g., John Brown)
  • KH8B8I3 8: Examine and analyze historical


Reading 7-S1B4I11: Explain the relationship
between elements of author’s style and his purpose
for writing the text.
Writing 7-S3B9I1 & 2: Write a descriptive or
narrative piece.



  • John Brown believed violence was justified if it
    made Kansas a free state.
  • John Brown made a personal commitment to the
    abolitionist cause.


  • Primary source
  • Evaluate a written source
  • Writing
  • Retelling
Focus Questions Assessment Tools
  • What actions did John Brown take to support his
    abolitionist beliefs?
  • What sacrifices did John Brown make in his
    efforts to make Kansas a free state?
  • worksheet analysis of the John Brown letter
  • class discussion
  • newspaper article writing assignment
  1. Introduce theme of Kansas Territory, free-state, the struggle over the slavery issue.
  2. Introduce students to John Brown with the “Student Reading” worksheet.
  3. Explore Brown’s actions and personal commitment to the abolitionist cause in Kansas Territory with the
    worksheet “John Brown Speaks.”
  4. Using the focus questions for this lesson, lead a discussion about the students’ exploration of John Brown
    through this letter from John Brown to his family, September 7, 1856.
  5. The Battle of Osawatomie propelled John Brown to national recognition as accounts of it appeared in
    newspapers throughout the nation. Have students write a newspaper article about the Battle of
    Osawatomie from John Brown’s perspective.

The current URL is