Unit 1: Starting Out
The three lessons in this unit are designed to introduce students to Uncle Tom's Cabin. Lesson 1, "America in the 1850s," asks students to examine primary documents in order to become familiar with the cultural debate into which Stowe's novel enters. The ideas introduced in this lesson will continue to be important thoughout the novel. Lessons 2 and 3 suggest activities to be introduced early and to run throughout a class's reading of the novel. These lessons, as well as all of the lessons on this site, emphasize the skills of close reading, note-taking, and critical interpretation.