Amos Fortune

Your Name: Carol Rey
School: Reading Jr. Academy
E-Mail Address:
Published Date: July 30, 2011
Subjects: Language Arts, Social Studies, Art, Music
Intended Grade Levels: 5th and 6th

Description: Amos Fortune-free man is the Theme book for this unit. Emphasis will be placed on the ideas of slavery, Colonial period, living a Christ-centered life, tannery, apprenticeship, and other heroes.

Pathways Theme, Goals and Skills:
The Pathways Theme for this project is heroes.
The Pathway Goals are for students to have a strong desire to become a lifelong readers, writers, and learners.
Target skills: Target 1-Reading to obtain information, using the writing process, including Pre-writing, Drafts, Revises, Edits, and Publishes, Target 2-Sequencing events, through a timeline, determines meaning of unfamiliar words and phrases through the use of context clues Target 3- Uses electronic media to reference information Target 4- Reads, spells, and writes words with short and long vowels Target 5-Writes clear, concise, correct, varied, and complete sentences.

Faith Integration: Faith is integrated in this lesson through the main character of the theme book, Amos Fortune. Throughout the book Amos displays his faith in God not only at church but in how he lived his whole life. Even though he was treated unfairly and disrespectfully, he always maintained self-control and always put the needs of others before his own. A couple of times he asked God to give him a sign as to what he was to do in his life which demonstrated his complete trust in God. The story of Joseph in the Bible can be equated to this story in many ways.

Technology Standards: The NETS standard that I am meeting in this unit is: Research and Information Fluency- Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. The students locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.

Book, references, worksheets:
  • From Slave Ship to Freedom Road by Julius Lester, Paintings by Rod Brown, Puffin Books
  • The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl by Patricia C. McKissack, Scholastic Inc. NY
  • The United States, Social Studies Book, by Scott Foresman
  • Gifted Hands, by Ben Carson
  • Four Square Writing Method by Judith and Evan Jay Gould, Teaching and Learning Co.
  • Amos Fortune:Free Man by Elizabeth Yates, Puffin Books
Enough copies for every student
  • Amos Fortune:Free Man- Pathways Daily Lesson Guide by Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co. Use Blackline Masters in the back of the book.

Material/Hardware/Software: Computers with access to the internet and enrollment to Spellingcity, and Kidspiration..
Movie-Johnny Tremain
CD player and a CD of Negro Spirituals

Teacher Preparation: Organize a schedule as to when each activity will be done and what reading is to be done each day. Copy any worksheets that will be used. Make sure the computers are accessible if an activity for the day involves the internet. Have the necessary books, movie, CD, art supplies, maps, ready for use. Call to make arrangements for the field trip and send home permission forms.

Student Preparation: Students need to be capable of reading on a 5th grade reading level to comprehend the theme book Amos Fortune:Free Man. Every student must have access to a computer with the internet and know how to type in URL’s. The student needs to understand the process of using Kidspiration and Spellingcity by going through the tutorial if necessary. The field trip permission slip must be brought back to school in order to go on the field trip. Students must have colored pencils to color the maps and a social studies book.

  • Practice the skill of sequencing by preparing a timeline of Amos Fortune’s life from the time he was taken captive in Africa by slave traders until the time of his death in Jaffrey, NH. This activity is to be done on-line using
  • Explore the 10 Characteristics of a Hero at and then in cooperative groups discuss if Amos Fortune meets each criteria.
  • Color a map of New England and label the following cities where Amos Fortune lived throughout his life: Boston, MA, Woburn, MA, Keene, NH, and Jaffrey, NH.
  • Learn how to spell the words for this theme using Spelling City, wk1A,wk2A,wk3A,wk4A
  • Listen to a picture book, From Slave Ship to Freedom Road, read orally by the teacher to try to understand how the slaves were treated and transported during the Middle Passage.
  • Watch the movie, Johnny Tremain, to show the concept of being an apprentice during the Colonial Period.
  • Complete a Venn diagram comparing the differences and similarities between Amos Fortune and Ben Carson.
  • Keep a journal through out the reading of the theme book, Amos Fortune, through the eyes of Amos.
  • Learn about the process of tanning and uses of leather during Colonial Times using the website:
  • Take a field trip to Landis Valley Museum to participate in activities prevalent during Colonial Days including how a weaving loom works, that was read about in the theme book.
  • Design a concept map at of Colonial Jobs.
  • Fill out the Opinion-Proof Chart as to whether Amos’s wife had the right to hide his money. Then write a persuasive paragraph supporting your opinion.
  • DOL sentences on the Blackline Masters:

Differentiated Instruction: The students will be given a choice of some activities to do so they can feel confident in whatever they chose. If they are struggling with the reading of the book they will be partnered with a more able reader who can help them. If a student needs more time on an assignment because it is very difficult for them modifications will be made to adjust the assignment or the time period in which it must be completed. The gifted students can be guided towards expanding their knowledge by given other ideas by the teacher.

Multiple Intelligences:
Musical Intelligence-
  • Listen to a CD of Negro Spirituals and pick a favorite one and tell why it was a favorite.
  • Compose a song that could be labeled as a Negro Spiritual.
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence-
  • Make a project that constitutes some kind of weaving, either with paper, a child’s weaving loom kit, or some other kind of medium.
  • Within a group, reenact the first scene in the book, Amos Fortune, when the people of the At-mun-shi village were celebrating and their people were taken captive.
Linguistic Intelligence-
  • Write a one page essay on slavery during the Colonial Period. Include a paragraph on each of the following: From what region of Africa were the slaves captured and why? What were the different jobs of slaves and how did they live? What major events led to the end of slavery in the US? Use the 4-square writing process.
Spatial Intelligence-
  • Color and label countries, capital cities, and major landforms of a map of Africa.
  • Draw a diagram of the Colonial Trade Route used by Slave Traders. May use the illustration in your Social Studies book, p.206.
Intrapersonal Intelligence-
  • Write a poem or a diary entry pretending you are Amos’s sister on the day he was taken from you by the slave traders.
Interpersonal Intelligence-
  • Role play or do an improvisation as to why you think Amos’s wife died less than a year after he did

Classroom Management and Decoration: There doesn’t need to be any special classroom organization for this theme. There will be the usual library/reading area set up in the classroom with couches so the students could have a comfortable, quiet area in which to read. Since the book takes place during the Colonial time period there will be many supplemental books of that time setting around the room for the students to immerse themselves. There will also be posters on the wall of that time period. Any “artifacts” of the Colonial time that have been collected over the years will be setting out for the students to get a “feel” of that time period.

  • Students will use spellingcity as a self assessment to learn their spelling words. The lists can be modified for struggling learners.
  • Reading records will be kept on individual students as they read orally to plot their progress. Twice a year a reading inventory will be given to students to pre-assess and post-assess their reading. The book Basic Reading Inventory by Jerry L. Johns, Kendall/Hunt Pub. Co. will be used to do the assessment.
  • Sequencing in the form of a timeline
  • Venn diagrams to contrast similarities and differences: Blackline Master 9 in Pathways Daily Lesson Guide Heroes
  • Opinion-Proof Notes and Persuasive Paragraph: Blackline Master 11 in Pathways Daily Lesson Guide Heroes
  • Essay using the rubric on spool papers as a self-assessment :Pathways Teacher Manual 3+, Kendall/Hunt, Blackline Master 10.4e
  • Concept map to help organize ideas:

  • From Slave Ship to Freedom Road by Julius Lester, Paintings by Rod Brown, Puffin Books
  • The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl by Patricia C. McKissack, Scholastic Inc. NY
  • The United States, Social Studies Book, by Scott Foresman
  • Gifted Hands, by Ben Carson
  • Four Square Writing Method by Judith and Evan Jay Gould, Teaching and Learning Co.
  • Amos Fortune:Free Man by Elizabeth Yates, Puffin Books.
    Enough copies for every student