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Teacher's Guide for COBBLESTONE W.E.B. Du Bois

February 2000

Teacher Guide prepared by: Teacher's Guide prepared by: Nancy I. Colamussi, Elementary Education, B.S., M.A. Rocky Point School District, Long Island, New York.

Extended Response: Comprehension & Critical Thinking
The questions below can be used as written, simply answered in complete sentences, or easily transformed into longer essay (ELA) style questions or even research topics. In any case, have the students support their answers with details from the text or use critical thinking skills to create a thorough and interesting answer. Consider the level of your students when deciding how to use the questions. The questions for each lesson can be found under the article's title below.

"Youthful Vision" (p. 4 - 7)
  1. What did William believe was the secret of life and the key to ending racism?
    • What do YOU think will ultimately end racism?
  2. William noticed many differences among the talents and abilities of his classmates. What kind of differences have you noticed in your class?
  3. What kind of jobs did William do to help make ends meet at home?
  4. With his money, he made installments on a set of books. Write a short essay about something that you saved your money to buy. Tell what jobs you did to raise the money.
  5. How do you think that William felt to be the first African American to graduate from his high school?
  6. Explain the conditions of the classroom in which William taught in East Tennessee. What kind of education do you think the students received?
  7. Why was William's level of education such an accomplishment?
"Teacher and Philosopher" (p. 8 - 11)
  1. Why wasn't Du Bois allowed to teach Sociology at Wilberforce?
  2. Explain Du Bois' position at the University of Pennsylvania.
  3. What did Du Bois' children represent for him?
  4. Du Bois' writings encouraged parents to provide the best education for their children, even if that meant sacrifice. Why did he feel education was so important?
"The Niagara Movement" (p. 14 - 17)
  1. Explain the differences between Du Bois and Washington in their fight for equality.
  2. Did the white population prefer Du Bois' or Washington's ideas? Why?
  3. What problem did Du Bois have when trying to found a black rights movement?
  4. What was so special about the meeting held at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia in 1906?
  5. What was the goal of the Niagara Movement?
  6. Why did Washington set out to defeat Du Bois' work?
  7. What were some of the difficulties of the Niagara Movement?
  8. What did Du Bois urge the members of the Niagara Movement to do before it disbanded?
"The NAACP's Struggle for Civil Liberty" (p. 18 - 23)
  1. How did the group (who became known as the NAACP) mark the hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday? Explain.
  2. What were the goals of the NAACP?
  3. What was Du Bois' role in the NAACP?
  4. Explain the atrocities that the NAACP called the 'Shame of the Nation'.
  5. Why do you think that defending civil rights was sometimes dangerous?
  6. What did the NAACP accomplish by challenging the U.S. legal system?
  7. What 2 major situations caused the W.E.B. Du Bois to resign from the NAACP?
  8. What was the NAACP's greatest legal victory and why was it so important?
  9. What issues do you think the NAACP's 500,000 members are working on today?
"The Crisis is Born" (p. 28 - 32)
  1. Why did Du Bois create the monthly magazine, "The Crisis"?
  2. What did Du Bois intend the content of "The Crisis" to be?
  3. Who read "The Crisis" and was it successful from the start?
  4. Why did members of the NAACP become frightened and annoyed by Du Bois?
  5. What is 'voluntary segregation'?
  6. Do you think that 'voluntary segregation' could be helpful in escaping racism? Why or why not?
  7. What ultimatum by the Board of Directors caused Du Bois to resign from "The Crisis"?
  8. Despite their differences, what did one NAACP official say that showed they acknowledged Du Bois' accomplishments?
"Pan-African Movement" (p. 33 - 35)
  1. What is Pan-Africanism?
  2. What was the movement's general purpose?
  3. What did the manifesto of 1921 state and what was the public's reaction to it?
  4. What was the purpose of the Pan-African Congress held in England in October of 1945?
  5. Why do you think the United Nations declined to endorse an international bill of rights developed by the Pan-African Congress?
  6. How was Du Bois treated when he traveled to Ghana in 1961 and why?
"The Lion in Winter" (p. 36 - 39)
  1. Explain Du Bois' first journey into politics.
  2. How did the fears of communism affect Du Bois and the Peace Information Center?
  3. What did the Supreme Court rule in 1954 that was a very important step towards equality?
  4. How did Du Bois' hailing of Russia cause more problems for him?
  5. Why did Du Bois settle in Africa at age 93?
  6. What kind of work did Du Bois do in Ghana and why was it so special to him?
  7. Explain the fitting tribute Du Bois received upon his death.
Using a Timeline: Identification and Chronology

Mathematics: Sequencing and Order
Mark each statement with a B or an A to tell if the event happened Before or After the year 1905. (The founding of the NAACP) Use the Timeline on pages 12 and 13. The answers can be found on the last page of the Teacher's Guide.
____ 1. Du Bois is arrested as an agent for a foreign power, but is acquitted.

____ 2. Du Bois graduates from Harvard with a Bachelor's degree in philosophy.

____ 3. Du Bois teaches economics and history at Atlanta University.

____ 4. Du Bois visits the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.

____ 5. Du Bois becomes the first African American to receive a Doctoral degree from Harvard.
Mathematics: Subtraction with Borrowing

How many years after he was born did Du Bois accomplish the following?
1. Enter Fisk University? _____

2. Publish 'The Philadelphia Negro?' _____

3. Move to NY to become editor of 'The Crisis'? _____
How many years before his death did Du Bois accomplish the following?
1. Receive his Master's degree in history from Harvard? _____

2. Publish 'The Call' with other African American leaders? _____

3. Launch the Niagara Movement? _____
Answer Key

Sequencing and Order
  1. A
  2. B
  3. B
  4. A
  5. A


Subtraction with Borrowing
  1. 17
  2. 31
  3. 42


  1. 71
  2. 54
  3. 58
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