Abigail Adams, the Writer: “My pen is always freer than my tongue.”

Developed by Teresa Escobales Collins, Boston College High School, Boston, Mass.

This curriculum unit for high school English students revolves around the question: What was life, particularly the writing life, like for an American woman before, during, and after the founding of our nation? Using Abigail Adams's correspondence and diaries, students will explore primary source documents to learn about the historical, cultural, and ethical role of women in early America. Students will analyze the works of Mrs. Adams and other women, create a diary as if they lived during the time period, write essays comparing their lives to that of an 18th century New Englander, and produce a historical film containing scenes from the life of Mrs. Adams. The unit includes transcribed primary sources, numerous worksheets, and detailed homework assignments.

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