Booker T. Washington

Week 5: Booker T. Washington


Read K – 4: Booker T. Washington by Suzanne Slade

5 – 6:  Booker T. Washington (Journey to Freedom) by Don Troy

7 – 8: Booker T. Washington (Journey to Freedom) by Don Troy AND “Atlanta Compromise” speech:


  • T/F Booker T. Washington was born a slave. (T)
  • How was Booker freed from slavery? (Civil War ended; Emancipation Proclamation)
  • How was Booker able to attend school? (worked hard doing labor first in mines and later at Hampton Institute as a janitor so he could go to classes)
  • What was the name of the school Booker became principal of? (Tuskegee Normal School)
  • What was the building like? (a shack)
  • What skills did the school teach? (brick laying & printing)
  • How did Booker become famous? (gave speech in Atlanta, Georgia)
  • How did his book, Up from Slavery, change people’s beliefs? (People began to think differently about education and jobs for African Americans.  The book brought more money and students to the Tuskegee Institute.)

Questions for Grades 5 & up:

  • What speech by Booker has been regarded as one of the most famous and important speeches in U.S. history? (Atlanta Compromise)
  • Who was Booker’s real father? (unknown white man)
  • Who was Booker’s stepfather? (Washington Ferguson)
  • T/F Booker believed in the importance of hard work. (T)
  • What standard classes did Tuskegee teach? (English & math)
  • What happened to Booker’s first two wives? (both died shortly after childbirth)
  • Why was it unusual that Booker was asked to speak at the Exposition in Atlanta? (first black person to speak to a white audience)
  • How did people react to the speech? (white southerners applauded, northerners applauded, many blacks supported the speech)
  • What honors were given to Booker for his speeches and his role as spokesperson for African Americans? (invited to the White House and palace of the Queen of England, received an honorary master’s degree from Harvard, invited to mansions of millionaires, invited to university campuses)
  • T/F Segregation was a big problem during Washington’s life? (T)
  • T/F Washington spoke out against Segregation. (F)
  • What famous black man was a teacher at the Tuskegee Institute for many years? (George Washington Carver)
  • How did white Southerners feel about Booker dining at the White House? (upset, felt blacks and whites shouldn’t eat together)


K – 1: Booker T. Washington coloring page:

2 – 3:  Booker T. Washington:

4 – 6: Read the summary of Booker’s life on this page:  Then complete the following worksheets:

7 – 8:  Booker T. Washington’s speech at Atlanta was applauded many by southern whites, northern whites, and African Americans.  In essay format, discuss why these groups agreed with his speech.  Reflecting on what you’ve learned about the Ku Klux Klan, discuss why some southerners and African Americans might have been upset by his speech.


Copyright March 17th, 2016 by Gwen Fredette

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Filed under Charlotte Mason, Post Civil War Era

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