Classroom Activities: 9-12

Minnesota State Standards: Students in high school (grades 9-12) pursue in-depth study of social studies content that equips them with the knowledge and skills required for success in postsecondary education (i.e., freshman-level courses), the skilled workplace and civic life. The amount of content in the standards corresponds to the graduation credit requirements identified in state statutes:

Three and one-half (3.5) credits of social studies encompassing at least United States history, geography, government and citizenship, world history, and economics sufficient to satisfy all of the academic standards in social studies. (Minn. Stat. § 120B.024, Subd. 1(5)).

A one-half credit of economics taught in a school’s agriculture education or business department may fulfill a one-half credit in social studies…if the credit is sufficient to satisfy all of the academic standards in economics. (Minn. Stat. § 120B.024 Subd. 2(a)).

Approximately one year (or two semesters) of content is provided for a survey of United States history, a year for a survey of world history, and a half-year (or one semester) each for geography, government and citizenship, and economics. Although the standards in this document are organized by discipline, they may be delivered in an interdisciplinary context.

Edward Terry’s journey fits will with the goal of preparing high-school students for postsecondary education. This first-hand account will give students a personal narrative that provides insight not found in conventional textbooks. The perspectives of Terry, which often seem racist or paternalistic by today’s standards, encourage students to think critically about how to best approach the study of the past. While acknowledging Terry’s own unique opinions, students can also try to understand why he had certain opinions about Africa and its peoples. These perspectives can be framed around larger movements in history such as the Reformation, the Age of Exploration, and the rise of the slave trade, as well as the beginnings of imperialism and colonialism.

Questions to consider:

  • How does Terry’s occupation and background affect his worldview?
  • How does this story relate to larger themes of imperialism and colonialism?
  • Discuss Terry's depiction of the peoples of Africa. Why do you think he describes them as such?
  • Draw a map of Africa according to Edward Terry’s description. What animals, natural phenomena, and people would you find there?