Digital History>eXplorations>John Brown: Hero or Terrorist?>Teacher Resources>Lesson Plans>Will the Real John Brown Please Stand Up!>Overview

Will the Real John Brown Please Stand Up!

These plans were developed by CAP (Curriculum Arts Project) at symphonyspace and are reproduced here with their permission.

For Teachers | For Students


In this lesson, students will explore, through discussion and writing activities, various perspectives of John Brown's character and actions as expressed through paintings, period newspaper articles, and quotes by contemporaries.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School students and older

TIME ALLOTMENT: 4–6 periods

SUBJECT MATTER: American History, John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry, Abolition, Art analysis


Social Studies: I - 1, 2, 3, 4; V - 1, 2, 4
English Language Arts: I, II, III
Arts: II, III, IV


  • Understand the importance of perspective in describing current or historical events and how different viewpoints, attitudes, and beliefs can change the ways in which a story is told.
  • Be able to handle historical primary source materials like 19th-century newspaper articles, paintings, and quotes from historical characters.
  • Be able to investigate, analyze, and discuss a work of art by using visual evidence to support assumptions about the historical period in which it was produced.

Copyright Digital History 2019