What is Freedom?

by  Fort Monroe Authority

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What is freedom? Is there a single definition that fits everyone throughout history? Discover the narratives of individuals in the history of Fort Monroe and Old Point Comfort, from the first landing of Africans in 1619, the Contraband Decision of 1861, formation of the United States Colored Troops, and their unique experiences with the word freedom. 

This program uses primary and secondary sources as a way for students to explore narrative of freedom through the lenses of individuals that have set foot at Fort Monroe. Students will evaluate these sources in order to understand and interpret historical context and narrative. This program is aligned with Virginia Standards of Learning, as well as Common Core State Standards. This interactive program will weave in source evaluation, question and answers, and whole class discussion. Program can be modified for grade levels.

Program Rating

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About This Program


By Request: $0.00
By Request Premium: $0.00


Free program unless cancelled without notice or with less than 48 hours notice.


45-60 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 9, 10, 11, 12, Teacher(s)/Educator(s), Parent, Adult Learners, Homeschool/Family Lifelong Learners

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:

No maximum, but we suggest no more than 30 students.

Primary Disciplines

Language Arts/English, Social Studies/History

Program Delivery Mode

Google Hang Out
Microsoft Teams

Booking Information

Programs are done Monday - Friday, between 9am and 4pm. Eastern Time Other times can be arranged upon request.

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For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We will not charge for programs cancelled due to nature i.e. snow days, unexpected illness or power loss. A fee of $50 will be charged to sites which cancel with less than 48 hours notice.

About This Provider

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Fort Monroe Authority

Fort Monroe, Virginia
United States

Fort Monroe,
overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, has witnessed some of the nation’s most diverse
and intricate historic events spanning the American story – from the Kecoughtan
Indigenous peoples, arrival of English colonists in 1607 and 1609, the landing
of the first Africans to the Virginia Colony in English North America in 1619,
the of building the largest stone fort in the United States begun in 1819,
where it became a safe haven for freedom seekers during the Civil War after the
Contraband Decision of 1861, and a bastion of defense for the Chesapeake
Bay through the 21st Century. The history of Fort Monroe holds stunning achievements
and tremendous costs in the continuing struggle of Americans to achieve, define,
and maintain the ideals of freedom.

Jessica Meadows

Program Details


- Students will be introduced to Fort Monroe.
- Students will participate in primary and secondary source analysis on individuals at Fort Monroe.
- Students will be provided with an interactive worksheet that follows lesson.


Through reading, examination, and discussion of primary and secondary sources, students will:
- Use critical reading, writing, and verbal skills to analyze and interpret primary sources from different time periods, focusing on the individual narratives of people at Fort Monroe.
- Use knowledge of history and context clues to make informed decisions on primary and secondary source analysis.
- Understand the individual construct of the term freedom before, during, and after the Civil War.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.6-8.RH.1 -- Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.6-8.RH.2 -- Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.6-8.RH.4 -- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.6-8.RH.6 -- Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.6-8.RH.9 -- Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.

State Standards

Virginia Standards of Learning as of 8/30/2022
-VS.1a,b,c,d,e,f,g; VS.2c; VS.3e; VS.4a,e; VS.7a,b,c; VS.8a,b; VS.9c
-USI&II.1a,c,d,g; USI.4c; USI.5b,d; USI.9a,b,c,e,f; USII.3b; USII.4c; USII.7c
-VUS.1a,b,c,d,f,g; VUS.2b; VUS.3a,b,c; VUS.7a,b,c,e
-Also covers topics and learning objectives found in Virginia Department of Education's African American History Course Map 2021