S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

Coastal Heritage Curriculum Connection

Explore Curriculum Connection guides, which are written to accompany each issue of Coastal Heritage, a quarterly publication of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.

Coastal Heritage, Fall 2012 issue: Emancipation Day: The Freed People of Port Royal

Focus Questions

  • What was the Emancipation Proclamation? Where was it read in South Carolina? Name at least three people or groups of people who were involved in the events leading up to Emancipation Day.
  • Where is the Penn Center? Why is it important?
  • Who are the Gullah Geechee people? Where does the majority of the Gullah Geechee culture reside today? What efforts are being done to preserve and capture their history and culture?
  • Was cotton grown after the Emancipation Proclamation? Why or why not?

Use the Curriculum Connection to address these South Carolina Standards

Social Studies

K-3.2: Illustrate the significant actions of important American figures, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

1st Grade
1-4.3: Recall the contributions made by historic and political figures, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks, to democracy in the United States.

3rd grade
3-2.7: Explain the transfer of the institution of slavery into South Carolina from the West Indies, including the slave trade and the role of African Americans in the developing plantation economy; the daily lives of African American slaves and their contributions to South Carolina, such as the Gullah culture and the introduction of new foods; and the African American acts of resistance against white authority.

4th grade
4-6.4: Summarize significant key battles, strategies, and turning points of the Civil War–the battles of Fort Sumter and Gettysburg, the Emancipation Proclamation, the significance of the Gettysburg Address, and the surrender at Appomattox–and the role of African Americans in the War.

4-6.5: Compare the roles and accomplishments of key figures of the Civil War, including Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee.

8th grade
8-3.1: Explain the importance of agriculture in antebellum South Carolina, including plantation life, slavery, and the impact of the cotton gin.


1st Grade
1-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the special characteristics and needs of plants that allow them to survive in their own distinct environments. (Life Science)

3rd Grade
3-2.1: Illustrate the life cycles of seed plants and various animals and summarize how they grow and are adapted to conditions within their habitats.

6th Grade
6-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of structures, processes, and responses of plants that allow them to survive and reproduce. (Life Science)

9th-12th Grade
ES: Summarize the overall process by which photosynthesis converts solar energy into chemical energy and interpret the chemical equation for the process.

Lesson Links

Mapping of Cotton Plantations
Develop a map to show where the cotton plantations were located in South Carolina. Construct a timeline identifying rice production, distribution, and consumption. (K-12th)

Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
Explore the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor that stretches from Florida to North Carolina www.nps.gov/guge/index.htm . Check out the section of the corridor that is located in South Carolina www.gullahgeecheecorridor.org . Pick one area along the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor and create a timeline that captures important events both before and after the Emancipation Proclamation. (3rd–12th)

Penn Center History
Research the Penn Center by visiting www.penncenter.com . Create a timeline from the Penn Center’s creation to the present, noting historic people and events. (3rd–12th)

Capturing the Past – Oral History
Do you know someone of Gullah Geechee descent? The preservation of stories, facts, and reflections is crucial to understanding the past. Develop your skills at recording oral history by visiting www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/educational/yag/yaghow.html and be a key player in capturing this cultural gem for the future. (3rd–12th)

Cotton: Pros and Cons
What were the benefits of growing cotton in the Lowcountry before, during, and after the Civil War? What were the drawbacks? Divide your class into groups: a) enslaved Africans, b) plantation owners, c) textile manufacturers, and d) emancipated slaves. Engage your students in a debate about the growing of cotton based upon their “role.” What are the pros and cons for each group depending on the time in history? (9th–12th)

Literature Connections

Autobiography of Olaudah Equiano
In 1789, former slave, Olaudah Equiano, published his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equinao, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, which describes life before, during, and after slavery. The complete autobiography can be downloaded from history.hanover.edu/texts/equiano/equiano_contents.html . (6th–12th)

Growing Cotton
Want to learn how cotton is grown? Check out Clemson University’s resource guide for growing cotton here: www.clemson.edu/psapublishing/pages/AGRO/EC589.PDF . (6th–12th)

Learn more about the history of growing cotton on the sea islands in Dr. Richard Porcher and Sarah Frick’s book, Story of Sea Island Cotton. Visit your local library, bookstore, or search online for a copy today! (6th–12th)

Field Trip Opportunities

Caw Caw Interpretive Center (Charleston County)

Drayton Hall (Charleston County)

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site (Charleston County)

Old Slave Mart Museum (Charleston County)

Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture (Charleston County)

Slave Relic Museum (Colleton County)

The State Museum (Richland County)

Penn Center (Beaufort County)

Beaufort Museum (Beaufort County)

S.C. Cotton Museum (Lee County, Bishopville)

Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor