Kentucky was one of four states that were slaves states but did not declare secession from the Union during the U.S. Civil War. They are known as "border states." This public radio story describes Kentucky’s experience as a neutral border state. In the story you hear from descendants of a family whose ancestors fought on both sides of the Civil War, a common experience in border states.
Story Length: 1:52
WFPL, distributed by PRX
AIR DATE: 12/15/2011
In the early 20th century Americans streamed to the middle of the country because of the Homestead Acts. These were federal laws that gave people ownership of the land for free. In this public radio story you hear from people who grew up on homesteads in Montana in the early 20th century describing life on the plains. Both people’s families were fairly isolated and self-sufficient, working hard to make a living off the land, but their affection for it is still strong.
The abolition of slavery in the United States didn’t happen all at once. Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery, in 1777, and most Northern States followed suit. This meant that escaped slaves could come North and rebuild their lives as free men and women. From the Underground Railroad, to even mailing yourself in a box, slaves found ways to escape their circumstances and come North. The 1850 Fugitive Slave Act changed all that. Why was this Act approved and what was its result? Listen to learn more about escaping slavery and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.
These levels of listening complexity can help teachers choose stories for their students. The levels do not relate to the content of the story, but to the complexity of the vocabulary, sentence structure and language in the audio story.
These stories are easier to understand and are a good starting point for elementary students or English learners.
These stories have an average language challenge for middle and high school students, and can be scaffolded for English learners.
These stories have challenging vocabulary and language and students may need to have some background knowledge to understand the story.