Lesson Plan: Overview

Lesson Plan Two: Laying a Foundation: William Crafts Cornerstone Laying Speech, 1822

Grade Level: 8th

Speech by William Crafts laying the cornerstone of the SC Lunatic Asylum, 1822

Academic Standards

No academic standards available for this lesson plan.

Literacy Elements

A. Distinguish between past, present, and future time
J. Demonstrate responsible citizenship within the school community and the local and national communities
L. Interpret calendars, time lines, maps, charts, tables, graphs, flow charts, diagrams, photographs, paintings, cartoons, architectural drawings, documents, letters, censuses, and other artifacts

Historical Background Notes

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  Primary Sources
  Crafts, William.  Oration on the occasion of laying the corner stone of the Lunatic Asylum, at Columbia, S.C. July, 1822.  Charleston, S.C., 1822. Published Materials Division, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.
  Mills, Robert.  Architectural Drawings for the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum. ca. 1822.  MB 17, Folder 10.  South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina.


1. Pass out copies of William Crafts’ Cornerstone Laying Speech to the students and ask them this question:  “Why did South Carolina build an asylum for the mentally ill?” Discuss this briefly.
2. Have a student read aloud the first page.  There are many religious references.  Instead of reading the first 14 pages, explain to the students that it is very religious and contains the basic idea that God wants everyone to be happy and only sane people can be happy.
3. Students will get into groups of two and read pages 14-24.  As they read, they need to answer two questions 1) What was to be the actual purpose of the asylum? 2) How would it affect the state of South Carolina and why was South Carolina doing this?
4. Have students come back together and discuss the questions as a class. 
5. Hand out copies of Mills’ architectural drawings.
6. Discuss the innovative features and design of the asylum. 
7. Finally, discuss how these documents from the 1820s can help answer the essential question for the unit.
  Back to "Too Large to be a Lunatic Asylum: South Carolina's Mental Health"

Lesson Plans

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Teacher Reflections

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Student Assessment

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Examples of Students Work

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Provided by the Teaching American History in South Carolina Project