Purest Sons—Basic Plan

The Basic Plan: “Purest Sons”

(20-30 Minutes)

“The Basic Plan” consists of an optional preliminary activator activity, viewing the video, and responding to discussion prompts embedded in the video. Watched alone, the video + discussion prompts should take 15-20 minutes. The activators should take about 5 minutes. Depending on the needs of your classroom and curriculum, this lesson can be the sole accompaniment to the video OR the launching point for any of the other resources.


This video includes descriptions of the institution of slavery. Please be sure to inform students of this content prior to viewing and remind students of the respect and rigor required to study this history. This is hard history, but it is necessary history to study.


  • Explain the context, events, and significance of the relationship between Agrippa Hull, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, and Thomas Jefferson.
  • Using the story of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, evaluate the stated vs. practiced American ideals of liberty, freedom, and equality during the Revolutionary Era.


Optional: Begin with an activator activity before watching the episode to surface knowledge, heighten engagement, and contextualize the video.

Visual Activator:

  1. Show students one of the images on this slideshow.
  2. Give them, or have them quickly make, a Notice/Wonder T-chart.
  3. Give them 1-2 minutes to fill in the t-chart with things they see (“notice”) and questions or theories they have (“wonders”).
  4. Have 3-4 students share something they notice and 3-4 share something they wondered.
  5. Repeat with a different image from the slideshow.


Play the episode entitled “The Purest Sons of Liberty”. There will be three times for students to respond to questions embedded in the video, noted below. Before pressing play, choose a method for responding and make sure students are prepared (tech set up, physical materials ready). Consider any or some mix of the following:

  • Individual quick writes
  • Pair turn-and-talk, perhaps using Zoom if in a distance learning environment
  • Using a tech tool like Socractive or Peardeck to share all written responses


  1. From 7:31-8:11, the video will display and read aloud “How do you think Jefferson’s definition of ‘all men are created equal’ compared to Kosciuszko and Hull’s definitions? Why do you think Tadeusz Kosciuszko was so willing to develop a friendship with Agrippa Hull?” Pause at 7:31. (NOTE: If you are having students view the video asynchronously, make sure to clearly tell them when to pause and how you want them to engage with the Reflection questions.)
  2. Have students process & share. If students discuss in pairs, have quick share-outs.
  3. Continue playing the episode.
  4. From 12:53-13:30, the video will display and read aloud the following reflection questions: “Do you think that Jefferson honored his pact to his friend? Why or why not? Why do you think it was so important to Tadeusz Kosciuszko that his money be used to emancipate enslaved people?” Pause at 12:53.
  5. Have students process & share. If students discuss in pairs, have quick share-outs.
  6. Continue playing the episode.
  7. At the end of the episode, the video will display and read aloud the final reflection questions: “In what ways could Thomas Jefferson have changed the course of American and world history had he executed Tadeusz Kosciuszcko’s will? What can we learn from Kosciuszko’s selflessness and dedication to liberty? What lessons are there to learn from the life of Agrippa Hull and his friendship with Tadeusz Kosciuszko?”
  8. Give students a few minutes to quickly respond (in writing or in small conversation groups) and then ask for a couple to share.

Written by Written by Precious Musa, Hannah Barr, Zeynep Ertugay, and Michael Lawrence-Riddell, © Self-Evident Media, 2022