8th Grade Shares Social Studies Project with 5th Grade

Creative Writing in Social Studies: A Day in the Life of an Enslaved Person

by Maddie B.
Class of 2021

In the mid-1800’s enslaved people were forced to live in very disturbing, awful conditions. They had to live in crowded, tiny cabins, they weren’t always fed, and worked even when it was dark. The slave owners would give them barely any breaks, overworked them, and used violence as punishment. Even a child as young as six years old could be a slave, and be one until they died. Enslaved people had almost no freedom when it came to traveling, going out, and owning their own things. Now, you are going to read about how an enslaved person’s daily life was.

A slave who worked in the house would wake up at around 4:30 AM to put on her clothes, tie her hair back, and head to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. After cooking the meal for the family who owned her, she prepared a small meal of bread and beans from her own rations for herself and her children. While her eldest son was out in the field picking cotton, she was dusting the windows, sweeping the floor, and folding the laundry. When 12:00 PM came, she and her family were able to take a short break. They chose to walk to the nearby river, bringing some bread and rice for lunch. After the break was over, she continued working as her young children were playing in the living room of her master, and her son was still working away at the field.

As the sun was setting, her son walked in the house with a broken shovel. His mom asked, “What happened!?” 

He answered with, “I did it on purpose. I am too tired and hungry. I have been whipped too much today and I can’t do it anymore. Please don’t be mad.”

“I’m not mad at you, I just don’t want you to get in trouble. Come over here, let me clean up those gashes.”

In conclusion, slaves were forced to live in horrible conditions where they were isolated from their families, not given enough food and sleep, and were beaten frequently. Even through their hardship, enslaved people found ways to pursue their interests, be with their family and friends, and resist the institution of slavery. It is important for us to try to understand and educate ourselves about what slaves had to go through and how they lived. 


  • 8th grade
  • creative writing
  • Social Studies