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The Underground Railroad


... a person from the era of slavery and Harriet Tubman, and draw a ... a. I will print out slave's accounts of their life of slavery for students to read. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad
  • A Social Studies Unit created for Second grade
  • By Amanda Apkarian
  • Sienna Schenk
  • Lindsey Smith

Table of Contents
  • History
  • People in Societies
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • Government
  • Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities
  • Social Studies Skills and Methods

Standard History
  • Activities
  • 1. Students will create a timeline of Harriet
    Tubmans life using research from the internet
    and books they will read about her life.
  • 2. Students will create a game called Who said
    this? Each student will write something to
    identify a person from the era of slavery and
    Harriet Tubman, and draw a picture of that person
    or a scene. Students will try to guess the person
    they are describing.
  • - Ex. Of people Abe Lincoln, Harriet Tubman,
    abolitionists, Ben Tubman, conductors, Harriets
    brother, John Tubman, masters, Old Rit (Harriets
    Mother), overseers, runaway slaves, slave
    catchers, station masters, Miss Susan, Thomas
  • 3. Students will summarize chapters and draw
    illustrations using the book Wanted Dead or
    Alive The True Story of Harriet Tubman. Students
    will work as partners and be assigned to a
    chapter in the book.
  • 4. Children will write to the governor of New
    York, where Harriet Tubman moved, lived, and
    died, to convince him and the New York
    legislators to pass a legislation for Harriet
    Tubman Day. They will use facts that they have
    learned about Harriet Tubman, her life, and what
    she did for people, to persuade them.
  • 5. Students will make a Vocabulary Quilt using
    words that are important to know about the
    Underground RR and Harriet Tubman.

Standard History
  • Websites
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//

Standard People in Societies
  • Activities
  • I will explain to students that they will compare
    the life of slavery with the life of freedom
    before and after the Civil War.
  • a. I will print out slaves accounts of their
    life of slavery for students to read.
  • b. Children will write accounts on their own of
    what that slaves life might have been like after
    the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • c. We will talk about the Emancipation
    Proclamation and what it means.
  • d. Students will print out resources using the
    internet to research life immediately after the
    civil war, and find the state or region where
    their assigned slave lived.

Standard People in Societies
  • Activities
  • 2. Ask students to list qualities of a hero, and
    who there heroes are.
  • a. What makes them special? What qualities would
    a worker of the Underground Railroad need or
    possess? List the students responses on the
  • b. Go to the website at
    m/features/railroad to give them an idea of what
    it was like for a slave, and list the names of
    the people they encountered. Explain that these
    people all helped slaves on their journey over
    the Underground Railroad.
  • c. Have the students write what they would have
    done to help slaves. How would they have made
    themselves heroes for the slaves?

Standard People in Societies
  • Activities
  • 3. Students will research and write a report
    about Harriet Tubmans life, and the impact she
    had on slavery and the Underground Railroad.
  • 4. Students will research and write about
    Fredrick Douglas and his impact on slavery and
    the Underground Railroad. The student will then
    compare Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas and
    their views/beliefs.
  • 5. Students will put on a play of Harriet Tubman
    and the Underground Railroad for the rest of the

Standard People in Societies
  • Websites
  • http//
  • http//

Standard Geography
  • Activities
  • Students will work in groups of two three
    students and map out the route the slaves took
    during their escape on the Underground Railroad.
  • Students will examine the route in which slaves
    took in the State of Ohio.
  • Students will research the various climates and
    environments the slaves were exposed to from the
    South to the North. They will present their
    findings to the class.
  • Students will write several journal letters to
    their loved ones as if they were traveling on the
    Underground Railroad. They will note what they
    see and experience as they take this journey.
  • Students will replicate the route the slaves took
    on the Underground Railroad by making a mini
    model. Students will also include the states and
    important bodies of water that are located near
    or around the route, the slaves took.

Standard Geography
  • Websites
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//

Standard Economics
  • Activities
  • Students will make a chart comparing how
    production, distribution, and consumption was
    during the 1850s and present day. How do they
    differ? How did people get goods from one place
    to another?
  • Students will make food from scratch. This is
    what the slaves did on a daily basis.
  • Students will research a latest invention of the
    1850s and present their findings to the class.
  • Students will draw all means of transportation
    available during the 1860s.
  • Students will sing songs related to the 1850s
    that the slaves sang. This is what was used as
    entertainment during this era. Students will then
    create their own songs.

Standard Economics
  • Websites
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//

Standard Government
  • Activities
  • Field trip to Springboro Historical Society to
    observe artifacts and tour the sites.
  • Students will each decorate a square piece of
    fabric. Their piece of fabric will serve as a
    symbol of the Underground Railroad. The teacher
    can sew together the fabric pieces to make a
  • The Compromise of 1850 gave slave owners the
    right to organize a team to capture runaway
    slaves. Ask the students if they agree with this
    law. Each student will create their own law,
    giving rights to slave owners or runaway slaves.
  • Take a field trip to, or have a representative
    come from the National Underground Railroad
    Freedom Center.
  • Have students research who the President was
    during the time of the Underground Railroad. Did
    the President have slaves? Did he support the
    Underground Railroad? What role did he play?

Standard Government
  • Websites
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//

Standard Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities
  • Activities
  • After researching about the Underground Railroad,
    students will decide whether or not they would
    have helped people, like Harriet Tubman. The
    students must have three solid reasons supporting
    their decision.
  • Students will role-play the Underground Railroad.
    Students may make props and dress up.
    Role-playing will recreate the Underground
    Railroad and allow students to act out the
    different opinions from the people during this
  • After researching about the Underground Railroad,
    students will decide whether or not they would
    have opened their houses to the runaway slaves.
    Would they provide money, food and clothing? The
    students must have three solid reasons supporting
    their decision.
  • The Underground Railroad required trust and
    cooperation. Ask students questions about the
    supporters of the Underground Railroad. How did
    everyone work together? How did they communicate?
    Did the supporters have code words? How did the
    slaves leave their plantations? How did the
    slaves know where to go? Students may work
    together in pairs to answer these questions.
    Students may have to search books and the
    Internet for these answers. When students are
    finished researching, have a discussion.
  • Many people who were involved with the
    Underground Railroad were caught. Ask students to
    research how the people who were caught were

Standard Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities
  • Websites
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//

Standard Social Studies Skills and Methods
  • Activities
  • Using multiple resources (books, internet,
    videos), students will pair up and find some
    interesting facts about the Underground Railroad.
    Students must find at least three facts. Students
    will write these facts on sentence strips. Staple
    the students sentence strips onto a bulletin
    board titled Fun Facts about the Underground
  • Students will pretend they are slaves traveling
    the Underground Railroad. Each student will
    create a journal of his/her travels. Students
    should be creative and descriptive! Students will
    be able to predict their own outcome based off
    their knowledge of the Underground Railroad.
  • Have students map out the trails of the
    Underground Railroad. What problems did the
    slaves face? What were some things that helped
    the slaves?

Standard Social Studies Skills and Methods
  • 4. Have a research party. During this party,
    students will be researching and reading about
    the Underground Railroad. Have a variety of books
    and resources for students to look at. Students
    may want to bring some of their own resources in.
  • 5. Play What do you do? Spilt the class into
    four groups. Each group will be presented with a
    problem. Students will need to work together to
    solve their problem. Each group of students will
    present their problem and solution to the class.
    This will create some wonderful classroom
    discussions and debates!
  • -Problem 1 You are a slave owner and discovered
    all of your slaves ran away. What do you do?
  • -Problem 2 You are a runaway slave. You are
    traveling the Underground Railroad when you
    discover that your owner is following you and is
    not far behind. What do you do?
  • -Problem 3 You are a supporter of the
    Underground Railroad. You open your house to the
    runaway slaves. The police come to your door to
    search your house. You have three runaway slaves
    in your house. What do you do?
  • -Problem 4 You do not support the Underground
    Railroad. Some runaway slaves show up at your
    house and beg you for food and a place to stay.
    What do you do?

Standard Social Studies Skills and Methods
  • Websites
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//

The End