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Age Range: Grade 6 through Grade 8 (Middle School)
Overview and Purpose: This lesson introduces students to the Underground Railroad. They will learn about the places escaping slaves hid, the dangers they faced along the way, and the people that they escaped from.
Objective: The student will be able to
*research the Underground Railroad.
*draw the route of a slave as he fled south along the Underground Railroad.
*name four ways slaves hid from their masters and slave hunters.
Internet access for students
Maps of the United States
Have students research the different routes and ways slaves escaped and hid along the Underground Railroad (i.e. hiding under goods in wagons, dressing as workers, hiding in basements). Have them choose a route and draw it on the map. Then they can draw at least four ways a slave could hide or disguise himself as he ran. Students should list the website where they found the information on the bottom of each drawing.
Have students present their drawings to the class.
Instead of drawing the pictures, students could dress up as slaves and tell their stories of escape in the first person. They could also be conductors and tell of the slaves that they helped and the close calls they had. A written report could accompany this and should have all the sources for their facts documented.