The Underground Railroad for all ages

photo by steveburt1947

February is an awesome month when it comes to educational and historical events to study with children.

February hosts Black History month, Presidents Day, Valentine’s Day and, in general, is jammed pack with historical information that homeschoolers can relish in learning from.

There are so many events that we can study through the entire month.  However, one event in particular that can be covered this month is The Underground Railroad.

This year I decided for my family that we would study The Underground Railroad during February because I had built up a wonderful base of free materials in which teaching this subject could be possible.  In return, I thought this would be a great time to share with all of you what is happening within our homeschool and allow for you to have that same opportunity.

When I plan out a lesson or unit study, it doesn’t really look like something that just came out of a teacher’s educational book, but it does combine fun with learning. Without further ado, my lesson plans for The Underground Railroad:

People to Study:

Harriet Tubman

Levi Coffin

Thomas Garrett

William Still

Frederick Douglas

Susan B. Anthony

Jermain Loguen

Lucretia Mott

John Whittier

Alan Pinkerton

Josiah Henson

Mary Ann Shadd

William Garrison

Jonathan Walker

Online Book:

Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Young Folk’s Edition; Stowe, Harriet Beecher

Books for Younger Children:

Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad; Levine, Ellen

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt; Hopkinson, Deborah

Follow the Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad; Connelly, Bernardine

The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom; Stroud, Betty

Friend on Freedom River; Whelan, Gloria

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led her People to Freedom; Weatherford, Carole Boston

Books for Older Children:

Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman; Sterling, Dorothy

Dear Austin: Letters from The Underground Railroad; Woodruff, Elvira

My America: Freedom’s Wings: Corey’s Diary: Kentucky to Ohio 1857; Wyeth, Sharon Dennis

Dear America: A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, A Slave Girl; McKissack, Patricia C.

Interactive Websites:

Scholastic

National Geographic

PBS

Interactive Map:

EduPlace

Hands On:

Make a paper quilt of your very own depicting major events or people from The Underground Railroad.

Make a timeline of The Underground Railroad on poster board or from sheets of paper.

Be an Underground Railroad Conductor and come up with your own secret codes and/or signals to help others on their journey.

Make a paper lantern to show that you are a safe house.

Create the Big Dipper Constellation using star stickers on dark blue paper. Draw lines between the stars to create a gourd. (**Must read: Follow the Drinking Gourd.**)

Make a poster using the People to Study telling others who and why those people were important to The Underground Railroad.

Create a newspaper article telling readers of a notable event during The Underground Railroad period.

Write a biography on someone from the People to Study section.

As with any of the above resources mentioned, I ask that parents do their research before hand to determine what is acceptable for their family. Some resources are only for older children while other resources will be good for the younger members. I have a wide age range in my own homeschool and have tried to include activities based upon a wide age range.

I hope that many of these resources bring enjoyment into your homeschooling days but most of all remember to have FUN while learning.

Amanda can be found over at All American Family living out her version of the American dream alongside her family.

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this!! We will be studying the UR later this year so your post will come in handy then.

  2. That looks fantastic! If readers are near Cincinnati, I HIGHLY recommend the new National Underground Railroad Museum there. It is absolutely amazing. Be sure to get a tour guide if you go!
    http://www.freedomcenter.org/

    • I have to agree with Sarah! In fact, that was going to be my comment. LOL! Even if you are within a few hours drive of Cincinnati the Underground Railroad Freedom Center is well worth the drive! It is incredible! Some exhibits are more appropriate for older students, but ask a volunteer and they can guide you to all of the family friendly exhibits. Your kids can see what the inside of a slaves cabin looked like, and see what the daily life of a slave was. There is also an exhibit on the Civil Rights movement which is pretty powerful! Thanks for the great resources!

  3. erika spence says:

    I am interested in any ideas you had about how to stage an Underground Railroad night time re enactment for my daughter. She will be in the 8th grade when we do it. I will open it up to kids in 5th to 12th grades. I was thinking of modeling it after a scavenger hunt and setting up houses all over our town (people from our homeschooling community) to be stops along the RR. I would love ideas!