THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
A. The teacher will begin by asking the students what the know about the Underground
Railroad (what it was, who were important parts, etc). The students will write what they
know on the board. The teacher will then define the Underground Railroad and discuss its
major purpose. A handout will be distributed containing the definition of the Undergound
Railroad along with the major points about the Fugitive Slave Act.
B. Next, the teacher will discuss the Underground Railroad further by accessing the
Web pages via the computer. (the classroom is equipped with four computers and a large
projector screen) She will show the students pictures of slaves, the houses that they lived
in, and the route in which they traveled to reach freedom. She will also display pictures of
Harriet Tubman and describe to the class that she was responsible for freeing many
slaves. The teacher will review Harriet Tubman's role further by stressing her significant
part in the Underground Railroad. By using the Web pages, the students will be able to see
where the Underground Railroad took place and will realize its importance.
C. The teacher will access the National Geographic website. She will divide the class into
four groups and have each group sit at a computer. She will have them access this website
also and describe to them that they are going to take a "journey" on the Underground
Railroad. Each group will access the Web page and follow along with the journey. They will
see the different places that slaves stopped, and each state that they had to pass through.
This activity gives the students a chance to feel as though they are actual slaves and
allows them to make different choices along the way. It is very educational and can be very
useful when teaching a lesson on the Underground Railroad.
1. http:// www. nationalgeographic.com/features/99/railroad/