Grade: Elementary
Subject: History

#3559. Underground Railroad role play

History, level: Elementary
Posted Fri Aug 26 19:02:25 PDT 2005 by Laura Allen (
Frametown Elem, Frametown USA
Materials Required: desks, yellow star, colored tape
Activity Time: 15 min
Concepts Taught: Understand what the Underground RR was

To help my students really understand what the Underground RR was ( many of them think it is an ACTUAL railroad!) I have students role play it.
I choose students to be the escaping slaves, the people who are helping the slaves to freedom, and the plantation owners who are hunting after the slaves. I have the "helpers" located at various stations at desks around the room which are the "houses" to hide the slaves and guide them to the next person's "house". They move from house to house while the plantation owners pretend to be searching for them to enslave them again. They keep traveling, following the North Star (taped to the wall behind the border line) until they cross the border (a taped line on the floor) to reach freedom. When slaves cross this line, they yell, " Yipee, I'm free!" Students loved this game!