Slavery & the Underground Railroad

Week 4: Slavery & the Underground Railroad

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Read K – 3: The Drinking Gourd by F.N. Monjo

4 – 5: Meet Addy by Connie Porter (Please also read “A Peek Into the Past” at the end of the book)

6 – 8: Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Young Folks’ Edition ISBN 9781617205163) by Harriet Beecher Stowe AND READ THIS ARTICLE FROM THE INTERNET: https://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/utc/impact.shtml

Note:  Uncle Tom’s Cabin is known as the book that started the Civil War. It is a very powerful book! However, the values and wording in the book reflect those of the times and would be very offensive to most people living in America today. Parents, please read this book prior to assigning it to your children so you can discuss it with them. Because it is a children’s version of the classic, it is a quick read. I also highly recommend reading the actual classic, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It is beautifully written and full of Christian themes.

Discuss:

  • Why do you think many slaves tried to escape to Canada? (no slavery in Canada)
  • How do you think many slaves were able to figure out how to travel north? (followed the North Star)
  • What was the underground railroad? (Series of houses coordinated by a secret group of people who believed slavery was wrong.   They would hide escaped slaves on their property, and then help escaped slaves get to the next station.  These “stations” stretched across the U.S.)
  • Why were masters so anxious to find escaped slaves? (worth a lot of money)
  • Why did slaves run away? (Many were whipped, beat, or hurt; some knew they or their family would be sold to others. Some just wanted freedom.)
  • T/F It was against the law to help slaves escape. (True)
  • Why did many people lie about hidden slaves and break the law? (They felt that they were saving their lives and that was more important.)
  • At that time, many people thought buying and selling slaves was the same as buying and selling …. ? (animals)

Questions for grades 4 – 8:

  • What did slaves call their owners? (master)
  • What were slaves’ houses like? (dirt floor, no furniture, very small)
  • What were masters’ houses like? (large brick homes, comfortable furniture, soft beds)
  • Describe slaves’ meals and masters’ meals? (Slaves often had barely enough to eat and basically the same food every day; masters had plenty of food and a variety.)
  • Describe slaves’ clothes vs. masters’ clothes. (Slaves often weren’t warm enough; clothes were old and ragged; masters had plenty of warm, good clothing.)
  • T/F Many slaves were separated from their families. (true)
  • What happened to slaves who got caught trying to run away? (whipped, beaten, sometimes even killed)
  • Why was it dangerous to run away with a baby? (baby could cry alerting slave catchers to where slaves were hiding)
  • Why did Addy try to escape to Pennsylvania? (no slavery there)
  • What were abolitionists? (People who wanted to get rid of slavery.)

Questions for grades 6 – 8:

  • What religious group helped many slaves escape on the underground railroad? (the Quakers)
  • Why did some “good masters” separate slave families? (for money)
  • Although most northerners thought slavery was wrong, did they treat African Americans as equals? (no)
  • What happened to slaves when a master died? (They were often sold and separated from each other.)
  • Why were some slaves chained? (so they wouldn’t run away)

Activities:

K – 3:Take a piece of paper and fold it in half. Then fold it again. Unfold your paper. In each of the four squares draw a picture of a slave trying to escape by the Underground Railroad. Write one or two sentences under each picture to explain what’s happening.
4 – 5: Complete the following worksheet: Slavery and Underground RR 45
6 – 8: Complete the following worksheet: slavery and underground rr68

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Copyright January 30th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Filed under Charlotte Mason, Civil War Era

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