Lesson Plan: Henry "Box" Brown
Gail Olivas, Grade Three/ Four
Gulfstream Elementary School, Miami, Florida
Objectives: The student understands historical chronology and the historical
perspective. (SS.A.1.2)1. understands how individuals, ideas, decisions, and
events can influence history.2. uses a variety of methods and sources to understand
history (such as interpreting diaries, letters, newspapers; and reading maps
and graphs) and knows the difference between primary and secondary sources.3.
understands broad categories of time in years, decades, and centuries.
Tap Prior Knowledge: The teacher introduces the term "Underground
Railroad" and creates a concept map on the board with student
participation: who, what, when, where, how, why.
Teacher Read-Aloud: Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine;
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson.
1) Discussion of William Still and Jeffrey Ruggles and their accounts of
Henry Brown's escape. Visit http://housedivided.edu/ugrr virtual tour of Henry
"Box" Brown's escape, reading and discussing the accounts of Still
and Ruggles. Exhibit Gallery also available on website. Students will work in
groups to answer questions on worksheet pertaining to the escape. (See
2) Read and discuss various Fugitive Notices on http://housedivided.dickinson.edu/ugrr/fugitive_notices.html
Students will create their own Fugitive Notice for Henry "Box"
3) Read and Discuss The Deliverer of Box Brown - Meeting of the Colored
Citizens of Philadelphia by William Still (Landmarks of the Underground
Railroad; Course Book July 2008, pages 53-55). Students will reenact the
trial of Samuel A. Smith: judge, defense attorney, prosecuting attorney,
Samuel Smith, jury.
4) Students will work in six groups to construct Henry's box using cardboard.
Each group will produce one face of the box; the group creating the top will
also provide the inscription. Each group will provide the surface area of the
face and the perimeter.
2) Fugitive Notice : a) Date of escape, b) Name of master, c) Possible
location, d) Description of Brown, e) Reward, f) Means of escape; g)
3) Participation in reenactment; accurate acting of the part chosen
4) Accurate construction of box and measurements, including area, perimeter,
Henry Box Brown: Worksheet
Use your knowledge of the story of Henry "Box" Brown to complete
1. In what city did Henry "Box" Brown begin his journey?
2. Henry Brown traveled using many forms of transportation. Can you name them
3. Why did Henry Brown have a false address on his box?
4. How big was Henry Brown's box? (Volume: length x width x height)
5. In what city did Henry "Box" Brown end his journey?
6. Henry Brown traveled through what state, without ever leaving the box?
7. Why didn't Henry Brown get out of the box as soon as he reached
8. What was a problem Henry Brown had to face while in the box?
9. Name two friends of Henry Brown who helped him on his journey:
10. If someone mailed you from Virginia to Pennsylvania today, what would be
different about your journey?
11. What did Henry Brown have with him in the box?
12. What would you have taken with you?