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Lesson Plans


Middle School

High School

Featured Lesson Plans:

John M. Osborne, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

Fugitive Slave Notices

General lesson suitable for multiple levels that details the stories behind actual fugitive slave ads featured in William Still's book The Underground Railroad .

Matthew Pinsker, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

How Do Textbooks Describe the Underground Railroad?

Includes examples from ten leading high school level American history textbooks describing the Underground Railroad and asks students to compare respective treatments.

Jeff Mummert, Hershey High School, Hershey, PA

Henry "Box" Brown Social Studies

Henry "Box" Brown Interdisciplinary

The social studies lesson plans include a portfolio of approaches from elementary, middle, and high school that engage students in various story telling skills and evaluating historical information.

The interdisciplinary plans employ math, science, and geography, and use Google Earth technology to engage students at all levels in Henry Brown's escape story.



Elementary (K-5)

Julie Candland, Selma Bartlett Elementary School, Henderson, NV

Underground Railroad Newspaper

Stormie E. Carson, Jones Elementary, San Diego, CA

“From Slavechild to Freedom”

Carleena Day, Elmore City-Pernell Public School, Elmore City, OK

Runaway Ads

Linda Forman, Barbieri Elementary School, Framingham, MA

Using Art to Tell A Story: Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad Through the Eyes of Jacob Lawrence and Faith Ringgold

Ashley Franco, Littlewood Elementary School, Gainesville, FL

Blowing the Whistle: Uncovering Misconceptions about the Underground Railroad

Bev Frevert, Central Elementary, Centerville, IA

Underground Railroad: Henry Box Brown

Gail Greenberg, Giddings Elementary School, Cleveland, OH

Faces and Places on the Underground Railroad in Ohio

Susan Haninger, Trinity Catholic Elementary School, Columbus, OH

Meet the Underground Railroad

Cynthia Lawhon, Claiborne Fundamental Magnet Elementary , Shreveport, LA

Lesson Plans for Discoveries - The Underground Railroad

Denise Leschak, Lincoln Elementary School, Pottstown, PA

Introduction to the Underground Railroad

Gail Olivas, Gulfstream Elementary, Miami, FL

Lesson Plan: Henry "Box" Brown

Karen E. Ragsdale, Kipps Elementary School, Blacksburg, VA

The Life and Struggles of Peter Still: An Interactive Read-Aloud with Written Response Journal

Kathleen Rankin, Wesleyville Elementary School, Erie, PA

Teacher Resources for Exploring the Role of the Underground Railroad in Erie County, Pennsylvania



Middle School (6-8)

Nancy Adams, Cross Lanes Christian School, Cross Lanes, WV

John Brown's Passion to End Slavery

Steffany A. Baptiste, Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School, Summit, NJ

Understanding the Underground Railroad and the Anti-Slavery Movement

George Finn, St. Joseph School, Seattle, WA

Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

Lois Fugit, Ascension School, Louisville, KY

Underground Railroad Lesson for American History & Literature

Nora Garcia, Hamlin Middle School, Corpus Christi, TX

Underground Railroad Activity for 8th Grade US History

Patrick Hammond, Niver Creek Middle School, Thornton, CO

Underground Railroad for 8th Grade US History

Christin Johnson, Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School, Sauk Rapids, MN

Armed Resistance Underground Railroad Tic-Tac-Toe

George Savitsky, Reynolds Middle School, Lancaster, PA

Interdisciplinary Underground Railroad Lesson for Black History Month

Angie Vivatson, Brooklyn Junior High, Brooklyn Park, MN

Underground Railroad Integrative Unit: Social Studies and Language Arts



High School (9-12)


Amy Allaire, Ayer High School, Ayer, MA

Underground Railroad through the Fugitive Slave Act & the Shadrach Minkins case

Jim Chrismer, John Carroll School, Bel Air, MD

Research/Writing Assignment on Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad

Mark L. Chronister, Marist High School, Eugene, OR

Flight and Fight in the Christiania Riot

Adam Cooper, Career Education Center, New York, NY

Comprehending the Henry Box Brown Escape

Mark W. Davison, Iroquois Central High School, Elma, NY

Hometown History: The Constitution Tested in Buffalo New York by the Abolition Movement and the Fugitive Slave Act

LaNesha N. DeBardelaben, Flint Community Schools, Flint, MI

Emancipation of the Mind

Jim Dempster, Genoa Area High School, Genoa, OH

Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 & the Underground Railroad

Sharon Dietz, J. P. McCaskey High School, Lancaster, PA

Voices of the Underground Railroad

Charlie Donnelly, William E. Tolman High School, Pawtucket, RI

Underground Railroad Lesson for US History & American Literature

Clay Hatfield, Eagle High School, Eagle, ID

American Character: Underground Railroad-Runaway Narrative

Paul Kim, Chinese Christian Schools, San Leandro, CA

Underground Railroad: Levi Coffin & Chun Ki-Won

Virginia Link-Pease, Linden High School, Linden, NJ

Underground Railroad & Toni Morrison's Beloved

Maureen McAleer, St. John’s Preparatory School, Danvers, MA

The Fugitive Slave Law:  Shadrach Minkins, Christiana, and William Henry

Susan Miller, Middleborough High School, Middleborough, MA

Underground Railroad Case Study: Maritime Influences of New Bedford, Massachusetts

Michael O’Toole, River Dell High School, Oradell, NJ

Heroes of the Underground Railroad

Erin Peabody, Spottswood High School, Spottswood, NJ

The Underground Railroad: Fight and Flight

Jane Purcell, Claremont Hight School, Claremont, CA

John Brown on Trial: An Exercise in Critical Thinking and Moral Philosophy

Robert Rodey, Marian Catholic High School, Chicago Heights, IL

Underground Railroad DBQ

Audra Rys, Berne-Knox-Westerlo Central School District, Berne, NY

Underground Railroad Lesson Plan: Thought Process in College Writing

Maria Vita, Penn Manor High School, Millersville, PA

Lynne Wilbanks, Mountain Brook High School, Birmingham, AL

The Underground Railroad: Before and After the Fugitive Slave Law

Marie Wilson, School District of Philadelphia, PA

Mirror Images:  Harriet Tubman and Thomas Garrett

Kathryn Wineland, Performing Arts School of Metro Toledo, Toledo, OH

What would you do?   Decisions on the Path to Freedom


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