Lesson Plan:  Underground Railroad Newspaper


Grade:  3rd (Can easily be adjusted for many grades)


Julie Candland, Selma Bartlett Elementary School, Henderson, NV



Overview:  This lesson is a culminating activity for the knowledge they have learned about the Underground Railroad.  The students will demonstrate their knowledge of Harriet Tubman, William Still, and various other people involved with the Underground Railroad through news articles and other writings.



Students will be able to:






  1. Students will work independently, with a partner, or in small groups to create articles for a newspaper about the Underground Railroad.








  1. Students will first brainstorm possible article ideas and other features that they want to put into their newspaper.  Possible ideas for feature articles are:  The Fugitive Slave Law, Harriet Tubman, William Still, Thomas Garrett, and other personal slave stories.  Possible ideas for other features to include in their paper are:  editorial, myths/truths, Underground codes and their meanings, Dear Abby, ads, questions they would ask if they could interview any person from the UGRR, and a mini page.


  1. Students will research different ads that were placed in papers about runaway slaves.  They will write their own ads to put into the newspaper.

  1. Students will create a mini-page to include in their newspaper.  Activities can include:  word search with UGRR terms, dot-to-dot, crossword puzzles, hidden pictures, anagrams, and comics.


  1. Each student will contribute to the class newspaper.  If this was used for older grades students can work in partners, small groups or independently to create their own newspaper.


  1. The paper will be copied so that each student will have their own newspaper to share.