A WebQuest is defined as an inquiry – oriented activity where students will go onto the internet and use specific sites that you as the teacher have pre-determined. The students will use these sites to complete a project.
Components of a WebQuest are: Introduction Task Process Resources Evaluation Conclusion Teacher Page
Freedom Quilt WebQuest Grade level: 7 th - 8 th Students pretend they are an escaping slave who wants to find the best route to freedom. They take the roles of biographer, geographer, symbologist and scout. They work together to compile facts and create a quilt with symbols that will direct them to freedom. (This template was created by Patricia McGee and Deborah Claxton from the work of Bernie Dodge .)
Introduction In the years before the Civil War, slavery for Black Americans was accepted as normal. There were many people, both black and white, who knew how wrong slavery really was. Although many enslaved people tried to escape from slavery and were successful, most chose not to run away. They stayed and suffered in silence.
Although many enslaved people tried to escape from slavery and were successful, most chose not to run away. They stayed and suffered in silence.
Not you !
Yo u are sixteen years old. The year is 1856. You are one of the lucky ones. You have managed to escape to freedom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania via the Underground Railroad. Unfortunately, you had to leave your mother, father, and two little brothers behind in Georgia. You desperately want them to join you in Philadelphia.
Task Your task is to design a plan for their escape and travel to Philadelphia. The plan will be disguised in a quilt sent to your mother as a birthday gift.
Shown in the squares of the quilt will be their escape route and the identity of individuals to assist them with their trip. You will need to decide what symbols you can put onto the quilt to either guide them along or help them avoid the many dangers on the way. Your goal is that your family will be able to follow your plan and join you in Philadelphia.
Process Background: To be able to design a quilt, you will need to become familiar with the Underground Railroad and its connection to quilting. We will begin by reading and discussing the story , Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt , as a class.
To help you understand the experiences of runaways, explore these websites and think about these questions: a. Why did the Underground Railroad develop? b. What were the major accomplishments of the Underground Railroad?
Background websites: a. Addy's Escape to Freedom b. "The Underground Railroad” - Nat Geo c. The Underground Railroad For additional information you may want to read the books on this list. Ask your librarian to help you find these and other books. a. Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter b. If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine c. Escape from Slavery: Five Journeys to Freedom by Doreen Rappaport
Geographer Plans the route, keeping in mind the terrain, weather, and distance. Assemble this information in bullet form on the data collection chart, then draw the route on a United States map, showing through which states the family will travel. You will need to print a copy of the U. S. map by clicking on the following link. Label the states involved in your route. 50 States Use this chart to record your information. Geographer's Data Chart #1421495
Geographer's websites: a. Routes to Freedom b. Safe Passage Symbols of Freedom c. Map of U. S. with URR Routes d. Aboard the Underground Railroad: Map of Routes e. Mileage Calculator f. Aboard the Underground Railroad
Biographer Research “conductors”, “agents” or other people along the way who can help. You will need to find out the role they played in the Underground Railroad movement, where they can be located, and how they can help your family in the escape. Use the data collection chart to record your notes in bullet form. Biographer's Data Collection Chart #1421509
Biographer's websites: Faces of Freedom Whispers of Angels Levi Coffin: President of the Underground Railroad National Underground Railroad Freedom Center: People
Symbologist Research symbols to be included on the quilt that will keep the family on the right track to freedom. On a data collection chart, tell what the symbols were, what they stood for and how they were used. Symbologist's Data Collection Chart #1421504
Symbologist's websites: Did Quilts Hold Codes to the Underground Railroad? The Language of Quilts Underground Railroad Quilts—Secret Codes Underground Railroad Quilts and Abolitionist Fairs Symbols of Slavery Follow the Drinking Gourd
Scout: The Scout alerts the passengers to possible dangers along the route. On a data collection chart, list the possible dangers, why they are dangers, and how you could avoid them. Scout's Data Collection Chart #1421493
Scout's Websites: Whispers of Angels (Scroll to treacherous terrain and lifesaving waterways) Secrets and Lies Symbols of Slavery Follow the Drinking Gourd The History Channel—Black History Month
The Quilt and Presentation 1. Meet as a group. 2. Share the information you have found and as a group construct an escape plan including agents to help you, symbols, map with route, and dangers to be avoided. 3. Decide which symbols, if placed on your quilt, would have the best chance of helping your family to safe passage to freedom.
4. Each person in your group will draw and color their square of the quilt on an 18 x 24 “ piece of construction paper. 5. Tape the four sections together and make a border around your quilt .
Presentation Present your quilt and its meaning to the class as an oral report. Use the information on your data collection chart to prepare your script. Each member of the group will speak about the square they researched and drew and how it fits into the escape plan.
Resources I combined the resources with the process
Evaluation Create a rubric, etc
Conclusion Congratulations! Your mission was successful. You were able to help your family escape from slavery. They are now safe and able to enjoy freedom.
While you were planning a journey and depicting that journey on a quilt, you were also developing and strengthening skills: locating information, comprehending data, and selecting appropriate details in order to complete your task. You learned the value of teamwork and the benefits of listening and sharing with your classmates and the satisfaction of accomplishment.
Slavery is a horrible condition and helping people to get out of slavery not only makes their life better, but also improves our world by eliminating a terrible injustice. Slavery still exists today. If you would like to find out more about slavery in the 21 st . century and what you can do about it, look at the following websites: 21st Century Slaves Map Online Extra - How We Can End Slavery
This is the page where you can add supplemental material for the WebQuest. The page is addressed to the teachers.