Primary source lesson plan


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Primary source lesson plan

  1. 1. Lesson Plan Template <br />based on Understanding by Design by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins<br />Title of Lesson: Escape Through the Underground RailroadAuthor: Jennifer BronsonGrade Level: 4/5School: Race Brook SchoolTime Estimated: <br /><ul><li>Brief OverviewIn this lesson students will evaluate various primary sources to discover how slaves communicated in creative ways to successfully and secretly escape from slavery in the South. Next, students will be given a task with a group to inform others of the secrets among slaves through a newscast report. Historical Inquiry QuestionMost slaves could not read or write. How do you think the slaves in the South were able to escape to freedom in the North without their masters figuring it out? Content KnowledgeAs a result of this lesson, students will know: Slaves used the constellations in the sky to help them find their way North.Slaves used patterns in quilts to represent different secret messages to let slaves know when it was safe to head north.Songs were a way to communicate with each other while they worked in the field. Lyrics were often in code so the overseers and slave owners didn’t know what they were saying to each other.Houses were set up along the Underground Railroad to help slaves complete their journey. These “conductors” would put a candle in the window let a slave know it was a safe house to enter.SkillsStudents will be able to analyze and draw conclusions from primary sources about the Underground Railroad to create a well-informed newscast informing other students of the ways that slaves can be viewed as intelligent. CT Standards Addressed KnowledgeStudents should have prior knowledge of the use of forced slavery in the South on plantations. They should know what the living conditions were like and understand what a typical day in the life of a slave was like in order for them to understand why they wanted to risk their lives to escape from their master.Resources neededLibrary of Congress Resources railroad library of congress#0:160 Additional Resources:Books: Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen LevineTwo Tickets to Freedom by Florence B. FreedmanThe Secret to Freedom by Marcia Vaughan and Larry JohnsonProcess of LessonHook/Warm Up: If most slaves couldn’t read or write, how were they able to escape to the North to find their freedom? Inquiry Activity: With a partner, students will analyze and draw conclusions from the video about the uses of quilts, song lyrics for “Follow the Drinking Gourd”, a picture of a flagpole that was used to hold a lantern high to signal to slaves, and the picture of Henry “Box” Brown. Next, students will record the examples of how slaves used alternative ways to escape without needing to know how to read and write using a comparison matrix. Application Activity: Students will work in groups of four to create a newscast report to inform other students of the various ways slaves secretly communicated information on how to escape to freedom. Evaluation Attached RubricPossibilities for DifferentiationThis lesson is set up for heterogeneous groups, but students can be grouped in levels. Students will be able to work at their own pace analyzing each document. As students are working together, the teacher is able to circulate to support students in drawing conclusions at various levels. The teacher can help high achieving students draw more sophisticated conclusions. The newscast can be very informative, but also allow creativity from all levels in deciding how to inform the public with mock interviews, PowerPoint slides, and use of primary sources.