Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Historical Humpday (Wednesday) - Just 2 for Today

I have chosen today to review two picture books relating to Slavery and the Underground Railroad. These books would be wonderful additions to most upper-elementary grade classrooms. I have used them myself in several different 4th grade classes in NY.

Starting out with a note about the story that provides important background information, Follow the Drinking Gourd focuses on the attempts to free slaves in the 1840’s. The story is based upon the famous song “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” which through the lyrics, told slaves the directions needed to follow the Underground Railroad, helping them ultimately find freedom. This particular story follows the hardships that Molly, James, Isaiah, Old Hattie and George as they make their escape north to Canada. With the sheet music provided as well, this book would certainly enhance a unit on slavery.

Lesson Plans/Book Activities:

Separated from her mother as a result of the slave trade, Clara plans to reunite with her mother someday. Hearing two slaves talk about the Underground Railroad, Clara uses her quilting knowledge to begin constructing a map of the landscapes that would eventually lead her and her mother north to Canada and freedom via the Underground Railroad. When the “map” is finished, Clara sets off, leaving the quilt behind for other slaves planning an escape. The illustrations support the story, portraying slaves as they were – hard workers who had to sneak around when planning if they wished to escape.

Lesson Plans/Book Activities:


style='clear: both;' Esme Raji Codell said...

Nice blog, Katie! I appreciate the choices and links from a teaching POV! Keep up the great work. :-)