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Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad

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History and social studies teachers may be interested in this standards-aligned lesson plan from the team at EDSITEment, a library of free teaching resources created by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Written with middle and high school students in mind, this inquiry-based lesson plan is organized into three activities focused on the Underground Railroad and "one of its most famous conductors, Harriet Tubman." As preparation, the lesson suggests that students craft a timeline of the era using primary sources linked from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America project and from the Digital Public Library of America. The first activity concentrates on the life of Harriet Tubman, with students using provided resources to consider what made Tubman an effective leader and how her legacy should be remembered. In the second activity, students work in small groups to analyze primary sources and answer questions about Tubman's involvement in the Underground Railroad. This information can then feed into the third activity, in which students map one route of the Underground Railroad. The lesson also describes a synthesis writing assignment to assess students' learning, as well as suggestions for extension activities and links to numerous additional resources on this topic.
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