Teaching the Underground Railroad provides teachers with rewarding opportunities for student discovery and engagement. American antebellum society was divided along a variety of social, economic, political, and geographic lines. The network to freedom that developed into the Underground Railroad proffers instances in the curriculum to bring forth conflict and tension as well as courageous biographies and divisive politics.
This link is designed to provide useful curricular materials to assist you in teaching the history of the Underground Railroad and anti-slavery activities. Teaching students about the Underground Railroad provides rich instructional opportunities to engage students in discussions about core democratic values. By exploring the people, places, events, communities, and sites which were involved in the Underground Railroad, students can gain a greater appreciation for the pursuit of freedom made by antebellum Americans of various races and ethnicities.
Within the lesson plans are essential questions, activities, and assessments that measure students’ understanding of the Underground Railroad. Other resources include glossaries and vocabulary lists, required resources, and suggested supplemental materials. Lesson plans are divided into four categories: lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school. Also, be sure to visit the links on the Research page within this website to locate a variety of external links to additional Underground Railroad lesson plans.
Top Image: The Underground Railroad, 1893 (oil on canvas), Webber, Charles T. (1825-1911) / Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio, USA / Subscription Fund Purchase / The Bridgeman Art Library
Bottom Image: Rogers Fund, 1942