Introduce students to the concepts surrounding slavery: slave holders, abolition,
emancipation, etc.
Students will...
1. relate some of the injustices experienced by slaves.
2. understand what it meant to be a slave in the South in the mid 1800s. 
3. realize the struggle and danger many African Americans faced to be free.
4. create their own stories telling about slavery.


English Language Conventions:
1.EL.2. Write in complete sentences.
1.EL.3. Identify and employ correct usage of singular and plural regular nouns, contractions (e.g., isn’t, aren’t, can’t, won’t), and possessives (e.g., ‘s, my/mine, his, her/hers, your/yours).
1.EL.7. Capitalize the first word of a sentence, names of people, and the pronoun “I.”

Imaginative Writing:
1.W-I.1. Write or dictate stories that have a beginning, middle, and end, and arrange ideas in a logical way.


“Drinking gourd attributed to Lincoln family.”  First American West. Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago. Library. Lincoln Collection.
 Monjo, F.N. (1970) The Drinking Gourd  (1970). New York: Harper: Row Publishers

Warm Up

Read The Drinking Gourd , by F.N. Monjo, to the children. In small groups have the
children make up a role play to be presented to the class about the Underground

New Material


1.  Look up the words "slave" and "slavery" in the dictionary. Record the meaning on a
chart or the board.  

2.  Define "Underground Railroad" on the chart or the board.  

3.  Beneath the definitions, create a class story about a slave who used the Underground
Railroad. Have the students draw pictures to hang around the story about a part of the

4.  Re-read  A Picture Book of Frederick Douglass , by David A. Adler. Discuss what it was
like to be a slave. Did he use the Underground Railroad to get his freedom? Brainstorm
the steps in Frederick Douglass's life to his death. List in any order on the board. When
done, transpose them to a time line with the children putting them in the right order.  

5. Have the children make their own stories telling about slavery. When complete, share
these with each other and another class.  


Use a Writing Rubric to assess the student’s stories.

Closure and Reflection

Closure: Review the last lesson and the importance of freedom. Let them know that historians also use artifacts to draw conclusions about particular times in history like during the Civil War period that provides evidence of particular escape routes taken by the enslaved. Tell that they will explore more about this in the next lesson.
Did the students meet the objectives?
Did the students create stories using appropriate punctuation that expressed their ideas clearly with a beginning, middle and end?
What can I do to improve this lesson next time?