Objectives

-Students will
-identify the need for slaves to escape to freedom.  
-identify quilt block patterns by name and by sight.  
-analyze quilt block patterns to find the symbolic meaning.  
-conclude that freedom quilts played an important role in helping slaves
make their way along the Underground Railroad.  
-Study advertisements and brainstorm ideas for ways of describing the Underground
Railroad in advertising terms.                                     
1. Use poster board and marker or crayons to design ads.                              
2. Post finished advertisements on a bulletin board.
Design a poster to advertise the operation of an underground railroad.

Standards

READING
RL.1.1 Ask and answer such questions about key details in a text.
RI.1.5 Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
RI.1.7 Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
RF.1.4   a) Read on-level text with purpose and understanding. b) Read on-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings (Working towards
RF.1.4: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.)

Math-Patterns, Relations, and Algebra
1.PRA.1. Identify, reproduce, describe, extend, and create simple rhythmic, shape, size, number, color, and letter repeating patterns.

Resources

Hopkinton, Deborah (1995). Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. New York, New York: Dragonfly Books
As a seamstress in the Big House, Clara dreams of a reunion with her Momma, who lives on another plantation--and even of running away to freedom. Then she overhears two slaves talking about the Underground Railroad. In a flash of inspiration, Clara sees how she can use the cloth in her scrap bag to make a map of the land--a freedom quilt--that no master will ever suspect.

Ringold, Faith (1995). Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky. New York, New York: Dragonfly Books
Ringgold reintroduces Cassie and Be Be Lightfoot, who soar above oceans that look like cups of tea and meet a ``ramshackled train in the sky'' whose conductor is Harriet Tubman. Aunt Harriet, as she is called, explains that the railroad in the sky retraces her route to freedom every 100 years. Meanwhile, Be Be jumps on board. Cassie, who misses the train, must follow, living the slave existence, always one step behind, hoping to rejoin her brother in Canada.

Warm Up

Read Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringold

Sample an advertisement appearing in a Chicago newspaper in 1844—
 
The improved and splendid Locomotives, Clarkson and Lundy, with their trains fitted up in
the best style of accommodation for passengers, will run their regular trips during the
present season…Gentlemen and Ladies, who may wish to improve their health or
circumstances, by a northern tour, are respectfully invited to give us their patronage.

Explain that there were many people in the North and South who risked their lives trying to help slaves escape from their owners.  Some were white abolitionists and some were free blacks.  A religious group named the Society of Friends, or Quakers, began to help slaves escape as early as 1786.  By 1860, an elaborate system called the Underground Railroad was well established.  The “railroad” was actually a system of escape routes through “depots,” or safe houses.
 
At these locations, families were willing to hide runaway slaves, feed and clothe them as necessary, and help them on their way to the next safe stop along their escape route.  The ultimate destination was usually Canada, where blacks could work freely and could vote.  Operators of the Underground Railroad sometimes used advertisements in newspapers
to let prospective “riders” known of their existence.  

New Material

- Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringold
- Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinton
- “Follow the Flying Geese”
- Freedom Quilt Block Pattern Templates
- Scissors, construction paper

Practice

1. Read Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinton.  As you are
reading the book to the students, have them listen for story content as well as clues,
or details, as to how Clara made the map.  Students should record their ideas about
how Clara knew to place rivers where they belonged, fields where they belonged,
and so on.
 
2. Review vocabulary from both books:  Ask students:  What is slavery? Where did slaves escape to? Why?  How did they get there? Who helped them? Revisit the place in the book where the quilt was a secret signal for Cassie to enter the house.
 
3. Now that the students have an idea of the types of clues that slaves put into freedom
quilts, look at the attached quilt patterns and the clues they held for runaway slaves
to find their way along the Underground Railroad. Students will read (or teacher will
read selected portions aloud) the article, “Follow the Flying Geese.” Discuss why
students think it would be important for different slaves making quilts to use the
same symbols and how they created the symbols?
 
4. Students cut apart a quilt square template and cut construction paper pieces to create
a “quilt” square, gluing it to a sheet of white paper. Teacher may assign a
writing activity based on the square or combine all of the squares to create
a classroom quilt.

Assessment

In small groups...
-Study advertisements and brainstorm ideas for ways of describing the Underground
Railroad in advertising terms.                                     
1. Use poster board and marker or crayons to design ads.                              
2. Post finished advertisements on a bulletin board.
Design a poster to advertise the operation of an underground railroad.

Closure and Reflection

Closure: Review the lesson and discuss Fredereck Douglass’ escape. Discuss how he was an activist and tell the students to think about the ways he and other good citizens communicated their ideas.

Self-Reflection:  
Did the students meet the objectives?
Did the students create stories a poster that provided clear evidence of their knowledge of the underground railroad? What can I do to improve this lesson next time?