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Underground Railroad Webquests

Guest Author - Paula Laurita

Collected here is a listing of webquests developed for study of the Underground Railroad.

The longing for freedom is ingrained in the human heart. Using webquests focusing on the Underground Railroad can help your students understand the great risks people took to gain their freedom. These webquests can also help them see that the "conductors" and "stations" took risks because they believed in the dignity of each person.

Here are several webquests that you can use with your students.

The Underground Railroad, by Susan G. Barhan & Eleanor J.Williams
This lesson was developed as a way to engage sixth grade students directly in learning about the Underground Railroad. It was designed to help them create their own learning experience.

The Underground Railroad contributed significantly to creating the United States as we know it today. It is important that we, as a society, understand the variety of persons and events involved in its creation, maintenance, use and success. There is no better example of the power that teamwork can achieve.

Underground Railroad Webquest, by Ms. Baumann, Mr. Bowman, and Mr. Haines
The Underground Railroad was not a real railroad. It was a network of people working secretly to help slaves escape to freedom in the Northern States and Canada. This network of escape routes, or "Freedom Trail," operated for many years before and during the Civil War.

Escape routes stretched from the southern slave states into the North and on to Canada. Fugitives usually traveled secretly at night, and were hidden in safe houses, barns, and haylofts in the day. Thousands of antislavery campaigners, both black and white, risked their lives to operate the railway.

An Underground Railroad Webquest
Millions of Africans became involuntary immigrants to what became known as The United States of America. Enslaved Africans resisted from the inception of this horrific practice. They started fighting on the continent of Africa, resisted on the ships, fought while they were on the plantations, ran away from their enslavers, formed maroon societies, and continued the struggle once they were free to help others escape.

Underground Railroad: Starway to Freedom, by Neysa R. Hardin, Betsy Kiker, and J. Martin Ortega
You hear a story about a former slave who was separated from his family and sold to the highest bidder. He had to wear shackles around his wrists and ankles. When he arrived at his new plantation, he was expected to work from dawn to dusk under the blazing hot sun. He was not paid nor did he have control over his daily life.

He tells that escape was his only choice. Refusing to remain a slave, he decided to cross the Mason-Dixon line using the Underground Railroad to find freedom in the North.

Welcome Aboard the Underground Railroad, by Trina Petty
The Underground Railroad was neither "underground" nor a "railroad." It was perhaps the most dramatic protest action against slavery in United States history. Its story is one of individual sacrifice and heroism in the efforts of enslaved people to reach freedom from bondage. Runaways usually commuted either alone or in small groups. Occasionally, they were assisted by those who risked their lives to escort them to freedom. Today, you will go back in history and lead a group of slaves to freedom. Once again, welcome aboard the train to freedom.

Get On Board! A Web Quest on The Underground Railroad, by Joni Studebaker
$500.00 REWARD! Three runaway slaves fled on the night of April 23. The three are of dark color and are between the ages of 10 and 12 years of age. A reward of $500 will be paid for the return of these slaves.

Bella Library Sciences Recommends:

Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad

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Content copyright © 2014 by Paula Laurita. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Paula Laurita. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Christine Sharbrough for details.

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