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Simulate the Underground Railroad and design dream homes for fictional former slaves.
Students read non-fiction and fiction books about slavery and the Underground Railroad in book groups, as read-alouds, and independently. Share information with the class about life in slavery and methods used to communicate secret information about passage on the Underground Railroad.
Use Crayola® Model Magic®, Crayola Multicultural and Regular Markers, and fabric scraps to model a small figure of a slave. Give the slave a name and identity.
Make a small box into "slave quarters" with minimal furnishings of scrap cardboard, using Crayola School Glue and Crayola Scissors.
One or two students label another box FREEDOM and place it in an inconspicuous area of the room.
Students write a testimonial for the slave, including details about life in slavery found in their reading. Each day, write about the slave's desire to be free and escape. Write songs, letters, poems, and plans.
Choose four students to become conductors on the Underground Railroad. They secretly free slaves over a period of 1 to 2 weeks. The first child secretly removes slaves from their quarters, then passes the figure along to the next child. Slaves move carefully and secretly from child to child, remaining hidden in clothes, lunchboxes, desks, and pencil cases until the next move. The final move is into FREEDOM.
Have a class discussion about how slave owners reacted to losing slaves. Make posters publicizing rewards for lost slaves.
Finally reveal the Underground Railroad and return figures to children now as free citizens. Use a variety of craft and recycled materials, Crayola School Glue, and Crayola Scissors to build new homes. Write about new lives in freedom, including details found in reading.
This powerful diorama pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrate his historic civil rights speech on the step
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