Underground Railroad Student/Class Goal

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Teacher Note To find out more about diary writing, review the Journals Teacher Information Resource in the reading log section.

Make sure students follow these guidelines when writing about their characters:

  • "Slaves" must address the reason they are running, and their plan and hopes.

  • "Slave Catchers" must address their reasons for hunting down the slaves.

  • "Underground Railroad Conductors" must explain why they are willing to risk their lives and livelihood to help slaves get to freedom.

Step 5 - Have students share their viewpoints with the class. Then, ask students to complete the appropriate section of the Underground Railroad graphic organizer with their point of view. As other class members share, students will fill in the rest of their graphic organizer. Students can also share their diary entries.
Step 6 – To synthesize their learning, students can use one of these essay prompts or create their own question based on their research of the Underground Railroad:

  • What effect did the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 have on slavery from all three perspectives (runaway slave, Underground Railroad conductor, slave catcher)?

  • What effect did President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation have on all three participants’ perspectives?

Self, teacher and peer editing and revising can be used to finalize student writing. Students may choose to place this essay in their portfolio. Using the Ohio standards and benchmarks, the teacher and students can work together to develop a rubric to evaluate writing.

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