The American Journey Modern Times © 2009

Chapter 1: Toward Civil War

Web Activity Lesson Plans

"The Underground Railroad"

In this chapter students learned about the conflicts that led America into the Civil War. Learning about the Underground Railroad puts the struggle for freedom in context of the punishments established by the Fugitive Slave Act African Americans can face if caught. This Web activity reinforces the knowledge of the Underground Railroad and the long journey to freedom traveled by its passengers.

Lesson Description
Students will learn about the Underground Railroad and the struggle for freedom that runaway enslaved people faced. After exploring the Web site and answering questions associated with the activities, students will be able to explain the struggle for freedom that many enslaved persons faced and how the Underground Railroad was instrumental in helping those who wanted freedom escape.

Instructional Objectives

  1. The student will be able to explain the Underground Railroad
  2. The student will be able to explain the struggle for freedom that runaways faced.
  3. The student will be able to use the information they learn to understand the role of the Underground Railroad as a tool for escape and how it violated the Fugitive Slave Act.

Student Web Activity Answers

  1. The practice of slavery occurred in the United States for 365 years.
  2. The United States banned the slave trade in 1808.
  3. The first person to help you on your journey is Harriet Tubman. She is unique because she was guided by her "visions” and never lost a passenger.
  4. The signal that someone is willing to hide you for the night is a lantern on a hitching post, which marks the location as a safe house.
  5. You have traveled almost 250 miles (402 kilometers) on your journey to freedom.
  6. If you stay in the United States, you face the dangers of the Fugitive Slave Act, which was enforced by the government and the police and stated that you must return to slavery and those that helped you could be imprisoned.
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