lantern.jpgHere are some ideas for projects to show what you learned about the Underground Railroad.

Project 1: Pick one person place or thing that you thought was really interesting. Find out all you can about that person, place or thing. Write a paragraph. Draw a picture with crayons, pencils, or markers or using drawing software (like Kid Pix). Display your picture and paragraph as a
  • "tent" (Fold a piece of 9"X12" construction paper in half. Paste the picture on the front and the paragraph on the inside.)
  • quilt square (Paste the picture on the front of a 9"X12" sheet of construction paper and the paragraph on the back. Punch a hole in each of the 4 corners and tie it together with other UGRR quilt squares made by your classmates.
  • Or make your own UGRR quilt square: Cut two 9"X12" pieces from a paper grocery sack . Paste your picture on one and your paragraph on the other. Make a "sandwich" with the picture on top, a 9"X12" piece of quilt batting in the middle and the paper with your paragraph on the back. Using a darning needle and yarn, punch holes around your picture about 1/2" apart. Pull the yarn through the holes, making big stitches around your picture.)

Project 2: Draw a map showing a route that an escaping slave might have used. Use picture symbols to identify places where slaves might have gotten help. Explore the websites again to find out where to place safe houses. Show the locations of people who helped slaves escape and how they did it. (For example, show where someone might have met fugitives with a boat to carry them across a river by drawing a picture of a small boat or skiff.) Look at the endpapers in Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson (Dragonfly Books, 1995) for an idea of what your map could look like.

Project 3: Draw a map showing the route escaping slaves might take if they were to "Follow the Drinking Gourd."

Project 4: Create a diorama showing something about the UGRR. You could show the inside / outside of a safe house, a journey through the woods, following "the bear's paw trail," or how slaves escaped using wagons or small boats. Write a paragraph including facts about the scene.

Project 5: Make a board game. Include a path, safe places, code words, signs and signals, ways of escaping, and dangers. Create rules for your game and all the pieces you will need to play the game. You might use cards to give code words or phrases with directions about what the player should do.

Project 6: Make a stop-action movie using software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. Write a story about the Underground Railroad. Create a background and paper-doll "actors." Tape the actors to the background. Use a digital camera to take still photos as you move the actors from one place to another. Import all the pictures into the movie-making software and record your story. Add music.