The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad

I can explain what the Underground Railroad is and describe its historical...

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The Underground Railroad

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In this lesson, students will learn about the Underground Railroad and its historical significance. The lesson includes an informative video and students also learn about famous “conductors” such as Harriet Tubman and William Still. The gruesome journey that many slaves took along the Underground Railroad will be explained. Students will also analyze a set of pictures.

Learning Objective

Students will be able to explain the historical importance of the Underground Railroad in the abolishment of slavery and describe the heroic actions of various conductors.


Introduce students to the Underground Railroad by having them watching a short video discussing what it is and its history. Then, have students pair up with a classmate and answer a set of related questions that follow.


Begin the lesson by explaining to students a brief history of how the Underground Railroad came about. Explain that the Underground Railroad was a secret organization whose goal was to help slaves escape to the Northern states and to Canada. Add that the Underground Railroad was not an actual railroad and that railway terms were used as code words to describe a network of hideouts, homes, and abolitionists that worked together to help slaves escape. Continue the lesson by discussing one of the most famous “conductors,” Harriet Tubman. Give students a brief history about who she is and her contribution to the Underground Railroad.

Introduce William Still and the Fugitive Slave Act. Have students understand that he helped arrange for many slaves to escape to Canada and also wrote a book documenting many details we know today about the Underground Railroad. Guide students in analyzing a set of pictures showing the difficulty and dangers slaves took along the Underground Railroad. Then, have them write 3 emotions that come to their mind. Students then respond to 6 true or false statements about the Underground Railroad. Have them drag the correct symbols to display their answers.


Students respond to ten multiple-choice and true/false questions.


Students will unscramble a series of words related to the Underground Railroad, then slide to reveal the correct answers.

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