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Lesson Plan Template

Name: Dana Barocas & James Mooney

Lesson Title: The Underground Railroad

Rationale for Instruction

A rationale is an essential part
of thoughtful planning of
classroom instruction. This is a
brief written statement of the
purpose for instruction and the
connection of the purpose to
instruction that has come
before and will follow.
Generation Sunshine State
List each standard that will be
addressed during the lesson.
Cutting and pasting from the
website is allowed. You must
have a minimum of 3 standards
that represent multiple content
areas identified in this portion
of the lesson plan.
These can be downloaded from
the Florida Dept of Education

Learning Objectives
What will students know and

Grade Level: 2nd Grade

Lesson Length (ie. 30 minutes): 1 hour

The Underground railroad was a series of routes and safe houses used in the 19th century by slaves who
were trying to reach freedom. Students should begin to understand this concept because it was such an
important event that changed the course of our US history. It lead to the Civil war and the Jim crow
laws, which really impacted America at the time.

NCSS Theme: Time, Continuity, & Change Social studies programs should include experiences that
provide for the study of the ways human beings view themselves in and over time, so that the learner
1. Demonstrate an understanding that different people may describe the same event or situation in
diverse ways, citing reasons for the differences in views.
2. Compare and contrast different stories or accounts about past events, people, places, or
situations, identifying how they contribute to our understanding of the past.
SS.2.A.2.4-Explore ways the daily life of people living in Colonial America changed over time.
SS.2.A.3.1-Identify terms and designations of time sequence.

LAFS.2.RI.1.1-Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to
demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
LAFS.2.RI.2.4-Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or
subject area.
The student will walk around the classroom on a path, representing the underground railroad, and will
stop at stations, representing the safe houses. At each station there will be an artifact and it will give you
Modified 1/16 Van De Mark from document created by L. Spaulding

be able to do at the end of this

lesson? Be sure to set
significant (related to
NGSSS), challenging,
measurable and appropriate
learning goals!
Student Activities &
Design for Instruction
What best practice
strategies will be
How will you communicate
student expectation?
What products will be
developed and created by
Consider Contextual
Factors (learning
environment) that may be in
place in your classroom.

Lesson Plan Template

information about the artifact and then it will have a discussion question.
The students will gain a deeper understanding of what was happening in the Underground
The students will understand some of the articles that were used during the times of The
Underground Railroad.
The students will discuss these artifacts and gain an understanding of why they were used during
this time period.
1. Teacher sets up the classroom in a path, representing the Underground railroad by moving the
desks and making a pathway.
2. There will be 10 stations on this path, representing the safe houses so the teacher will need to put
an artifact at every station.
3. The teacher will then write out 10 index cards with the information and one discussion question.
Map of The Underground Railroad This is a map of the Underground Railroad. Salves would
use these routes to try to escape to freedom. Examine these routes and discuss which route you
would take and why?
Star Chart- Since slaves did not actually have a map; they would use the constellations as their
map by locating certain constellations in the sky. What would you do if you didnt have a map
and you were lost?
Patch Quilts- Slaves used secret codes in quilts to send messages to one another. What would
you do if you had to find another way to talk to your friends without speaking?
Lantern- Slaves used lanterns to see walking through the Underground Railroad. What would
you be scared of walking along the Underground Railroad at night?
Shackles- Slaves were sometimes chained to a wall with shackles so that they could not escape.
How would you feel if you were a slave and had to be chained up with shackles?
Violin- Music was very important to the slaves. They would all gather around with instruments
and play music and sing gospel hymns about freedom. Why do you think this was important to
the slaves?
Cooking Pot- Slaves spent days in the kitchen cooking away for their slave owners. Do you
think this was easy for the slaves and why?
Gospel Hymns- Slaves would always sing gospel hymns about being lead to freedom. Do you
think that the slave owners would be happy if they heard the slaves singing these songs and
Copper slave tag-These are tags that the slaves had to wear and each tag has a number on it.
Modified 1/16 Van De Mark from document created by L. Spaulding

How will student learning be
Does your assessment align
with your objectives,
standards and procedures?
Informal assessment (multiple
modes): participation rubrics,
journal entries, collaborative
planning/presentation notes

Lesson Plan Template

Slaves were not considered people; they were considered a number to the government. Imagine
youre life as a slave and name some things that you are thankful for. What would you do if
people considered you as a number and not a person?
Slave Runaway Wanted poster-This poster is a slave wanted poster that the slave owners would
use if one of their slaves ran away. If someone found the slave, they would get a reward and the
slave would be in severe trouble and possibly death. If you found a slave from a wanted poster,
would you turn them in for the reward money? Why or why not?
4. Teacher will set up each station.
5. When the class comes in, everyone will sit on the floor in front of the white board and the
teacher will read the story Freedoms a-Calling me by Rod Brown.
6. The teacher will then conduct a K-W-L Chart where students will tell the teacher what they
know, want to know and what they have learned about the Underground Railroad. If a student
doesnt say that it is not a real railroad, the teacher will clarify that it is a series of routes and safe
houses used in the 19th century by slaves who were trying to reach freedom. After they tell the
teacher what they know, the teacher will write down what they want to know about the
Underground Railroad.
7. The teacher will then separate the class into groups of three and they will start their path on the
Underground Railroad.
8. Students will have 3 minutes at each station so this will take about 30 minutes. Students will
read the index card, examine the artifact and answer the discussion question out loud as a group.
(During this time the teacher will be walking around the room, listening to the answers of the
discussion questions and checking for understanding as a formative assessment.)
9. Once the class is done, we will gather back on the carpet and go over what we have learned
which is also another formative assessment.
Daily Lesson Plan Assessment:
K-W-L Chart
Pre assessment- What they know and what they want to know
Post assessment- What they have learned
Informal Observation of discussion questions

Modified 1/16 Van De Mark from document created by L. Spaulding

Lesson Plan Template

Shange, N., & Brown, R. (2012). Freedom's a-callin me. New York: Amistad/Collins.
Gospel Hymn
Star map
Wanted poster
Copper slave tags
Cooking pot
Index cards
White board
What accommodations or
modifications do you make for
ESOL, Gifted/Talented
students, Learning/Reading
disabilities, etc.

ESOL & Students with Learning Differences: I would pair up ESOL students so that they could discuss
the questions in their native language. I also think having the artifact to touch and hold will really help
them understand what they are and you could make connections from words to symbols with the
artifacts. You can also talk slowly and use simple directions that will benefit the whole class and
students with learning differences.

These accommodations and/or

modifications should be listed
within the procedures section
of the lesson plan as well as in
this section of the document.
Lesson Extensions

Gifted/Talented: I would ask higher order thinking questions to my more gifted students one on one.

Homework- Students choose the artifact they are most interested in and they have to go home and
research the topic and write down 3 facts about that object. They will discuss their findings in school the
next day.
Modified 1/16 Van De Mark from document created by L. Spaulding

Lesson Plan Template

Modified 1/16 Van De Mark from document created by L. Spaulding