Scrapbook of Freedom


Kimberly Ehn


July 24, 2001


Chesterton Montessori School


Chesterton, Indiana


(Overall theme)

Students will create a scrapbook using personal narratives  and samples of artifacts to connect to maps of  geographical locations of the Underground Rail Road.

Classroom sessions or estimated time

1 class period of 45 minutes

Grade Level(s)



Students will be exposed to the first person view of a life-changing experience, specifically, a slave child  traveling from a slave state to a free state using the Underground Railroad.

*Geography Standards Addressed

1, 6,  9, 12, and 17

*Indiana Social Studies Academic Standards addressed

3.3.1 , 3.3.8, 3.5.2, 3.5.6


Students will be able to identify on a map at least one geographical location that was a part of the Underground Railroad.

Students will be able to explain the cultural use or significance of at least one artifact.

Students will be able to describe at least one of the feelings a child slave might have had during their experience.


*Teacher Background Materials(

Primary sources:

http://grid.let.rug.nl/~usa/D/1826-1850/slavery/fugitxx.htm First person testimonies of Canadian fugitives.26 July, 2001

http://www.lib.lawrence.edu:8080/LUCIA1?S=SLAVERY+UNITED+STATES+PERSONAL+NARRATIVES Testimonies of slaves through personal letters. 26 July, 2001http://www.chuh.org/Workshops/CMC/slavery/WEBBLIO.html Sources of first person narratives/primary sources.26 July, 2001

http://education.ucdavis.edu/new/stc/lesson/socstud/railroad/BrentEsc.htm 26 July, 2001 Personal narratives of Linda Brent

Blassingame, John W., ed. Slave Testimony: Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews, and Autobiographies. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University, 1977

Howell, Donna Wyant, I was a Slave Book 5: The Lives of Slave Children, Wash., DC: American Legacy Books, 1998.

*Purpose of Materials

Photocopies of related maps: the area of Maysville or Covington, Kentucky; the Ohio River at Madison or Jeffersonville, IN; old growth forest lands between settlements area of Newport (currently Fountain City) (Richmond, Ben, ed. Reminiscences of Levi Coffin. Richmond, IN: Friends United Press, 1991), IN, Fort Wayne, IN, Detroit, MI, or Ontario, Canada.   (Taylor, Jr., Robert M. et al. . Indiana: A New Historical Guide. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1989. 100, 136, 168.) http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/map_item.pl 26 July, 2001. (Indiana rail road map of 1861). http://www.nationalgeographic.com/features/99/railroad/j1a.html 26 July, 2001. (Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Canada map of 1855)., hole reinforcements to show geographic locations, stick-on stars to show geographic locations, 1 sheet 11”x17” tan art paper, set of  period clothing that includes a plain pullover shirt and pull-on drawstring pants made from a 100% cotton muslin dyed walnut brown, sentence writing paper, pencil, dried corn on the cob as an artifact, craft package of corn husks, bed  quilt as an artifact, http://www.domestications.com/dept.asp 26 July, 2001(handmade quilts to buy), quilt block squares: hand-drawn photocopies of 3x3 one inch blocks  www.amazon.com  26 July, 2001. (go to “quilt coloring), set of colored pencils,  4” x 6” black paper, glow-in-the-dark stars and one glow-in-the-dark dot for the North Star, photograph of student-can use period clothing and instant camera, glue stick to attach materials to the art paper

1.     Procedures

1.      Take a photo of the student, using period clothing if you can. (Ideally have two sets: one that is worn for the first photo and one that you can wash and wear to simulate wearing for months). Attach this photo to the art paper.  Students should write one word that describes how they feel about wearing the period clothing. Attach this to the art paper.

2.      Make a recording or read aloud from a primary source that allows a slave child to describe their experience in one of four situations: on the plantation or tobacco farm, traveling in the forest, crossing the Ohio River, or entering a safe house or church. Students should write one word that describes how they feel after hearing this narrative. Attach this to the art paper.

3.      Match the situation chosen to the photocopied map that has its corresponding geographical location:

the area of Maysville or Covington, Kentucky (plantation or tobacco farm);

   the Ohio River at Madison or Jeffersonville, IN;

 old growth forest lands between settlements;

       area of Newport (currently Fountain City), IN,  (Fort Wayne, IN, Detroit, MI, or Ontario, Canada. On a photocopy of the map that corresponds to the geographical location, place a star and a reinforcement to indicate this geographical location. Attach this to the art paper.

4.      Each situation and geographic location has a corresponding artifact or object:

dried corn on the cob with corn husks or a corn husk doll;

      “Follow the Drinking Gourd” music or poem http://www.ugrr.org/resource/oralhist/gourd.htm 26 July, 2001

   African-American secret code quilt or a hand-made color block quilt ; (Tobin, Jacqueline L., and Dobard, Ph.D., Raymond. Hidden in Plain View, A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground RailRoad. NewYork: Doubleday, 1999.)

      Hand-sewn “new” clothes

5.      Allow students to touch and examine this object and then write a sentence about it.  Attach this writing to the art paper.

6.      Each student will create their own sample of this artifact or object:

      A simple corn husk doll;

Big Dipper and the North Star constellation   example. (This is connected to “Follow the Drinking Gourd”) http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Launchpad/1364/Constellations.html 26 July, 2001The Big Dipper star constellation

      Color a quilt block;

      Material sample with straight- line  hand sewing.

 Attach this sample to the art paper. Students should write one word describing how they feel after they create their sample. Attach this to the art paper.


*Teaching Strategies

Students improve listening skills when they listen to recorded readings. Students make the connection from an artifact or object to an emotion when they actually make a sample of the object. Students  simulate being a slave child through making their scrapbook page and discussing it with others.

*Assessments (key questions to simulate critical thinking)

Students will share their scrapbook page with another student. They can write a story or describe the new scrapbook page to show what they’ve learned.


Adaptations and/or Extensions

Use Indiana Social Studies Academic Standards 3.1.2 or 3.1.3 to provide additional activities.

Other slave songs: http://docsouth.unc.edu/church/allen/menu.html http://users.massed.net/~tuohy/index.htm

Follow Bobby as he races along the Boston Freedom Trail. http://www2.lhric.org/pocantico/tubman/gourd1.html 26 July, 2001 History of Follow the Drinking Gourd