The term "underground railroad" was first used around 1830 to describe the loosely organized system that helped thousands of black American slaves escape to the northern states and Canada. The most heavily traveled routes ran through Ohio, Indiana and western Pennsylvania ï¿½ and now they can be re-traced on the Internet. Follow me as we learn more about the many heroes who helped so many.
"In Meet Addy, Momma and Addy try a daring escape from slavery after Poppa and Sam are sold to another plantation owner. They need courage and faith to travel north to freedom. Can they overcome each challenge and gain that freedom? To find out, travel with them on their dangerous journey." This interactive game for elementary ages puts you in Addy's shoes as she and her mother try to outrun slavery. It is best suited for students who have already read the popular American Girl book, but can still be enjoyed by those who haven't.
"Underground Railroad was an informal system that helped slaves escape to the Northern States and Canada during the mid-1800's. The system was neither underground nor a railroad. It was called the Underground Railroad because of the swift, secret way in which the slaves escaped. The slaves traveled by whatever means they could, moving almost entirely at night and hiding during the day. " This short educational overview from World Book has links to several biographies including Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of slaves to freedom, and William Lloyd Garrison, an anti-slavery journalist.
"The students in Mrs. Taverna's second grade class at Pocantico Hills School in Sleepy Hollow, New York have been learning about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad." And, boy, do they have a lot of work to share with you! They've created a time line, a quiz, a Harriet Tubman photo gallery, and a map of her 130-mile route to freedom. The students have written poems, character sketches and crossword puzzles. I suggest you visit.
Are you ready for some finger-snapping music? How about a music video made with a unique combination of black history, rap verse, gospel chorus and pastel illustrations? You'll find it all at History Happens. "On an Underground Railroad," with lyrics and music by Kinny Landrum, can be heard in RealAudio and MP3, or seen in RealVideo format. Other American history topics that have been converted into song include the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Immigration and World War II.
"You are a slave. Your body, your time, your very breath belong to a farmer in 1850s Maryland. Six long days a week you tend his fields and make him rich. You have never tasted freedom. You never expect to. And yet . . . your soul lights up when you hear whispers of attempted escape. Freedom means a hard, dangerous trek. Do you try it?" This virtual journey for all ages from National Geographic, is my pick of the week.