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UGR Unit Bibliography And Webliography


Art, Computers & Internet, Language Arts, Math, Music, Social Studies  



Title – All Aboard! Exploring the Secrets of the Underground Railroad – An Interdisciplinary Unit

UGR Unit Bibliography And Webliography

Note, this is one part of a larger unit which can be found here .

By – Elizabeth Hodgson and Rachel Vogelpohl
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subjects – Music, Art, Language Arts, Computers / Internet
Grade Level – 4


Bial, R. (1995). The underground railroad . Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
          Juvenile literature: The book documents in prose and photographs the examples of stations on the railroad, along with images of the routes, lives and hardships of both the passengers and the conductors.

Freedman, F.B. (1971). Two tickets to freedom . New York: Scholastic Inc.
          This book, which is a true story of fugitive slaves William and Ellen Craft, is based largely on William Craft’s narrative, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom . The story begins on a winter morning in 1848 when Ellen Craft, a light-skinned young slave, disguises herself in men’s clothing and walks into a train station in Macon, Georgia and purchases two tickets, one ticket was for herself and the other for her husband. Ellen posed as a white Southern planter, and her husband, William as her slave. This began their dangerous journey which took them to England and eventually back to Georgia.

Fountas, I. & Pinnell, G. (2001). Guiding readers and writers: grades 3-6 . New Hampshire. Heinemann.
          Guiding readers and writers: grades 3-6 is a wonderful teaching resource for teaching comprehension, genre, and content literacy.

Greenwood, B. (1998). The last safe house: A story of the underground railroad . Toronto: Kids Can Press.
           The Last Safe House is the moving story of a young slave girl name Eliza Jackson who is hidden by the Reid family in 1856. The Reid home in Ontario is the last safe stop for young Eliza, as she travels on the Underground Railroad to escape her enslaved life on a southern plantation. Her tale of bravery wins her the admiration and respect of the entire Reid family, and they find themselves fiercely protecting her from the slave catcher sent to capture and return her. While the story is fictional, it has been written with factual accounts of people and events of the real Underground Railroad, and each introduction of a piece of historical fact detailing the Underground Railroad is further explained on pages that function like an encyclopedia. This is a wonderful story that is sure to enthrall and teach 4th graders who will have the chance to find out that many North Carolinians were slave owners and slave catchers and that many were also supporters or actually conductors of the Underground Railroad.

Heinrichs, A. (2001). The underground railroad . Minneapolis: Compass Point Books.
          Key events in history of Underground Railroad presented through the use of engaging texts and photographs.

Kallen, S.A. (2000). Life on the underground railroad . San Diego: Lucent Books.
          Series that focuses on human culture, in regards to the Underground Railroad, that used many quotations and examples of people who worked for the rescue of slaves.

Ringgold, F. (1995). Aunt Harriets’ underground railroad in the sky . New York: Crown Publishing.
          Cassie and Be Be Lightfoot soar above oceans that look like cups of tea and meet a “ramshackled train in the sky” whose conductor is Harriet Tubman. Aunt Harriet, as she is called, explains that the railroad in the sky retraces her route to freedom every 100 years. Meanwhile, Be Be jumps on board. Cassie, who misses the train, must follow, living the slave existence, always one step behind, hoping to rejoin her brother in Canada. What follows is a compelling journey in which the author masterfully integrates fantasy and historical fact in such a way that readers join Cassie in experiencing the fear and the mystery of such a trip. The spare but eloquent text conveys much information, and the artist’s flat, primitive illustrations in acrylic on canvas paper lend power and symbolism to one of the most dramatic chapters in American history. Everywhere, Cassie finds clues leading her to Be Be. Everywhere, she receives whispered directions from Aunt Harriet that lead her forward. Everywhere, the threat of capture lurks in the background in the form of the sinister chalkwhite faces of bounty hunters.

Swain, G. (2001). President of the underground railroad. New York: Carolrhoda Books.
          Levi Coffin’s family was a perfectly normal Southern farm family, except for one thing. They didn’t own slaves. Still, Levi was surrounded by the cruelty of slavery. The animals on his farm in New Garden, NC were treated much better than most slaves. Levi wondered if he would ever be old enough or brave enough to help slaves gain freedom. By the 1830s, he had begun hiding runaway slaves and directing them to other safe houses further north. After moving to Indiana, his home was part of a network of houses known as the Underground Railroad, and Levi had earned the nickname “President of the Underground Railroad.”

Vaughan, M. (2001). The secret of freedom . New York: Lee & Low Books.
          Lucy’s parents have been sold to new masters, and all she has left now is her older brother, Albert, whose desire to escape to freedom requires her quilting expertise. By creating quilts with hidden codes for runaway slaves, Lucy and her brother Albert are able to help lead the way to freedom for many escapees on the Underground Railroad.

Lyrics to Follow the Drinking Gourd.
KWHL Chart

E-Mail Elizabeth Hodgson and Rachel Vogelpohl !

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