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Day 6: Underground Research


Computers & Internet, Language Arts, Social Studies  



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

Day 6 Lesson: Underground Research

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 – Language Arts, Computers / Internet
Grade Level – 4


Social Studies
1.01 – Locate, in absolute and relative terms, major landforms, bodies of water and natural resources in North Carolina.
1.02 – Describe and compare physical and cultural characteristics of the regions.
1.04 – Evaluate ways the people of North Carolina used, modified, and adapted to the physical environment, past and present.
1.05 – Assess human movement as it relates to the physical environment.
3.04 – Compare and contrast ways in which people, goods, and ideas moved in the past with their movement today.

English Language Arts
1.04 – Increase reading and writing vocabulary through: wide reading, word study, knowledge of homophones, synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, knowledge of multiple meanings of words, writing process elements, writing as a tool for learning, seminars, book clubs, discussions, examining the author’s craft.
2.02 – Interact with the text before, during, and after reading, listening, and viewing by:
setting a purpose using prior knowledge and text information, making predictions, formulating questions, locating relevant information, making connections with previous experiences, information, and ideas.
2.07 – Determine usefulness of information and ideas consistent with purpose.
4.10 – Use technology as a tool to gather, organize, and present information.

2.10 – Use search strategies to locate information electronically.
3.05 – Evaluate information found via telecommunications for content and usefulness.


  • Underground Railroad map/graphic
  • The Underground Railroad by R. Bial
  • Computer with internet access 

  •  WebQuest Focus Sheet


    Geographic Regions and Routes:

    Runaway Tricks for Traveling:

    Hardships of Travel:

    Transportation/Movement on Routes:

    Abolition Help:

    Weather Help or Problems:

    Day or Night Travel:


    UGR Routes Map
    Display the map of UGR routes through North Carolina that extend north. Allow the children to point out the areas in North Carolina through which the routes run. Discuss the natural resources and geographic hurdles and help travelers may have encountered in those regions.

    The Underground Railroad by R. Bial
    Read The Underground Railroad to introduce how conductors and runaway slaves traveled through the state–the different routes, forms of transportation/travel, hardships, etc.

    The Underground Railroad WebQuest Introduction

    Divide the students into groups of three. Each student will be given a focus sheet to help focus his/her research and organize the information he/she obtains. The groups should spend some time viewing and discussing the focus sheets and the WebQuest.

    WebQuest Research
    Students should begin researching the organized resources for information to fill in their focus sheets.

    Multiple Intelligences:

    Verbal/Linguistic: (reading and discussing story, discussing focus sheet with group members)
    Interpersonal: (group work on computer, brainstorming with group members)
    Note: Activity also appeals to auditory (listening to story and discussion), visual (computer research), and tactual (navigating computer keyboard/mouse) learners.


    Informal assessment of students’ focus sheets, as students will not yet be finished with their research.

    E-Mail Elizabeth Hodgson and Rachel Vogelpohl !

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