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Civil War Unit – Lesson B: Underground Railroad


Language Arts, Music, Social Studies  


4, 5, 6  

Title – Civil War Unit – Lesson B: Underground Railroad
By – Sarah Higgins
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subjects – Music, Language Arts
Grade Level – 4th-6th

Civil War Unit
Lesson B

Objective: The learner will demonstrate knowledge of the significance of songs that are used to communicate important information.

Materials: – Song and lyrics from: &

Anticipatory Set: Students will listen to the rap about the underground railroad found on the site Students should also be able to see lyrics on the overhead projector.

Instructional Input:

Teacher Activities
Student Activities
-Ask students what their impressions are about the song that was played. -Give opinions about the rap song.
-Ask students to think about why the song was written. What was the purpose of the format of the song? How did the type of music help to communicate the message? Whom did the lyrics mention? Write the students’ answers on the board. -Discuss the questions with a partner. Share the ideas with the whole class.
-Once students have reached the conclusion that music can be used to communicate ideas and information, tell the students about the songs used to communicate paths on the Underground Railroad. Play and show these songs’ lyrics on the overhead. (See Appendix B-1.) -Examine the songs for the information.
-Ask the students what they believe that the song says about the Underground Railroad and the path that should be taken. (See Appendix B-2.) -Discuss ideas with a partner and share with the class.

Checking for Understanding: Listen to student responses. Have students respond with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down during discussion.

Guided Practice: Have the students make a map of directions to their house. Demonstrate by writing directions to a popular restaurant or the school. Then, show the students how to turn clear directions into a coded set by using descriptive words and landmarks. Set the words to a familiar tune such as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Have the students meet in small groups and finish the directions that the teacher has demonstrated.

Independent Practice: The students should examine their own set of directions and write descriptive phrases. If help is needed, the students are free to ask the other students around them. Students should also pick a tune to go with their directions.

Evaluation: The students should be prepared to share their set of directions with the class. Also, each student should be prepared to write in his or her journal about the process of making these directions and their significance to the Underground Railroad.

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