Every Decision Matters
- Grade Level:
- Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
- Social Studies
- Common Core Standards:
- 1.SL.1, 6.SL.1, 6.SL.1.a, 6.SL.1.b, 6.SL.1.c, 6.SL.1.d, 6.SL.2, 6.SL.3, 7.SL.1, 7.SL.1.a, 7.SL.1.b, 7.SL.1.c, 7.SL.1.d, 7.SL.2, 7.SL.3, 8.SL.1, 8.SL.1.a, 8.SL.1.b, 8.SL.1.c, 8.SL.1.d, 8.SL.2, 8.SL.3, 6-8.WHST.9
- State Standards:
- D2.His.4.3-5. Explain why individuals and groups during the same historical period differed in their perspectives
Title: Every Decision Matters: Escaping on the Underground Railroad
Goal: The goal is to provide students an opportunity to reflect on their recent visit to Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center
Background: Conditions of enslavement varied in degree, based on time period, geographical area, the type of agriculture or industry, the size of the slaveholding unit, urban and rural environments, and even the temperament and financial stability of the enslaver. What is common to all of these experiences is the dehumanization of both the oppressed and the oppressor by the demands of a system that treated human beings as property. This factor, perhaps more than any other, explains why some people chose to flee and why often their owners expressed such surprised.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: D2.His.4.3-5. Explain why individuals and groups during the same historical period differed in their perspectives
Resources for Instruction: copy of Bound for the Promise Land - Harriet Tubman Chronology found in the back of the book by Kate Clifford Larson and/or access to http://www.harriettubmanbiography.com/TubmansUGRR.html
1. Small Group Discussion – have students review the Harriet Tubman Chronology and the Direct Rescues by Tubman, have students:
a. Look for turning points in Tubman’s life (i.e. Tubman deciding to walk away to be free)
b. Describe Tubman’s impact on others?
2. Facilitate a large group discussion, asking some of the following questions:
a. What can I do if my freedom is threatened?
b. What responsibilities do I have to myself? my communities? my groups? other people?
c. How does history impact how people live today?
d. What are threats to freedom?
e. Is freedom a choice?