This is a bundle of three of my social studies/history resources covering Black Canadian history. The three resources can be viewed individually by clicking on the following links:
Beyond the Underground Railway
Black Canadian History Reading Texts and Activities
Josiah Henson Reading Writing Researching
The bundle includes:
1) Beyond the Underground Railroad
This is a set of activities designed to increase middle school students’ knowledge of what happened “beyond” the Underground Railroad and concentrates on the lives of four individuals who worked heroically to improve the lives of escaped and fugitive slaves. Suitable for both Canadian and American students (spelling is neutral: words that might differ in our two countries have been avoided!)
A copy of the poem Arrival in the Land of Freedom by Harriet Beecher Stowe accompanied by 11 questions and a brief biography with photo of Stowe;
A short video activity of a news report (found on YouTube) about the town of Buxton, Ontario (founded as a refuge for runaway slaves) with questions;
A Jigsaw Activity (with instructions) with biographical texts about Harriet Tubman, William King, Josiah Henson, and Mary Ann Shadd: four individuals who played important roles in Abolition in both Canada and the U.S. – the texts are titled “Amazing Heroes Who Helped”. A supplementary activity is included as well – students create “BioBooks” on Tubman, King, Henson, and Shadd by researching and adding more information to the charts provided. The texts are written at a level suitable for most grade 6-7 students.
The final activity in this package is a map activity – a map of southern Ontario, Michigan, and Ohio is provided (the area of Point Pelee, Lake Erie); students answer questions and plot localities on the map that were important to the Underground Railroad.
An answer key is provided.
2) Black Canadian History - included in this set of 3 informational texts and 4 activities are:
3 one-page texts: “A Short History of Black Canadians”, “Mary Ann Shadd, Activist” and “Richard Pierpoint, Hero of the War of 1812”.
There are four activities that complement the texts, three of which require use of the internet (StatsCan website and two YouTube videos) and the fourth about the U.S. Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (this can be done without internet access).
The activities and texts were created for students from grades 6-9, although most would be probably be suitable for grade 10.
There is great flexibility in this package – the teacher may assign one, some, or all; they can be assigned as in-class work or homework and some may be structured as group activities.
3) Read, Write and Research - Josiah Henson
This resourced includes research topics for students that are directly or indirectly connected to the historical figure Josiah Henson, an escaped slave who established a settlement for other escaped slaves near Dresden, Upper Canada in the 1840's.
The six topics are:
1. Who was Josiah Henson?
2. Josiah Escapes Slavery and Arrives in Canada
3. Josiah’s Early Years in Canada
4. The Dawn Settlement
5. Uncle Tom’s Cabin
6. Honouring Josiah Henson
Each one includes a short informational passage and a related research topic with a lined area for answers/paragraph writing. I have also included the six topics and research questions in a continuous format if you prefer to have the students answer questions in their own notebooks. The six are arranged so they may be cut up and laminated as cards (you may not require the students to complete all the topics) and could be used in a center or as group work. The questions in this resource would also work well as a jigsaw activity.
I have also provided a list of websites for the first five topics. Topic #6 is more subjective and although students could have a look at various websites about historic sites, it would not be necessary to complete the topic question.
This resource would be very useful during Black History Month (February) but it could be used at any time of the year. It is appropriate for American students as well as Canadian, although Canadian spelling conventions are used.
The list of websites included are only suggestions but I believe they contain most of the information that students would need. As a teacher you can also supply paper copies for the students.