My favorite time of the year is Black History Month because there are so many wonderful parts of it, the kids love to learn about it! I especially love all the new literature that's out about famous or not-so-famous African Americans. One of my favorites to teach about is Henry "Box" Brown. There's a wonderful picture book with beautiful illustrations, which was the inspiration behind this amazing unit!
Henry Box Brown was a runaway slave that came up with a unique idea of how to get himself to freedom in the North... He decided to mail himself in a wooden box to Pennsylvania from Virginia. And his plan worked! Your students will just love learning about this determined and courageous man, when paired with this Henry Box Brown Unit. More specifically, the following components are included:
~Informational Text Big Book w/real photos! The book introduces slavery, shows the living quarters for slaves/masters, and slaves on plantations, all through text and photos.
~Slavery Word Wall and Student Vocabulary Journal: I've included the most common words related to slavery on cards for your own themed word wall. There's also a journal for students to record definitions of the words. This is perfect for getting the students discussing such a difficult topic to talk about and understand.
~Easy Reader: Henry Box Brown. Included is a 13-paged booklet that retells the experiences and success of Brown. There is vocabulary highlighted in the book, with extra vocabulary activities included (interactive notebook foldables, printables) There are also printables and assessments that test the comprehension of the Easy Reader and the picture book. This is perfect if you're reading the book in class also because you can use it as a supplement to your reading!
~Comprehension Task Cards Center and Board Game: Included are cards that can be used to test the students comprehension of the reader and picture book. A recording sheet is included with this center. You can also use the provided board game and spinner to play a comprehension game with the task cards.
~No-Prep Printables: I had fun making a variety of printables to engage the students with the story of Henry Box Brown. The printables are focused around various story elements, such as Character Traits, Story Details, Making Conclusions, and many more! All the printables are interactive, asking the students to cut, glue, draw and/or color. There are literacy, social studies, writing, and math printables included.
~Henry Brown's Travel Route Maps: Included are a color poster of the United States, showing all the states. Students can follow along as you discuss how Brown traveled across the states to get to freedom, on their own printable which is included.
~Free vs. Slave States Maps: Another color map is included that show the Free and Slave States highlighted. Students have their own blank map and must color there map showing both types of states.
~Wanted/Reward Posters: Included is a photo of a real Reward poster used to catch a runaway slave. Students have a similar blank poster and must pretend they are Brown's master and make a reward poster to catch him. This activity will put them in the Master's shoes which may be uncomfortable for some. But it's a healthy uncomfortable!
~Runaway Slave Map: The last activity included has two similar maps (one labeled/one not) of a slave plantation area. The map includes barns, haystacks, safe houses, rivers, canoes, etc.. The objective is for the students to get from their slave quarters to the covered wagon that is waiting for them on the Underground Railroad. Students must do some critical thinking about where they are going to sleep, how to get across the lakes and rivers, and what to do if they encounter their Master. I've included a teacher script to direct students through the map, without giving them all the answers. There are more than one way to get through the map safely to freedom. Your kids will love this activity; my students really liked having the challenge of becoming free and it really made them think like a runaway slave.
I urge you to take a look at the preview, as most of the pages are shown. This unit is perfect if you're reading the picture book, learning about slavery, or if it's in your social studies curriculum. Your kids will love the activities and they are all tried and tested (and they earned an A+!)