Concepts for Kids
1. A slave is a person owned by another person.
2. The slave owner decides where the slave will live,
what work the slave should do, and who the slave can be with.
3. Slavery is the opposite of liberty.
4. Slavery was practiced for thousands of years all over the world.
5. In the United States, slavery was legal for many years, even after the United States became a free nation.
6. People who opposed slavery were called abolitionists. Some abolitionists secretly
helped slaves escape to freedom.
7. The Underground Railroad was a secret route for escaping slaves to follow. It provided safe places for them to stay, food, rides to speed them along, and directions about which way to go.
8. Slavery became illegal in the United States in 1865
when the 13th Amendment was added to the United States Constitution.
Read about Slavery in Ancient Greece
Read about Slavery in Ancient Rome
Video about the Underground Railroad
Discovering the Underground Railroad the National Park Service
The Underground Railroad; Ducksters
Kids Discover: Underground Railroad
KIds Discover is a monthly publication where each issues addresses one topic.
Using text comprehensible to 10 year olds and up, photographs, artwork, detailed captions, maps, diagrams, and puzzles, this issue explores slavery and the Underground Railroad.
Henry's Freedom Box
by Ellen Levine
Born into slavery, Henry lost his wife and children when they were sold. Henry devises and carries out a daring plan: to mail himself to a place where he will be free.
Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad
by Henry Cole
This wordless book tells the story of a little girl who discovers and helps an escaping slave. Her care and courage are evident in the pencil-drawn illustrations.
Amistead: The Story of a Slave Ship (Level 4 Fluent Reader) (ages 7 - 9)
by Patricia C. McKissack
The Amistead was a real slave ship. In 1839, the slaves aboard successfully took over the ship. They wanted to return to Africa. The story of their long journey and battle to be free is inspiring.
Beacon to Freedom: The Story of a Conductor on the Underground Railroad
by Jenna Glatzer
John Rankin was born in the late 1790's. He was an Abolitionist who helped slaves escape to freedom when doing so meant trouble for him and his family, as well as potential violence or imprisonment. With full page illustrations, this book tells John's story of courage and perseverance.
The Price of Freedom
by Judith Bloom Fradin & Dennis Brindell Fradin
Before hearing this story, children should be old enough to discuss gun violence and disobedience of unethical laws. Oberlin, Ohio was one of the busiest stops on the Underground Railroad. By the 1850's about 20% of the town's residents were escaped slaves. In 1858, bounty hunters arrived in Oberlin to catch several escaped slaves. In defiance of the Fugitive Slave Act, the townspeople banded together and thwarted the bounty hunters. With full page illustrations and gripping test, this book relates the exciting story.
Life on the Underground Railroad
by Sally Senzell Isaacs
With each chapter only two pages long, a variety of illustrations, and multi-colored text bars, this information-packed book is suitable to read aloud to younger children. Older elementary and middle school students could read it to themselves.