The Ways to Freedom

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SWBAT understand the meaning and importance of the Underground Railroad by reading from a website and answering questions.

Big Idea

Free Their Minds! Travel the Internet!

My Lens

I created this lesson for a guest teacher to teach when I was away at a conference in Washington D.C.  I felt that this research would add significantly to the students background knowledge.  This, in turn will enhance their reading comprehension during our Historical Fiction Unit.  I anticipated that students would be engaged and successful using the ipads because they have used them on numerous learning tasks and they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the task of using them to learn new things.


10 minutes

"Today students you will be using your ipads to research and answer 5 questions about the Underground Railroad.  Let me show you a copy of the questions you will be answering."

Show What was the Underground Railroad? under document camera.

Call on a student to read the instructions.  Highlight the directions that instruct students to write three sentences to answer each question.

Instruct all students to silently read the first question.  Call on a volunteer to read question one.

At this point you can click on the link to the website that has lots of information on the history of the Underground Railroad.  Then click on the link "about the underground railroad" 

Demonstrate by reading the question and the first paragraph.  Then demo how to write a main idea sentence on the student worksheet. Followed by writing two more complete sentences adding additional details.

Ask if the students if they have questions, if not hand out the student worksheet and release students one row at a time to get an ipad and to start their independent research.

Independent Work

45 minutes

Continue to dismiss students from the rug to get an ipad out of the cart.  Once the students are settled, interrupt them by saying, "Remember students you can use the website listed on your worksheet to find the answers to questions 1-5 about the history of the Underground Railroad.

As students are working circulate throughout the classroom monitoring student work.  Coach students to read the question on the worksheet, then read the text on the website, and construct their answer by writing three to four complete sentences. Student Work (page 1)

Be on the lookout for student work that you can use during the share out portion of the workshop.

Share Out

5 minutes

10 minutes before the end of readers workshop, ring the Tibetan Bell to gain students' attention.  Select several students to put their worksheet under the doc camera and have them read the question and their three sentence answer.

Point out the great things that you see they have done, such as included a main idea sentence, written two supporting details, summarized the information from the website accurately, used correct spelling and punctuation.  Tell the students that they will have time tomorrow to finish their assignment and to continue to learn facts about the Underground Railroad.