School Improvement in Maryland

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 5.0 History

Topic C. Conflict between Ideas and Institutions

Indicator 4. Analyze how the institution of slavery impacted individuals and groups in Maryland

Objective c. Describe the growth of the Underground Railroad

After learning about the conditions that enslaved African Americans experienced, students may wonder why more enslaved people did not simply "run away." To help students grasp the difficulty of the decision to try to escape, have students generate a list of pros and cons. Ask students to consider the situation of an enslaved 30 year old African American man named Isaac living on a plantation in Charles County with his wife (although his marriage is not legally recognized), three children, parents, and siblings. His master is not harsh compared to many other masters, although slaves are occasionally beaten for punishment. In the past, the master has sold slaves who tried to run away and were captured. The only person Isaac knows who is living in the North is a cousin who escaped from the plantation 15 years ago. Have students create a list of reasons why Isaac should try to escape and reasons why he should remain on the plantation as a slave. Then, ask students to write a letter to Isaac giving him their advice as to whether they think he should try to run away, providing reasons for their decision.

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Resources for Objective 5.C.4.c:
Clarifications | LESSON SEEDS |