Classroom Activities & Topics for Discussion

Glory Road

On a map of the United States, trace the Underground Railroad from various points in the South all the way to the end in Canada.

  1. Were other states sometimes involved besides the ones mentioned in GLORY ROAD!?
  2. What might have happened if a slave had wanted to turn back along the road?
  3. Who else besides Quakers helped runaway slaves?

Organize a debate between a southern plantation owner and a Quaker.

  1. What were some of the main reasons Southerners thought they had to maintain slavery?
  2. In the minds of Southerners, was there anything “good” about slavery? What?
  3. What were some Quaker beliefs that made them against slavery?
  4. Why were some people, even Quakers, afraid to come out against slavery?
  5. Why didn’t slaves simply revolt against their masters?
  6. Why did it take such a long time and a bloody war for slavery to be abolished?

Writing Exercises:

  1. Write a letter to Harriet Tubman asking her to come rescue you and your family. How would you get it to her?
  2. Analyze some of the songs composed by slaves to help with the Underground Railroad. What are the hidden meanings in the lyrics?
  3. Make up your own song that slaves might have sung to each other about the Underground Railroad or escaping. See if you can write it so the “master” wouldn’t understand.
  4. Pretend some member of your family, or your spouse, had refused to run away with you. Write them a letter from Canada telling them all about freedom. Try to persuade them to run away with you if you come back to get them.
  5. Write a speech in which you denounce slavery.