Imagine falling in love, marrying, and having a family with someone and watching your spouse and children get taken away from you. That is what happened to Henry "Box" Brown. He was born into slavery, had a close relationship with his mother, was sold away from her, was told he could work for his freedom, but instead, he went on to lose what he loved most of all.
This story, although very sad, explains well how the Underground Railroad worked. You see, Henry climbed into a wooden crate and shipped himself to Philadelphia with the help of a few. It was because of his determination that he found freedom, and imagine how sweet freedom was once he found it.
The unit I developed for this book addresses both ELA standards and standards related to the Underground Railroad, slavery, and bits of the Civil War. For the ELA standards, I include a schema builder and vocabulary organizer for before reading, two organizers for sequencing events (note taking) and visualizing using text events as well as question task cards using the QAR strategy, and a quiz and written response for after reading. You can use these with guided reading groups or as a class read aloud (mentor text lessons)
Extended LearningTo extend the themes of the story, I also created a lapbook to go with it. It includes the following topics:
- A Timeline
- Cause/Effect examples from the text
- Then and Now comparisons
- Key Vocabulary
- Underground Railroad flipbook
- About the Author
- How I Visualize the Story
- Beginning, Middle, End
Finally, you can use the "What Freedom Means to Us" Class Book during your writing block, as a response to your social studies lesson, or as part of your guided reading lessons.
If you're interested in this unit, you can get more details with the image below.
Have a great day, and until next time, happy reading!