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, and Henry’s Freedom Box tells the story.
Henry 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 and because of his determination, he found freedom. Imagine how sweet freedom was once he found it.
Reading Skills to Use with the Book:
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 before reading activities such as a schema builder and vocabulary organizer. During reading activities address sequencing events (note taking) and visualizing using text events as well as question task cards using the QAR strategy. After reading activities include a quiz and written responses plus a lapbook to use as a culminating activity. You can use these with guided reading groups or as a class read aloud (mentor text lessons)
Extending Learning from Henry’s Freedom Box
Details about the Lapbook
To 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
Freedom for All Writing Prompt
With every book unit, I think it’s important to tie it to writing. With this book, we learn empathy and history. We learn the value of humans, and that is absolutely the most important thing. Henry’s life and the life of his family had value, but he was completely mistreated. This book helps students understand the hardships and heartache experienced. You can use the “Freedom for All” Class Book during your writing block, as a response to your social studies lesson, or as part of your guided reading lessons.
Read Henry’s Freedom Box on Youtube:
Learn More about the Resource:
This resource is listed on Teachers Pay Teachers as well as in my website shop. Click HERE to see it on TPT or use the link below.