One of the undeniable heroes of American history is Harriet Tubman, that daring woman who not only escaped slavery herself but went on to help more than 300 others escape to freedom as well. Black History Month is the perfect time to celebrate this remarkable heroine and inspire students with her story. I’ve gathered here some wonderful learning resources, including a new picture book that is a wonderful introduction to her story for young readers.
Photograph by H. B. Lindsley [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of I Am Harriet Tubman for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Harriet Tubman: Learning Resources for Kids
Books for Kids
Often adults hesitate about how to approach difficult topics in history with their kids. How to begin to tell them about the horrors of slavery or the harrowing journeys of those that sought to escape it? That’s why I’m happy to introduce a new picture book that does a great job of introducing children to the subject of slavery and the Underground Railroad through the story of Harriet Tubman.
I am Harriet Tubman is part of the popular children’s biography series Ordinary People Change the World. This beautiful series introduces young readers to inspiring people from the past, such as Gandhi and Rosa Parks. I love that there is always an emphasis on the people and events that inspired them to overcome difficulties in their lives.
I am Harriet Tubman doesn’t sugar coat the past, but it does present it in terms that children can understand and, through sharing one personal story, helps them imagine what it might have been like to have been a child during those times. In this way it helps kids really understand just how remarkable Tubman was and the enormity of what she achieved. As always, I love the timeline and photos included at the back of the book.
For older kids I really recommend The Underground Abductor: An Abolitionist Tale about Harriet Tubman. This is part of a series of historical graphic novels for kids that my eight year old adores. As with all the books in the series, it presents the subject with incredible historical accuracy and respect and is very engaging for even reluctant readers.
Crafts & Activities
Make this triarama from Crayola to celebrate Tubman’s legacy.
Here is a coloring page about Tubman, recommended for 2nd grade.
Visit the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Church Creek, Maryland, or drive along the 125+ miles of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway in a self-guided driving tour (includes 36 historical sites related to the Underground Railway). This can also be done virtually! Read one mom’s experience on taking this emotional journey with her family.
The Women in World History Activity Pack from Multicultural Kid Blogs includes a section on Tubman, with a one page reading passage and reading comprehension questions. Designed for ages 8 – 12.
The Institute for Freedom Studies has a large collection of lesson plans on the Underground Railroad for grades K – 9, including a number on Tubman.
Underground Railroad Resources has a number of lesson plans about Harriet Tubman, sorted by grade level.
Here is a wonderful lesson plan from PBS Learning Media, recommended for grades 3 – 7.
Welcome to our fifth annual Black History Month series! Follow along all month long as we explore the rich history and cultures of Africa and African-Americans.
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