Vintage/Retired GS badges and memorabilia
Singing Sands Girl Scout Council UNDERGROUND RAILROAD PROJECT JUNIOR LEVEL (GR 4-6) BADGE
Do 1 of the following:
1. Learn the history of the Underground Railroad (UGRR). What was it? When did it start? When did it stop? Who worked on it? How did it get its name? Think about how important the “regular” Railroad was during that time period for our country. Find out how this ties in with the UGRR. Share what you learn with your troop/group or family. If you need help locating materials, ask a librarian for assistance.
2. Visit a museum or site such as a safe house or station house related to the UGRR. Learn what role abolitionists, escaping slaves, conductors, Quakers, bounty hunters, and ordinary citizens played in a slave’s journey northward. What role did children play? What happened when a slave was caught escaping? Did capture only affect the slave? What impact did the Fugitive Slave Law have?
Do five of the following:
1. Many slave songs of the time period contain hidden messages that helped fugitive slaves escape and gave directions to freedom. Examine the words to a song such as “Follow the Drinking Gourd” or “Go Down, Moses”. Can you identify the clues in the songs?
2. Read an actual slave story. Share what you read with your troop/group or family. If you like, write a skit including elements from the story.
3. Draw map of known or suspected UGRR routes in the United States and Canada. Label the slave and free states. Discuss reasons why routes developed in the places they did. What impact did geography have on the routes? Why do you think there are no written records of the routes to freedom?
4. Learn about picture/map quilts, and other slave quilt patterns as they relate to the UGRR. What did certain colors and patterns signify? Were any constellations used? How was distance indicated? How were the quilt symbols and patterns used to communicate in secret?
5. Using either paper or fabric make a map quilt of your neighborhood or school. Use symbols you have learned about to show roads, hills, vegetation, buildings, and possible hiding places for a runaway slave. OR: Using quilt block pattern “code”, design a quilt which would have conveyed a message to escaping slaves.
6. Pretend you are an escaping slave. Using first person narrative, create three short journal entries describing your journey. These could include maps or drawings detailing your adventure. Think about including where you went, what time of year you traveled, what you wore, what you were able to take with you, what food you had to eat, how you got it, and who (if anyone) went on the journey with you.
7. Find the meaning of the following code words and phrases from the UGRR: Agent, Drinking gourd, Freedom train or Gospel train, Heaven or Promised Land, Preachers, Shepherds, Station, Station Master, Stockholder. Also: “The wind blows from the south today”, “A friend with friends”, “The friend of a friend sent me” and “A load of potatoes, parcel, or bundles of wood”. Were the meanings what you thought they would be?
8. Read about one of the following people from the UGRR. What role did they play in the development of the UGRR? Share what you learned with your troop/group or family. John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Levi and Catharine Coffin, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Governor William Henry Harrison, Abraham Lincoln, Dred Scott, Henry and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth.