Teacher's Toolbox

Underground Railroad Books for Young Readers

The courage and ingenuity of Underground Railroad participants—both those seeking freedom from enslavement and those willing to help—make compelling reading. Many authors have written both Historical Fiction and Non-Fiction accounts for elementary and middle school readers. The lists below give detailed synopses of a number of these books. Parents and teachers can explore each volume before recommending it to students, getting a preview of what the reader will encounter. Many more books have been published; these are "starter" lists only. Click on the category for your target audience and start a journey back in history!

Elementary Grades Booklist (Download PDF)
Middle School Historical Fiction Booklist (Download PDF)
Middle School Non-Fiction Booklist (Download PDF)

Synthesis Essay Writing and Underground Railroad Assignment Topics and Sources

Teachers can use these materials to build on students' writing skills, enhance their research ability, and introduce them to documentation. The combination of material from several sources encourages them to understand and synthesize information into a coherent narrative.

Topics are appropriate for both history and ELA classes, making this a cross-curriculum assignment. Included are materials for teachers, for students, detailed assignment sheets for each topic, templates to use for taking notes, and rubrics to use for grading.

Synthesis Essay Materials for Teachers (Download PDF)
Synthesis Essay Materials for Students (Download PDF)
Underground Railroad Assignment Topics (Download PDF)
Cornell Notes Template for Print Sources (Download PDF)
Cornell Notes Template for Websites (Download PDF)

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