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Activities for the Reading Club's Featured Books

Our featured selections are award-winning books that are obtainable in print from libraries and bookstores, and are also available in alternate formats (electronic or braille). Grade levels are approximate.

Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad

By Ellen Levine

2007. Scholastic Press

Available in braille from the following sources:

1. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Free loan to registered users. Users must register with their cooperating library.
(202) 707-5100

Related Web Sites

• Reading to Kids


1. What Would it be Like to be a Slave
Henry lived in the 1800s when many white people in the South owned slaves. Write a story about what it would be like to be a slave.

2. Draw a Picture of Henry
Draw a picture of Henry living in Philadelphia.

3. Write a Story About Henry Finding His Family
Write a story about how Henry finds his wife and children once he reaches Philadelphia. Use your imagination!

4. Write Your Own Secret Code
"Conductors" on the underground railroad often wrote messages in code. This way if the message was found by someone who was not part of the underground railroad, the person couldn't crack the code and know what the message was about. Develop your own code for writing messages. Don't forget to make a key for your code!

5. Write a Play About Henry's Life
Have students write a play about Henry's life. Together they can act out the play for their classmates or other students at the school.

6. Visit an Exhibit on Slavery
Visit a museum or cultural center that has exhibits about slavery. Discuss with the children how the information they see and learn is similar and different to what Henry experienced.

7. Map the Underground Railroad
Have students research the Underground Railroad. Together they can map the route Henry would have traveled from Richmond, Virginia to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania if he would have walked.

8. Slavery in Today's World
Share with children information about slavery that is occurring in our world today. Discuss with them the reasons slavery is not a humane practice.

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