Freedom Seekers: The Underground Railroad, Great Lakes, and Science Literacy Activities


Middle and High School

These lessons acknowledge the enslaved Africans who were seeking freedom across North America. This project is a part of a larger professional development effort to train educators to increase their knowledge of the Great Lakes and environmental issues while incorporating Environmental Justice Education (EJE) approaches to K-12 teaching. EJE considers the environment as any spaces students may occupy, not just distal environments. These lessons introduce an innovative way students can engage in place-based learning, by developing their understanding of their local history with the Underground Railroad and the connection to the Great Lakes. Educators should feel free to adjust this curriculum to their students’ needs and incorporate, whenever possible, trips to the localities embedded in the lessons. Small and large groups, turn-and-talks, and team approaches with cross disciplinary units are ideal for delivery of instruction and teachers can easily design grading rubrics for learning targets based on each lesson’s essential question.

*Aligned with NYS learning standards



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