Harriet Tubman: Secret Messages Through Song

A lesson all about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad introduces scholars to African American spirituals. By way of reading, speaking, and listening, learners discover, analyze, and decode African American spirituals. They employ music application which includes call, response, and syncopated rhythms. Pupils describe secret words then write an original spiritual containing a secret message. 

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • If small groups wish to not perform live, invite them to record their original spiritual, then play it for their peers
  • Conduct the lesson during February—Black History Month
  • Co-teach the lesson with the school's music teacher or a music professional related to a class member
Classroom Considerations
  • Participants should be familiar with the history of enslaved people, African Americans, and the Underground Railroad 
  • Provides background information about Harriet Tubman
  • The lesson plans details includes discussion sample answers
  • Comes with extension ideas
  • None