from Harriet Tubman:Conductor on the Underground Railroad By: Ann Petry (textbook pages 484 – 497)
How much information is enough? • In this excerpt from Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman leads eleven escaped slaves to freedom in Canada in the mid-1800’s. Use this sentence starter to develop your ideas about the Big Question: • It is important to learn about historical figures who challenged slavery because_____________________. • As you read: Notice the types of details the author includes to help readers learn about Tubman.
Vocabulary • invariably – (adv.) all the time; always (p. 487) • People invariably mistake Jon for his twin brother. • fugitives – (n.) people fleeing from danger (p. 487) • The escaping slaves were fugitives from the law. • incentive – (n.) something that makes a person take action (p. 488) • Extra pay for overtime labor is an incentive to work longer hours.
Vocabulary Continues • dispel – (v.) cause something to go away (p. 489) • The facts will dispel any doubts about his innocence. • mutinous – (adj.) rebellious (p. 491) • The mutinous sailors captured the captain and took charge of the ship. • bleak – (adj.) bare and windswept; cold and hard (p. 495) • The bleak landscape stretched before them like an old, gray blanket.
Activating Prior Knowledge • Sometimes the only way to do the right thing is to break the law. • Being a leader is fun and rewarding. • Taking risks is an important part of making changes. • With freedom comes responsibility.
Critical Thinking (textbook page 496) • 1. Respond: Would you have trusted Harriet Tubman to take you on a long, difficult journey? Why or why not. • You might trust her because of her courage, her ability to make quick decisions and evaluate people, and her desire to help others. • 2. (a) What does Tubman do when a fugitive wants to go back to the plantation? • Tubman points her gun at him and says that if he doesn’t continue, she will shoot him. • 2. (b) Analyze: Explain why Tubman feels she must act this way. • The returned fugitive would be forced to reveal the secrets of their escape, which would jeopardize other fugitives and their helpers.
Critical Thinking (textbook page 496) • 3. (a) Interpret: Tubman says, “We got to go free or die. And freedom’s not bought with dust.” In your own words, interpret that statement. • It means, “Freedom is only achieved through struggle and risk. But it is better to struggle than lose our humanity through being slaves.” • 3. (b) Make a judgment: Are the results of the Underground Railroad trips worth the risks involved? Why or why not. • Freedom is worth the dangers because it is better to struggle to gain freedom then to live and die as a slave. • 3. (c) Discuss: Share your judgment with a partner. Then, discuss how your own opinion has or has not changed as a result of your conversation. • The outcome of the Underground Railroad trips is worth the risk.
Critical Thinking (textbook page 496) • How much information is enough? • (a) What kind of information does Petry provide in this narrative essay that you would not find in an encyclopedia entry about Tubman? • She includes detailed descriptions of a particular escape; she includes stories that Tubman told the slaves. • (b) Does Petry’s approach give you a better idea of what Tubman was like as a person? Why or why not? • Yes, because the narrative form allows for direct description of what she said and did and thought.
Reading Skill: Main Idea (textbook page 497) • 1. (a) In a chart like the one shown, write at least two supporting details you learned about Harriet Tubman from the essay. • 1. (b) Then, based on the details, write a sentence that summarizes the main idea the author conveys about Tubman in a way that maintains the original meaning.
Reading Skill: Main Idea (textbook page 497) • 2. What subtle inferences can you make and what complex conclusions can you draw about why Tubman is an important historical figure? • Harriet Tubman’s selflessness and daring was a key element in the success of the Underground Railroad, thus making her an important historical figure.
Literary Analysis: Narrative Essay (textbook page 497) • 3. List the two most important events in this narrative essay. • The two most important events are Harriet Tubman’s stopping at gunpoint and the fugitive who wants to return, and the group’s arrival to freedom in Canada. • 4. (a) Identify at least three people in the narrative and describe their relationship with the author. • Thomas Garrett is a Quaker who lives in Wilmington and helps the Underground Railroad. The German farmer and his wife shelter the group for a night. William still lives in Philadelphia and records information about the fugitives. • 4. (b) Identify the setting. • The setting is Maryland and other states of the mid-Atlantic, the northern United States, and Canada during the winter of 1851 - 1852.
Vocabulary (textbook page 497) • Practice: Use your knowledge of the vocabulary words to indicate if the statements are true or false. Explain your answers. • 1. Discussing controversial ideas invariablyleads to agreement. • False. Discussing controversial ideas is unlikely to invariably, or consistently, leads people to agree. • 2. Eating a good meal will dispel the feeling of hunger. • True. Eating well will dispel, or chase away, feelings of hunger. • 3. A mutinous sailor would obey all the captain’s rules. • False. Mutinous means “rebellious,” and a mutinous sailor would not obey the captain’s rules.
Vocabulary (textbook page 497) • Practice: Use your knowledge of the vocabulary words to indicate if the statements are true or false. Explain your answers. • 4. Fugitives often have reason to feel afraid. • True. Because fugitives are fleeing from danger, they have a good reason to be afraid. • 5. The need to pay bills is an incentive for getting a job. • True. Incentive means a reason for doing something, and having bills you need to pay is a reason for getting a job. • 6. On a bleak morning, the sun is bright and the air is warm. • False. The word bleak implies cheerlessness and dreariness.
Word Power (textbook page 497) • Use the context of the sentences and what you know about the Old English suffix –ly to explain each answer. • 1. Would someone who is escaping open the door silently? • An escaping person would open a door “in a silent way” in order to avoid detection. • 2. Why is it best to answer a test question correctly? • Answering a test question “in a correct way” will score you points.