Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman

Adler, David A. (Author)
Byrd, Samuel (Illustrator)
Holiday House 1992. 32 pages
First published: 1992
ISBN: 9780823410651 (paperback)
9780823409266 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Non-Fiction
Book genre: Biography

Text Elements:

character, characterization, conflict, multimodal, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Crystal clear language condenses complicated issues and decades of adventurous living into a highly enjoyable biography of Harriet Tubman, famed conductor on the Underground Railroad.

“Harriet saw two of her sisters taken away in chains. Harriet was afraid that one day she would also be sold.” The matter-of-fact tone effectively conveys this powerful story, punctuated with quotations by Tubman herself. “‘I had a right to liberty or death,’ she said after her escape. ‘If I could not have one, I would have the other.’”

Detailed, full-page illustrations in warm, watercolour effects bring the 1800s to life—from the little slave girl who gets whipped for eating a sugar cube, to the brave runaway who returns to make “nineteen trips south to lead about 300 slaves to freedom.” Images thick with foliage show freedom-seekers creeping through woods. Another page shows Harriet nursing a soldier during the Civil War. A final image shows the home she founded for homeless black people in 1911.

Between words and images, this book offers an excellent introduction to one of history’s most extraordinary people.

  •  

    Go for a picture walk. Brainstorm and list what you know about slavery and the Underground Railroad in the US and in Canada. Adjust the information as the book is read aloud.

  •  

    On a timeline of Harriet’s life, include details of how she changed along the way. Compare this timeline to what was going on in Canada and the world.

  •  

    Discuss how the life of Harriet Tubman changed the world in which we live. If she were still alive today, what rights would she be fighting for?

  •  

    In your reader-writer’s notebook, write about the rights you would like to advocate for in today’s world.

  •  

    Brainstorm and list what you know about slavery and the Underground Railroad in the US and in Canada. Adjust the information as the book is read aloud.

  •  

    Draw a timeline of Harriet’s life. Compare it to what was going on in Canada and the world.

  •  

    Create a character map of Harriet. Use different colours to show how her character changed throughout her life.

  •  

    Discuss how the life of Harriet Tubman changed the world in which we live. If she were still alive today, what rights would she be fighting for?

  •  

    In your reader-writer’s notebook, write about the rights you would like to advocate for in today’s world.

  •  

    Find out as much as you can about the Underground Railroad. In small groups, discuss the following questions: Who were the conductors and why did they risk their own safety and well-being? What role did Canada play? What other clandestine methods can you think of that could have helped free slaves from the south?

  •  Draw a timeline and add the major events of Tubman’s life as you read.
  •  Write and deliver Harriet Tubman’s eulogy, as if it were her funeral.
  • To communicate appropriately
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Social Sciences
  • Chains (L. Anderson) (Topic)