Pathways to Freedom: Maryland and the Underground Railroad
Secrets: Language, Signs and Symbols
about the underground railroad
following the footsteps
eyewitness to history
figure it out
mapping it out
secrets: language, signs and symbols
create a quilt block
living history
underground railroad library
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Music The Language of Quilts Language of the Railroad Teacher Tips


Make Your Own Secret Quilt Message

Make Your Own Secret Quilt Message
The Underground Railroad was actually a carefully organized movement against the people who owned slaves and the governments that said they could do this. Many people who had lived in slavery saw no other way out. But, in doing so, they — and the people who helped them — broke many laws of the time. Not all escaping slaves made it to freedom. Many times, they were captured and returned to their owners. But they felt they needed to do try.

How do you feel about the secret system that helped them escape? Would you have been brave enough to try to travel to freedom? What images do you see in your mind when you think of slavery, people escaping slavery, or the Underground Railroad in general?

Here's your chance to share these images and ideas with others.

Go to the interactive »
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As you work with this activity, keep in mind that shapes can be overlapped to create more shapes and a wider variety of patterns.

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