We talked about a number of people for Black History Month in February-one of them was Harriet Tubman. I think the Underground Railroad story is a great one, but sometimes difficult for the little ones to wrap their heads around.
Now if you know me, you know that ethics is one of my favorite concepts of Depth and Complexity to teach. In the beginning the kids are just trying to give you the answer they think you want to hear. As the year goes on however, they start really beginning to voice their own opinions and are learning to justify those opinions. I asked them to write about whether or not they would have helped slaves escape on the Underground Railroad. I very vividly remember learning about Anne Frank in high school and really mulling over whether or not I would have been courageous enough to help someone in the same situation. I do think it's a tough question and I think they really answered it honestly.
I would not help the soldiers because if they caught me I might go to prison.
Yes because they are important.
Yes, because what if they are really hurt.
In the 1800's I want to help because I love them.
No because I might get caught and I don't want to go to jail.