Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ethics and the Underground Railroad

I read the Diary of Anne Frank for a class in high school and remember consciously spending a lot of time thinking about what I would have done if I had been placed in the same situation her friends were in. Could I hide someone knowing it was against the law and the consequences if caught? I saw a Holocaust survivor speak when I was in college and her story just gave me chills. The courage that took. Well, some of my 1st Graders have that courage.

We've been studying historical figures for Black History month and have read several books about Harriet Tubman. I asked the students to write about the Underground Railroad considering the ethics of what their decision would be in the same circumstances. Would they break the law to hide escaped slaves? I was so impressed with their responses. They really had to weigh the safety of their family with what they know is right. I think they may really be getting the concept of ethics and how there are so many different sides to a situation! There was definitely some deep thinking involved anyway!

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