Sunday, May 26, 2013

Henry's Freedom Box {Social Studies Mentor Text}

I hope everyone is having an enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend! I'm linking up with Amanda and Stacia from Collaboration Cuties for their fabulous Mentor Text linky. This week it is all about Social Studies texts, so go on over and share your favorite book! 

Today I'm going to share Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine. This book tells the true story of Henry "Box" Brown, a slave who escaped on the Underground Railroad by mailing himself to freedom. 

My students are always mesmerized by this book. Its one of those where you can hear a pin drop while I'm reading, until I come to some injustice and everyone gasps and says, "They can't do that!" The book does an excellent job conveying the horrible realities of slavery and one man's desperate attempt at freedom. 

I always like reading this book during our discussion of the Underground Railroad because my kiddos always think it is a real railroad and this is a great example of how the UR really worked! 

Do you use this book in your classroom? What are some other favorites for teaching about the Underground Railroad? 


  1. I love this book too! I love that my students have a hard time understanding the injustices that took place - that they struggle with the idea of treating people differently because of the color of their skin - and that they are shocked and upset by how things were. Great book!

  2. I love this book too, one of my favorites. This year I had my students do a simulation of the Underground Railroad that I found on TPT. It was fantastic.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  3. Aw I had forgotten about this book! Thanks for the reminder-such a great story!
    ideas by jivey

  4. Such a precious story... Thanks for sharing how you use this text with your kids.

    Have a great week--
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  5. Looks like a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing!
    I found you through the linky!
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  6. Love it! Will be adding it to my list! :)I don't teach the underground railroad but I think it is still appropriate for civil rights and injustice. Thanks! :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  7. I have this book but I'm not sure that I've read it...I think I was afraid it would be sad...I'm a wimp when it comes to books that look sad...

    I will put on my big girl panties and read it because it sounds like a great book! Even just the cover is engaging...

    Thanks for linking up!
    Collaboration Cuties

  8. I found your blog through a comment that you left on Reading to the Stars blog. I am your newest follower and can't wait to read more of your blog what I've seen so far!

    ღ Diane

  9. I've heard of this book, but I need to read it! Thanks for sharing. I'm adding it to my list!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

  10. I found your blog thru the mentor text linky. I linked up with the book Moses about Harriet Tubman. It does a great job explaining the Underground Railroad. I've not heard of Henry's Freedom Box, but I'm definitely going to use it next time I teach the Underground Railroad. Thanks for sharing! I'm excited to be your newest follower!

    Teacher at the Wheel


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