Fighting For Freedom—Flint Hill’s 4th Grade Class Authors a Book
One of Flint Hill’s fourth-grade classes recently authored a book highlighting what they’ve learned about abolitionists and the Underground Railroad.
Students in Robert Taylor’s Social Studies class worked collaboratively to research, write and illustrate “Fighting for Freedom.” The booklet includes many hours of research and teamwork to tell the stories of the brave people who publicly spoke out and stood against slavery. It contains illustrations and famous tales of abolitionists such as John Brown, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and more.
Mr. Taylor has led this project for the past five years in different variations depending on the students' interests.
“This activity showcases the power of taking a meaningful risk, of stepping in to help right a wrong, even when the majority of those around you are complicit or willfully ignorant of that wrong,” Taylor said.
Abolitionists are heroes and trailblazers who fought valiantly to end slavery despite the many risks at the time. The fourth-grade students instinctively knew how important these people were because they, too, are taught to speak their minds and respect and value all equally.
"I am always impressed and gratified with how the students relate to these people," Taylor said. "Across a gulf of time and experience, they can see that these abolitionists had special skills and talents just like them that they put to good use. “Each abolitionist had their own set of skills and talents: heroism and bravery, organizational & logistical skills, negotiating and public speaking, and writing. The students recognized those same qualities in themselves.
Mr. Taylor shared his class’ work with Jeff Bruce, Director of Exhibitions at The Tubman Museum in Macon, GA.
Mr. Bruce wrote to the students to congratulate them, saying, “This amazing academic/artistic achievement is incredible both in the art the students have created, in the level of scholarship, and in the quality of writing from your students.”
Mr. Bruce even encouraged students to take the next steps and try to publish their work, so that “people can hold it in their hands, and we can sell it in our store here at the Tubman Museum.”
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park even highlighted the students’ efforts in an Instagram post.