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Activity Overview

Read-alouds are excellent tools for teachers both in the classroom, and virtually. When tied to a specific topic, such as slavery, they help the students spark discussions about difficult subjects, share their views, and learn new vocabulary.

Henry’s Freedom Box is a picture book based on a true story. Henry was an enslaved man who decided to escape in the bravest way when his wife and three children were sold. His story is one of true courage and determination. For this activity, teachers may read the book aloud to the whole class, discussing as they read, or assign the book in small groups or independently for older children. Next, students will choose three challenges that Henry faces and create a spider map illustrating and describing those challenges.

Template and Class Instructions

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Due Date:

Objective: Create a 3 cell spider map illustrating challenges that Henry faces.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click “Start Assignment”.
  2. Identify 3 challenges and write them in the headings.
  3. Write a short description in the description boxes.
  4. Create an image for each, using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 1 (Introducing / Reinforcing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/4/3] Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/3/7] Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

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