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Underground Railroad Codes (R=6.3, think easier)

publication date: Dec 10, 2010
author/source: Carol Montgomery

ReadersTheaterAllYearBug"Underground Railroad Codes," a free Black History Readers Theater script, includes a bit about Harriet Tubman's life in addition to several code words from the Underground Railroad.  Harriet Tubman's code name was "Moses" and the curriculum links at the end of this script usually include part of her story and photographs.  Although this script has a lot of narration, it is broken up with the addition of a chorus.

TIME:  3 min.   CAST: 8+   TONE:  serious   READABILITY: Grade 6.3 (multi-syllabic words)

Here is a brief excerpt from this script:

Underground Railroad Codes

By Carol Montgomery ©2010 

Leader:  The Underground Railroad.

Chorus: The Underground Railroad.

Leader:  Saved many slaves.

Chorus: Saved many slaves.

Leader:  The Underground Railroad.

Chorus: The Underground Railroad.

Leader:  Used secret codes.

Chorus: Used secret codes.

Speaker 1:  No real train tracks existed for the Underground Railroad.  It meant a secret way slaves used to escape to freedom.

Speaker 2:  Many people did not believe in slavery.  Some of them sheltered runaway slaves in their safe house illegally—even in secret hiding spots.

Speaker 1:  These safe houses, used for a stop of a few hours to several days, were called stations.  The person who ran the safe house was the stationmaster.

Speaker 2:  A stationmaster often fed the runaway slaves.  A good stationmaster with a safe house station could help hundreds of runaways.

Leader:  The Underground Railroad.

Chorus: The Underground Railroad.

Leader:  Saved many slaves.

Chorus: Saved many slaves.

Leader:  The Underground Railroad.

Chorus: The Underground Railroad.

Leader:  Used secret codes.

Chorus: Used secret codes.

Speaker 3:  The fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad had many code names.  To keep runaways safe they could be called travelers, passengers, baggage, or cargo.  (continued...)

Click on the PDF link below to see the full printable version of the free Black History Readers Theater script, "The Underground Railroad."

Download the PDF of "The Underground Railroad," a free Black History Readers Theater script.

Readers Theater All Year™ LLC builds leaders and creators for positive influence through an inexpensive, easy, flexible system.  Readers Theater All Year™ LLC curriculum services provides a caring community for using and creating Readers Theater scripts for families, classrooms, homeschools, camps, and drama clubs.

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...Keep doing what you are doing.  There are not enough quality scripts available for children and teens.  So many are inappropriate from a parent's perspective.  As a teacher I want to also build character and integrity while I teach a subject.  Why can't drama build up, inspire and be thought provoking?...Anyway, keep doing what you're doing...we need all the help we can get!
Jen H., Drama teacher

> ...I have been teaching for 35 years. RT has been part of my education journey for the majority of that time. Initially my experience with it was as a performance genre in the Drama Curriculum. Now I use it across the curriculum - a wonderful high motivation strategy in the language program - particularly reading - and so much more as you would know. I was drawn to your 'community' by the idea of leadership... I think what you're doing is wonderful..."
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Readers Theater All Year is the most comprehensive collection of Readers Theater scripts and resources I have found on the internet!...Thank you Carol for your leadership and vision and for making Readers Theater so accessible for teachers and parents.
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I found the free readers theater online scripts, teaching tips, and curriculum teleseminars at Readers Theater All Year very inspirational to me. I used the Twelve Days of Christmas...Vacation script in my ESOL classes before Christmas break and my students all enjoyed it..
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> our script "The Earth Day Hen and Friends" I've used this! The kids love it. Thank you for sharing...It's just right for all levels in the class...Your free scripts are wonderful!...They learn so much from drama and reader's theatre...I see the shy ones gain confidence as they read. Fluency and prosody increases with reader's theatre...
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