We began studying the civil war several weeks ago. The curriculum I am using doesn't really cover slavery as adequately as I wanted it to, so I found a few things to add to it. I don't think they can really get an understanding of the war itself if they really don't have a concept of the emotions and fears surrounding the issue.
We read the greatest book...the name of it was "Moses" written by Carole Boston Weatherford. It told the story of Harriet Tubman and her life devoted to freeing slaves. It portrays her fears and the subsequent reminding through her faith that God will take care of and provide for her. One of my favorite quotes is: "She grips the ax to chop wood, breathes deeply and murmurs, Lord, I'm going to hold steady on to You. And God whispers back in the breeze, I'm going to see you through, child." How beautiful is that?
We also read a book entitled, "The Last Safe House" by Barbara Greenwood. It told the story of a little girl's escape to freedom...along with her brother and mother. The book included a lot of additional information about various things pertaining to the atmosphere of the time.
We made several lapbook activities pertaining to some of the most outspoken leaders in the abolition of slavery...these included: Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Beecher Stow.
Following these activities, I let them make their own "safe house" lanterns. I filled aluminum cans with water and put them in the freezer overnight, so they would be easier to punch holes in the following day. I printed off pictures of the big dipper and north star, and taped them to cans as a template. They then laid the cans on a towel to keep them from slipping, and punched holes into the can using nails and hammers. We punched two holes in the top of the can for a wire handle. They turned out so cute.
Malachi had the tallest can and was having trouble lighting the candle sitting in the bottom of his can, so he rigged up a way to extend the match to the candle. :)
After lighting the candles, they took them to the darkest room in the house...the bathroom, of course, LOL... and were fascinated by their lanterns that they had made themselves.