History KS1 / KS2: Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman tells the story of her life and how she escaped slavery.

Told in the first person, and brought to life with a mix of drama, movement, music and animation, the story begins when Harriet was a child.

Born into slavery in 1820, she grew up working in the cotton fields.

She witnessed another slave escape and when she was older, escaped herself.

It was a long and lonely journey to freedom.

However, when she reached the border with Pennsylvania, she realised she needed to help others escape too.

A network of helpers, known as 'The Underground Railroad', helped slaves on their way to freedom.

We see Harriet take groups of slaves through the forest to freedom and hear how throughout her life she helped to free over 70 slaves.

This clip is from the series True Stories.

Teacher Notes

You could ask pupils to take notes as they view the film, to help them draw up a timeline of Harriet Tubman's life.

They should note important dates, places and events in Harriet's life.

After viewing, the children could go on to draw timelines.

They could supplement their timelines with information gleaned from their own research using a variety of sources including the internet.

You could also ask them to add the dates of other significant events in Harriet's life-time, as well as noting significant dates in the emancipation of slaves after Harriet's time.

Ask: "How was Britain involved in the slave trade?" Pupils could go on to research more about Britain's involvement in the slave trade.

Curriculum Notes

This clip would be relevant for teaching history at Key Stage 1 and 2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and First and Second Level in Scotland.

More from True Stories:

Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Mary Anning
Edward Jenner
Elizabeth Fry
Grace Darling
Rosa Parks
Thomas Barnardo
Alexander Graham Bell
Florence Nightingale