Week 3 – Harriet Tubman –

February 21, 2021

Parent Background

The lives of many African Americans throughout history are testament to strength, courage, and resourcefulness. One of the best-known of these figures is Harriet Tubman, who persevered against great odds to improve not only her own life, but the lives of others. After a harrowing escape from slavery, she returned to the South 19 times and helped 300 other slaves escape.

The story of her life, with its elements of drama, adventure, and success, provides a compelling focus of study during Black History Month.




One of America’s most important documents is the Declaration of Independence, written nearly 50 years before Harriet Tubman was born. It states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness…”

*** which four words most symbolize Harriet’s ideals.


On December 18, 1865, slavery was officially outlawed in the United States. Harriet Tubman was about 45 years old at the time

  • How might she have felt when she heard the news? Why?
  • What hopes might she have had for the future of freed slaves?

Bible Connection: 

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:13-14

Story in Action

  • Create a freedom chart to help  understand why Harriet worked so hard to free herself and others from slavery.
    1. Divide a poster-size piece of paper into four columns. Label the first column “Freedom” and have students list simple but important freedoms they enjoy. These may include the freedom to be part of a family; the freedom to make friends; the freedom to go to school and learn; the freedom to read books; and the freedom to eat, sleep, and work when they (and their families) want.
    2. Label the second column “Importance” and have the students tell why each freedom is important to them.
    3. Label the third column “Slavery” and have students use this space to describe what happened when slaves were deprived of the basic freedoms mentioned in the first two columns (for example, slaves could not leave the plantation, slaves were often sold and separated from their families, etc.).
    4. In the last column, labeled “Feelings.”  Describe how you would feel if each freedom were taken away from you.
  • Freedom involves being able to make basic choices and decisions about life. But it has certain limits.
    1. Does being free means doing whatever they want, whenever they want?  Refer back to the Freedom Chart to brainstorm a list of ways in which some of their freedoms are curtailed (having to go to bed at a certain time, not being able to eat everything they want, etc.). Have them make another list of ways in which even adults’ freedom may be limited. Help them draw conclusions about the reasons for these limitations.

Prayer Practice:  Pray the first part of the Prayer of St. Francis at the end of your kids time. 

Try to put it to memory. 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.