On the Underground Railroad: National Geographic

February 13, 2010 at 4:33 am Leave a comment

National Geographic Interactive Underground Railroad

Site:http://www.nationalgeographic.com/railroad/

Summary: Educational game about the Underground Railroad and slavery, child enters the game as a slave and can make choices on the journey they take.

Age: 7+ Requires a lot of reading, and the text is too mature for younger readers.

The site includes a drop-down menu with additional information about the Underground Railroad and early freedom fighters and other resources, includes Classroom Ideas (educational lessons) for children of all ages.

Estimated Play Time: 5-15 minutes, depending on the reader

My Thoughts: Interesting. I learned alot, at times the journey is intense–you quickly take on the role of the character. Deffinately worth a visit.

I taught a lesson to a group of children ages 7-12 for a Black History month celebration and was surprised to know how little the children knew. I got the impression these children were taught in public school but not so much at home. These children came from loving families, they weren’t neglected by any means.

These kids did not know their ancestors came to America on a slave ship, and had no idea what a “slave ship” was or what conditions were like. Ship to the children was a cruise ship or a sailboat. The children generally heard bits and pieces of information about Black History month but it was not enough to take hold in their minds. Civil Rights meant Martin Luther King but there was no understanding of what life was like then, and very little information on other leaders of the Civil Rights movement or the events that led up to it. Slavery meant sometime in the past where people were whipped and treated bad but that was a long time ago. These kids seemed to take for granted the rights and freedoms we now have. I was really humbled by this experience, because I was ignorant in how much I also took for granted.

There is really a need for for not only the education of our children but helping them apply the founding events of our country, and our system of democracy to their everyday lives. Children need the adults in their lives to help them develop a sense of their heritage, and what it means for who they are today. The time, love and guidance you give to a child is really needed, and is part of our responsibility to future generations.

My Suggestions: Stunning pictures could use some audio–narration, sounds, and animation etc.

The game ends quickly, it seems to just drop. When the game ends, it would be great if it would open into a screen with information or art crafts/activities parents and children can do at home or even a discussion forum.

If you are a parent or educator playing Interactive Underground Railraod with a child, it offers a great opportunity to talk about the Underground Railroad and Black history, and also gives a chance to discuss your own family history.

Blessings ~ Lynn

Harriet Tubman

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Entry filed under: Historical Information & Tidbits, Letters to My Kids. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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