Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Reading Comprehension Worksheets
Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
A Nation Divided

Underground Railroad

Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
Black History and Blacks in U.S. History

Underground Railroad
Print Underground Railroad Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.93

     challenging words:    proslavery, slaver, sympathizers, yoke, bondage, helping, pity, majority, successful, highly, various, capable, vast, improvement, leading, unable
     content words:    Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman, Fugitive Slave Law, Reverend Josiah Henson, Nova Scotia, Josiah Henson, African American, Frederick Douglass, Susan B., Austin Steward

Underground Railroad
By Mary L. Bushong

1     What do you think of when you hear the words "underground railroad"? Perhaps a train that runs deep under the ground? Actually, it was nothing like that. There were no engines or passenger cars, conductors or train stations like you would find with a real train. Instead, it was a loose system of people helping other people.
2     You might wonder how this organization got its name. It was first described as a railroad in some printed material in the early 1840s. Passengers were runaway slaves. The shelters where they rested were the stations, and those who led them were conductors. It was not a highly organized system. Sometimes it was simply a stranger taking pity on another stranger, giving food, shelter, or a ride for a short time.
3     Many of those who played major parts in the Underground Railroad were free blacks living in both the North and South. Sometimes escaping slaves received help from slaves on another plantation. The majority of help was not available until they reached a "free" state. On reaching the larger northern cities, the railroad became much more highly organized.
4     Abolitionists of every race were the main sympathizers of the Underground Railroad. They were committed to ridding the country of slavery any way they could. While they did not help vast numbers of people to escape bondage, the steady trickle of escapees was more than irritating to the slave owners.
5     It is estimated that of the approximately one million slaves, only a few thousand escaped every year between 1840 and 1860. Though small in number, the daring escapes were often exaggerated when reported in the various newspapers.

Paragraphs 6 to 11:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

Weekly Reading Books

          Create Weekly Reading Books

Prepare for an entire week at once!

Feedback on Underground Railroad
Leave your feedback on Underground Railroad   (use this link if you found an error in the story)

Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
             Black History and Blacks in U.S. History

A Nation Divided

             A Nation Divided

More Lessons
             Harriet Tubman Activities, Worksheets, Printables, and Lesson Plans

United States
             United States

    American Government  
    Black History and Blacks in U.S. History  
    Children in History  
    Government Careers  
    Hispanic Heritage  
    How Can I Help?  
    National Parks and Monuments  
    Native Americans  
    Presidents of the United States  
    Women's History  

United States History
    A Nation Divided
    A New Nation
    After the Civil War
    American Revolution  
    Cold War
    Colonial America (1492-1776)  
    Lewis and Clark
    Pearl Harbor  
    Spanish American War (1898)  
    The 1890's  
    The 1900's  
    The 1910's  
    The 1920's  
    The 1930's  
    The 1940's  
    The 1950's  
    The 1960's  
    The 1970's  
    The 1980's  
    The 1990's  
    The 2000's  
    The Civil War
    The Great Depression
    The United States Grows
    The War of 1812  
    Wild, Wild West  
    World War I
    World War II  

50 States

             Fifty States Theme Unit

Document Based Activities
      Document Based Activities

Copyright © 2018 edHelper