Harriet Tubman Lesson for Kids: Facts & Biography

Instructor: Jaclyn Radtke

I am a second grade teacher. I have been teaching second grade for two years. I previously taught fifth grade. I work in an urban school district. I am also interesting in drama and dance, which is why I am currently an assistant director of our after school for the arts program and co-director/choreographer of our school productions. I have a bachelors and a masters degree in elementary education.

Harriet Tubman is a famous African American who unselfishly led many slaves to freedom in the North. In this lesson you will learn facts about her and important events during her lifetime.

An Important Part of Black History

Did you know that there is an entire month, every year, dedicated to famous African American people who worked to make this country a better place? It is called Black History Month, and we celebrate it each February. Among the many people who are celebrated are Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harriet Tubman, whom you will learn about in this lesson.

Biography of Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman, was born Araminta Ross in Maryland in the year 1820, and she died in the year 1913 in New York. Harriet's mother was a slave, which meant that she was born a slave as well. A slave is someone who is owned by another person and is forced to work for that person without being paid.

As a child, Harriet had a horrible life. She lived in a cabin that only had one room, then she was sent to live with another family to help take care of their baby. After that, Harriet worked on several plantations, where she had to plow the fields and take care of keeping the house clean.

Harriet also suffered many injuries along the way. Sometimes she was beaten by her owners on purpose for not doing a satisfying job, and one time she was hit in the head accidentally by an iron weight, causing her to have dizzy spells and blackouts for the remainder of her life.

In the year 1849, Harriet decided that she had had enough of the slave life. The North and the South were at war because the South allowed slavery and the North did not, and she had heard of something known as the underground railroad. The underground railroad was a passage for helping slaves travel from the South to the North to find freedom. This system consisted of groups of people who had 'safe houses', allowing the slaves to remain with them until it was clear to move onto the next house.

After a year of traveling through the underground railroad, Harriet finally made it safely to Pennsylvania, a free state. However, once she was there, she realized just how important it was to help others become free. Therefore, she became a conductor on the underground railroad, risking her life and her freedom by going back and forth from the North to the South to help other slaves escape to freedom.

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