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Grades 5 through 12

Duration of visit: 2 hours

Maximum class size: 48 students

"Freedom Pass" is an interactive educational activity designed to teach students about the accomplishments of Josiah Henson and his contributions to Canadian Black heritage. Students are introduced to the Underground Railroad and some of its key figures. Its secret mode of operation is brought to life, enabling the students to comprehend the risks and rewards in an enslaved person’s flight to freedom.

The activity works like a scavenger hunt, where students must work together in teams to decode secret messages in an attempt to find their freedom pass. The students work their way from station to station, gathering important information along the way, which they incorporate in oral presentations for their classmates.

Students use a number of communications skills during the activity to achieve their freedom: reading and arithmetic skills, following oral and written instructions, working and sharing with teammates, using available data to problem-solve and come to logical conclusions, writing skills (note-taking), and the ability to make presentations and report information orally.

Once all groups have found their freedom passes and finished their oral presentations, they receive a guided tour of the Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site to solidify the inspiring story of Josiah Henson and his road to freedom.

Slavery to freedom
Slavery to freedom
During the 19th century, thousands of enslaved and many free African-Americans fled the United States and made their way to freedom in Canada. Ontario was one of their primary destinations.
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