Henry’s Freedom Box

Henry was a slave, along with the rest of his family. When their master was dying, he called for Henry and his mother. Henry’s heart beat fast as he approached his master. He hoped he would be set free. Instead, the master gave Henry to his son. He was taken away from his family and sent to work in a tobacco factory.

Henry’s Freedom Box was written by Ellen Levine and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. It is a great read-aloud for 2nd – 5th grade. Here is a link to a YouTube video of the story.

There are six, no-prep digital activities for this story.  A video link is included in the product in case you don’t have access to the book.

The eight vocabulary cards have a kid-friendly definition, a sentence with an image, and synonyms. The cards are printable and would be great to post in your classroom for future reference. The first Google slide that the students see is a video presentation of the vocabulary words.

Four of the six activities are Google slides. First, students complete the order of events activity. After they finish, they use the secret code to crack a code word. Next, there is a nonfiction passage about the Underground Railroad. There is audio for the passage and the questions. Up next is vocabulary practice. Students match each vocabulary word to its synonym. the last slide is determining if the highlighted noun is common or proper.

The last two of the activities are Google forms. Students read, audio is included, a sentence from the story, and determine how the character might have felt. Then they answer 10 multiple choice questions about the story.

Students will discover a mystery word after each challenge. All the words lead to a final code word. If they get the code word right, they get the answer to a question: In the mid-1800s, how many slaves lived in the United States?

You can find these activities here: