This booklet describes Harriet Tubman who led a group of eleven people out of slavery in 1851 and the fugitives traveled by night, slept by day, always on the alert. The risk of capture was always on their mind.
1. from Harriet TubmanCONDUCTOR ON THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Ann Petry How much should a person sacriﬁce for freedom? QuickTalk How important is a person’s individual freedom to a healthy society? Discuss with a partner how individual freedom shapes American society. Harriet Tubman (c. 1945) by William H. Johnson. Oil on paperboard, sheet. 29 ⁄" x 23 ⁄" (73.5 cm x 59.3 cm). 496 Unit 2 • Collection 5
2. SKILLS FOCUS Literary Skills Understand characteristics Reader/Writer of biography; understand coherence. Reading Skills Identify the main idea; identify supporting sentences. Notebook Use your RWN to complete the activities for this selection. Vocabulary Biography and Coherence A biography is the story of fugitives (FYOO juh tihvz) n.: people ﬂeeing someone’s life written by another person. We “meet” the people in from danger or oppression. Traveling by a biography the same way we get to know people in our own lives. night, the fugitives escaped to the North. We observe their actions and motivations, learn their values, and incomprehensible (ihn kahm prih HEHN see how they interact with others. Soon, we feel we know them. suh buhl) adj.: impossible to understand. A good biography has coherence—all the details come The code that Harriet Tubman used was together in a way that makes the biography easy to understand. incomprehensible to slave owners. In nonﬁction a text is coherent if the important details support the incentive (ihn SEHN tihv) n.: reason to do main idea and connect to one another in a clear order. something; motivation. The incentive of a warm house and good food kept the Literary Perspectives Apply the literary perspective described fugitives going. on page 499 as you read this selection. dispel (dihs PEHL) v.: get rid of by driving away. Harriet tried to dispel the travelers’ fear of capture. eloquence (EHL uh kwehns) n.: ability to write or speak gracefully and convinc- Finding the Main Idea The main idea is the central idea or ingly. Frederick Douglass was known for message of a nonﬁction text. To ﬁnd the main idea, look for key his eloquence in writing and speaking. statements made by the writer and for details that point to an important idea. Then, think about the meaning of all the details. Into Action As you read the biography, write down details that seem important. When you have ﬁnished, write the main idea. Roots The Latin root loqui means “to Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad speak.” What word in the Vocabulary list Important detail: “It was the largest group that she had above comes from this root? How is its ever conducted.” meaning the same or diﬀerent from that of the Latin root? Important detail: Think as a Reader/Writer Find It in Your Reading In this biography, Ann Petry turns historical facts into a dramatic story. As you read, record in your Learn It Online Get a sneak peek of this story with a video Reader/Writer Notebook objective, or factual, passages and sub- introduction at: jective passages, which reveal the writer’s feelings and opinions. go.hrw.com L8-497 Go Preparing to Read 497
3. Learn It Online Get more on the author’s life at: MEET THE WRITER Build Background go.hrw.com L8-498 Go In the Biblical Book of Exodus, Moses Ann Petry is chosen by God to lead the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. Moses (1908–1997) takes his people on a long, perilous desert journey and leads them to the “A Message in the Story” Promised Land. As you read this biog- A native of Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Ann Petry was the raphy, look for reasons why Harriet granddaughter of a man who escaped from slavery on a Tubman was called the Moses of her Virginia plantation and went north by way of the Underground people. Railroad. She earned a Ph.D. in 1931 and worked as a pharma- cist in her family’s drugstore before moving to New York, where Preview the Selection she became a writer of books for young people and adults. This excerpt from a biography relates About her writing she said: how Harriet Tubman led a group of “My writing has, of course, been influenced by the eleven people out of slavery in 1851. The books I’ve read but it has been much more influenced fugitives traveled by night and slept by by the circumstances of my birth and my growing up, day, always on the alert. The risk of cap- by my family. . . . ture was constantly on their minds. “We always had relatives visiting us. They added excitement to our lives. They brought with them the aura and the customs of a very different world. They were all storytellers, spinners of yarns. So were my mother and my father. “Some of these stories had been handed down from one generation to the next, improved, embellished, embroidered. Usually there was a message in the story, a message for the young, a message that would help a young black child survive, help convince a young black child that black is truly beautiful.” Petry grew up listening to stories. How might this have shaped the way she wrote?
4. Read with a Purpose Read to discover how Harriet Tubman led enslaved people to freedom. from CONDUCTOR ON THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD by Ann Petry THE RAILROAD RUNS TO CANADA in the woods, close by, late at night. Though A long the Eastern Shore of Maryland, it was the wrong season for whippoorwills. in Dorchester County, in Caroline Sometimes the masters thought they had County, the masters kept hearing heard the cry of a hoot owl, repeated, and whispers about the man named Moses, who would remember having thought that the was running off slaves. At first they did not intervals between the low moaning cry were believe in his existence. The stories about wrong, that it had been repeated four times him were fantastic, unbelievable. Yet they in succession instead of three. There was watched for him. They offered rewards for never anything more than that to suggest his capture. They never saw him. Now and then they heard whispered rumors to the effect that he was in the neighborhood. The woods were searched. The roads were watched. There was never anything to indicate his Use this perspective to help you explore historical context. whereabouts. But a few days afterward, Analyzing Historical Context When applying this per- a goodly number of slaves would be gone spective, you view a literary text within its historical context. from the plantation. Neither the master nor Specifically, you notice historical information about the time the overseer had heard or seen anything in which the author wrote, about the time in which the text is set, and about the ways in which people of the period saw and unusual in the quarter.1 Sometimes one thought about the world in which they lived. History, in this or the other would vaguely remember hav- biography, refers to the social, political, economic and cultural ing heard a whippoorwill call somewhere climate of the American South in the time period before the Civil War, when many African Americans were enslaved. As you 1. quarter: area in a plantation where enslaved blacks read, use the notes and questions in the text to guide you in lived. It consisted of windowless, one-room cabins using this perspective. made of logs and mud. Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad 499
5. that all was not well in the quarter. Yet, when In December 1851, when she started out morning came, they invariably discovered with the band of fugitives that she planned that a group of the finest slaves had taken to take to Canada, she had been in the to their heels. A vicinity of the plantation for days, planning Unfortunately, the discovery was almost the trip, carefully selecting the slaves that always made on a Sunday. Thus a whole day she would take with her. was lost before the machinery of pursuit She had announced her arrival in the could be set in motion. The posters offering quarter by singing the forbidden spiritual2— rewards for the fugitives could not be “Go down, Moses, ’way down to Egypt printed until Monday. The men who made Land”—singing it softly outside the door of a living hunting for runaway slaves were out a slave cabin, late at night. The husky voice of reach, off in the woods with their dogs was beautiful even when it was barely more and their guns, in pursuit of four-footed than a murmur borne on the wind. B game, or they were in camp meetings saying Once she had made her presence known, their prayers with their wives and families word of her coming spread from cabin to beside them. cabin. The slaves whispered to each other, Harriet Tubman could have told them ear to mouth, mouth to ear, “Moses is here.” that there was far more involved in this “Moses has come.” “Get ready. Moses matter of running off slaves than signaling is back again.” The ones who had agreed to the would-be runaways by imitating the call go North with her put ashcake3 and salt her- of a whippoorwill, or a hoot owl, far more ring in an old bandanna, hastily tied it into involved than a matter of waiting for a clear a bundle, and then waited patiently for the night when the North Star was visible. signal that meant it was time to start. There were eleven in this party, including one of her brothers and his wife. It was the largest group that she had ever conducted, 2. forbidden spiritual: Spirituals are religious songs, some of which are based on the biblical story of the Israelites’ escape from slavery in Egypt. Plantation owners feared that the singing of certain spirituals might lead to rebellion. 3. ashcake: cornmeal bread baked in hot ashes. A Read and Discuss How has the author gotten us interested? B Literary Focus Biography Do you think the details about Tubman’s voice are factual? Explain. Vocabulary fugitives (FYOO juh tihvz) n.: people fleeing from danger or oppression.
6. but she was determined that more and more slaves should know what freedom was like. She had to take them all the way to Canada. The Fugitive Slave Law4 was no longer a great many incomprehensible words written down on the country’s 00_Sidebar green runin 00_Sidebar Text law books. The new law had become w/green runin a reality. It was Thomas Sims, a boy, picked up on the streets of Boston at night and shipped back to Georgia. It was Jerry and Shadrach, arrested and jailed with no warning. C She had never been in Canada. The route beyond Philadelphia was strange to her. But she could not let the runaways who accompanied her know this. As they walked along, she told them stories of her own first flight; she kept painting vivid word pictures of what it would be like to be free. But there were so many of them this time. She knew moments of doubt, when she was half afraid and kept looking back over her shoulder, imagining that she heard the sound of pursuit. They would certainly be pursued. Eleven of them. Eleven thousand dollars’ worth of flesh and 4. Fugitive Slave Law: harsh federal law passed in 1850 stating that fugitives who escaped from slavery to free states could be forced to return to their owners. As a result, those who escaped were safe only in Canada. The law also made Harriet Tubman. it a crime for a free person to help fugitives or to prevent their return. C Literary Perspectives Historical Context What do Vocabulary incomprehensible (ihn kahm prih HEHN the names of captured fugitives add to the biography’s impact? suh buhl) adj.: impossible to understand. Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad 501
7. bone and muscle that belonged to Maryland She turned away from the house, frown- planters. If they were caught, the eleven ing. She had promised her passengers food runaways would be whipped and sold and rest and warmth, and instead of that, South, but she—she would probably be there would be hunger and cold and more hanged. D walking over the frozen ground. Somehow They tried to sleep during the day but she would have to instill courage into these they never could wholly relax into sleep. She eleven people, most of them strangers, could tell by the positions they assumed, by would have to feed them on hope and bright their restless movements. And they walked dreams of freedom instead of the fried at night. Their progress was slow. It took pork and corn bread and milk she had them three nights of walking to reach the promised them. first stop. She had told them about the place They stumbled along behind her, half where they would stay, promising warmth dead for sleep, and she urged them on, and good food, holding these things out to though she was as tired and as discouraged them as an incentive to keep going. as they were. She had never been in When she knocked on the door of Canada, but she kept painting wondrous a farmhouse, a place where she and her word pictures of what it would be like. parties of runaways had always been wel- She managed to dispel their fear of pursuit come, always been given shelter and plenty so that they would not become hysterical, to eat, there was no answer. She knocked panic-stricken. Then she had to bring again, softly. A voice from within said, some of the fear back, so that they would “Who is it?” There was fear in the voice. stay awake and keep walking though they She knew instantly from the sound of drooped with sleep. the voice that there was something wrong. Yet, during the day, when they lay down She said, “A friend with friends,” the pass- deep in a thicket, they never really slept, word on the Underground Railroad. because if a twig snapped or the wind sighed The door opened, slowly. The man who in the branches of a pine tree, they jumped stood in the doorway looked at her coldly, to their feet, afraid of their own shadows, looked with unconcealed astonishment and shivering and shaking. It was very cold, but fear at the eleven disheveled runaways who they dared not make fires because someone were standing near her. Then he shouted, would see the smoke and wonder about it. “Too many, too many. It’s not safe. My place She kept thinking, eleven of them. Eleven was searched last week. It’s not safe!” and thousand dollars’ worth of slaves. And she slammed the door in her face. E had to take them all the way to Canada. D Reading Focus Finding the Main Idea What impor- Vocabulary incentive (ihn SEHN tihv) n.: reason to do tant detail do you learn in this paragraph? something; motivation. E Read and Discuss What is happening with Harriet Tubman dispel (dihs PEHL) v.: get rid of by driving away. and her group? 502 Unit 2 • Collection 5
8. Sometimes she told them about Thomas but he had never used his strength to harm Garrett, in Wilmington.5 She said he was anyone, always to help people. He would give their friend even though he did not know all of them a new pair of shoes. Everybody. them. He was the friend of all fugitives. He He always did. Once they reached his house called them God’s poor. He was a Quaker6 in Wilmington, they would be safe. He would and his speech was a little different from that see to it that they were. of other people. His clothing was different, She described the house where he too. He wore the wide-brimmed hat that the lived, told them about the store where he Quakers wear. sold shoes. She said he kept a pail of milk She said that he had thick white hair, soft, and a loaf of bread in the drawer of his almost like a baby’s, and the kindest eyes she desk so that he would have food ready at had ever seen. He was a big man and strong, hand for any of God’s poor who should suddenly appear before him, fainting 5. Wilmington: city in Delaware. with hunger. There was a hidden room in 6. Quaker: member of the Society of Friends, a reli- the store. A whole wall swung open, and gious group active in the movement to end slavery. behind it was a room where he could hide Harriet Tubman (at left) with a group she helped escape from slavery. Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad 503
9. fugitives. On the wall there were shelves They spent the night in the warm filled with small boxes—boxes of shoes— kitchen. They really slept, all that night and so that you would never guess that the wall until dusk the next day. When they left, actually opened. F it was with reluctance. They had all been While she talked, she kept watching warm and safe and well-fed. It was hard to them. They did not believe her. She could exchange the security offered by that clean, tell by their expressions. They were think- warm kitchen for the darkness and the cold ing. New shoes, Thomas Garrett, Quaker, of a December night. G Wilmington—what foolishness was this? Who knew if she told the truth? Where was “GO ON OR DIE” she taking them anyway? Harriet had found it hard to leave the That night they reached the next stop— warmth and friendliness, too. But she a farm that belonged to a German. She made urged them on. For a while, as they walked, the runaways take shelter behind trees at the they seemed to carry in them a measure edge of the fields before she knocked at the of contentment; some of the serenity and door. She hesitated before she approached the cleanliness of that big, warm kitchen the door, thinking, suppose that he too lingered on inside them. But as they walked should refuse shelter, suppose—Then she farther and farther away from the warmth thought, Lord, I’m going to hold steady on to and the light, the cold and the darkness You and You’ve got to see me through—and entered into them. They fell silent, sullen, knocked softly. suspicious. She waited for the moment She heard the familiar guttural voice say, when some one of them would turn muti- “Who’s there?” nous. It did not happen that night. She answered quickly, “A friend with Two nights later, she was aware that the friends.” feet behind her were moving slower and He opened the door and greeted her slower. She heard the irritability in their warmly. “How many this time?” he asked. voices, knew that soon someone would “Eleven,” she said and waited, doubting, refuse to go on. wondering. She started talking about William Still He said, “Good. Bring them in.” and the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee.7 He and his wife fed them in the lamp-lit No one commented. No one asked any ques- kitchen, their faces glowing as they offered tions. She told them the story of William food and more food, urging them to eat, say- 7. Philadelphia Vigilance Committee: group that offered ing there was plenty for everybody, have more help to people escaping slavery. William Still, a free milk, have more bread, have more meat. African American, was chairman of the committee. F Read and Discuss How does Harriet keep her group going G Reading Focus Finding the Main Idea What have even when they are exhausted and afraid? you learned about the families who helped the travelers? 504 Unit 2 • Collection 5
10. and Ellen Craft and how they escaped from Georgia. Ellen was so fair that she looked as though she were white, and so she dressed up in a man’s clothing and she looked like a wealthy young planter. Her husband, William, who was dark, played the role of her slave. Thus they traveled from Macon, Georgia, to Philadelphia, riding on the trains, staying at the finest hotels. Ellen pretended to be very ill—her right arm was in a sling and her right hand was bandaged because she was supposed to have rheumatism.8 Thus she avoided having to sign the reg- ister at the hotels, for she could not read or write. They finally arrived safely in Philadelphia and then went on to Boston. H No one said anything. Not one of them seemed to have heard her. She told them about Frederick Douglass, the most famous of the Analyzing Visuals Viewing and Interpreting What details escaped slaves, of his eloquence, of in this picture of Ellen Craft hide her real identity? his magnificent appearance. Then she told them of her own first, vain effort at running away, evoking the memory of that “Let me go back. It is better to be a slave than miserable life she had led as a child, reliving to suffer like this in order to be free.” it for a moment in the telling. She carried a gun with her on these But they had been tired too long, hungry trips. She had never used it—except as a too long, afraid too long, footsore too long. threat. Now, as she aimed it, she experi- One of them suddenly cried out in despair, enced a feeling of guilt, remembering that time, years ago, when she had prayed for the 8. rheumatism (ROO muh tihz uhm): painful swelling death of Edward Brodas, the Master, and and stiffness of the joints or muscles. then, not too long afterward, had heard that H Literary Focus Coherence In what way do the stories Vocabulary eloquence (EHL uh kwehns) n.: ability to Tubman tells the fugitives help create a coherent biography? write or speak gracefully and convincingly. Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad 505
11. Analyzing Visuals Viewing and Interpreting How might this scene of Group going to the fields at the James a plantation be like or unlike the plantation from which Hopkinson’s plantation, c. 1862. Harriet Tubman and the fugitives have escaped? Photographer: Henry P. Moore. great wailing cry that came from the throats none of them could go back to the planta- of the field hands, and knew from the sound tion. If a runaway returned, he would turn that the Master was dead. traitor; the master and the overseer would One of the runaways said again, “Let force him to turn traitor. The returned slave me go back. Let me go back,” and stood still, would disclose the stopping places, the and then turned around and said, over his hiding places, the corn stacks they had used shoulder, “I am going back.” with the full knowledge of the owner of She lifted the gun, aimed it at the the farm, the name of the German farmer despairing slave. She said, “Go on with who had fed them and sheltered them. us or die.” The husky, low-pitched voice These people who had risked their own was grim. I security to help runaways would be ruined, He hesitated for a moment and then fined, imprisoned. he joined the others. They started walk- She said, “We got to go free or die. And ing again. She tried to explain to them why freedom’s not bought with dust.” I Read and Discuss What is going on between Harriet Tubman and the fugitives? 506 Unit 2 • Collection 5
12. This time she told knew that for the moment all was well them about the long with them. agony of the Middle She gave the impression of being a short, Passage9 on the old slave muscular, indomitable woman who could ships, about the black never be defeated. Yet at any moment she horror of the holds, was liable to be seized by one of those curi- about the chains and the ous fits of sleep,10 which might last for a few whips. They too knew minutes or for hours. J these stories. But she Even on this trip, she suddenly fell wanted to remind them asleep in the woods. The runaways, ragged, of the long, hard way dirty, hungry, cold, did not steal the gun they had come, about the as they might have and set off by themselves long, hard way they had or turn back. They sat on the ground near yet to go. She told them her and waited patiently until she awak- about Thomas Sims, the ened. They had come to trust her implicitly, boy picked up on the totally. They, too, had come to believe her streets of Boston and repeated statement, “We got to go free or sent back to Georgia. She die.” She was leading them into freedom, said when they got him back to Savannah, and so they waited until she was ready got him in prison there, they whipped him to go on. K until a doctor who was standing by watch- Finally, they reached Thomas Garrett’s ing said, “You will kill him if you strike him house in Wilmington, Delaware. Just as again!” His master said, “Let him die!” Harriet had promised, Garrett gave them all Thus she forced them to go on. new shoes, and provided carriages to take Sometimes she thought she had become them on to the next stop. nothing but a voice speaking in the By slow stages they reached Philadelphia, darkness, cajoling, urging, threatening. where William Still hastily recorded their Sometimes she told them things to make names, and the plantations whence they had them laugh; sometimes she sang to them come, and something of the life they had and heard the eleven voices behind her led in slavery. Then he carefully hid what he blending softly with hers, and then she had written, for fear it might be discovered. 9. Middle Passage: route traveled by ships carrying 10. fits of sleep: Harriet’s losses of consciousness were captured Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the caused by a serious head injury that she had suffered Americas. The captives endured the horrors of the as a teenager. Harriet had tried to protect someone Middle Passage crammed into holds, airless cargo else from punishment, and an enraged overseer areas below deck. threw a two-pound weight at her head. J Literary Focus Biography What factual information K Read and Discuss What does this new detail about the gun about Harriet Tubman does this passage reveal? reveal? Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad 507
13. In 1872 he published this record in book Harriet and Jarm Loguen were to become form and called it The Underground friends and supporters of Old John Brown.12 Railroad. In the foreword to his book he From Syracuse they went north again, said: “While I knew the danger of keeping into a colder, snowier city—Rochester. Here strict records, and while I did not then they almost certainly stayed with Frederick dream that in my day slavery would be Douglass, for he wrote in his autobiography: blotted out, or that the time would come “On one occasion I had eleven fugitives when I could publish these records, it used at the same time under my roof, and it to afford me great satisfaction to take was necessary for them to remain with me them down, fresh from the until I could collect suffi- lips of fugitives on the way cient money to get them to to freedom, and to preserve Canada. It was the largest them as they had given number I ever had at any them.” L “We got one time, and I had some William Still, who was difficulty in providing familiar with all the station so many with food and stops on the Underground to go free shelter, but, as may well be Railroad, supplied Harriet imagined, they were not with money and sent her or die.” very fastidious in either and her eleven fugitives on direction, and were well to Burlington, New Jersey. content with very plain food, Harriet felt safer now, and a strip of carpet on the though there were danger floor for a bed, or a place on spots ahead. But the biggest part of her job the straw in the barn loft.” was over. As they went farther and farther Late in December 1851, Harriet arrived north, it grew colder; she was aware of the in St. Catharines, Canada West (now wind on the Jersey ferry and aware of the Ontario), with the eleven fugitives. It had cold damp in New York. From New York taken almost a month to complete this they went on to Syracuse,11 where the tem- journey. M perature was even lower. In Syracuse she met the Reverend J. W. 12. John Brown (1800–1859): abolitionist (opponent of slavery) who was active in the Underground Loguen, known as “Jarm” Loguen. This was Railroad. In 1859, Brown led a raid on the federal the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Both arsenal at Harpers Ferry, then in Virginia, in hopes of inspiring a slave uprising. Federal troops over- powered Brown and his followers, and Brown was 11. Syracuse: city in central New York State. convicted of treason and hanged. L Literary Focus Biography How might William Still’s M Literary Perspectives Historical Context Does the records have been helpful in the creation of this biography? journey’s one-month duration surprise you? Why or why not? 508 Unit 2 • Collection 5
14. SKILLS FOCUS Literary Skills Analyze a biography; evaluate the coherence of a text. Reading Skills Identify the main idea. from Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad Respond and Think Critically 5. Analyze You sense irony when something happens that is the opposite of what you expect. What is ironic about the fugitive hunt- Quick Check ers praying with their families on Sundays? 1. List at least three facts you learned about the 6. Literary Perspectives What aspects of life in Underground Railroad. List at least ﬁve facts the 1860s made the fugitives’ journey easier you learned about Harriet Tubman. than it would be in modern times? What aspects made their journey more diﬃcult? Read with a Purpose 2. What strategies did Harriet Tubman use to get Literary Skills: Biography and all eleven slaves safely to Canada? Coherence 7. Analyze Petry creates a coherent text by Reading Skills: Finding the Main Idea tracking the physical journey that Tubman 3. Review your chart of the story’s details. What took. What other methods does Petry use to main idea is supported by these details? Write make Tubman’s journey easy to follow? down this main idea in a new row at the bottom of the chart. Literary Skills Review: Character 8. Compare and Contrast What is the dif- Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the ference between a leader and a hero? Was Underground Railroad Tubman a leader, a hero, or both? Explain. Important detail: “It was the largest group that she had ever conducted.” Important detail: Main idea: Think as a Reader/Writer Use It in Your Writing Review your notes of objective and subjective passages in the selec- tion. Now, describe a historical ﬁgure you admire, including factual details and your feelings about that person. Literary Analysis 4. Interpret How is Tubman like Moses in the Bible? What is her Promised Land? Has reading this biography changed your mind about the value of freedom? Why or why not? Applying Your Skills 509
15. from Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad Classical Greek is also a source for many Vocabulary Development English aﬃxes—word parts added to a root to Vocabulary Check alter its meaning. Here are some common Greek aﬃxes and their meanings: Answer the following questions. Vocabulary words are in boldface. Greek Aﬃx Meaning English Word 1. What are some reasons a person might anti– opposing antiwar become a fugitive? –ician specialist in technician 2. Is it easy to understand something that is hyper– over; excessive hyperactive incomprehensible? 3. What incentive did Harriet Tubman have to lead the slaves to freedom? Your Turn 4. How did Tubman dispel the fears of the Knowing the meanings of roots and aﬃxes can fugitives? help you deﬁne new words. Use the roots and 5. How did Frederick Douglass’s eloquence aﬃxes from the charts to answer these questions: inspire Tubman and the fugitives? 1. Does a person who is antisocial like being around people? Greek Roots and Aﬃxes 2. If something is a biohazard, would you want to be near it? Why or why not? The ancient Greek language helped shape many 3. How might a hypercritical person act? languages, including English. The Greek alphabet is the source of many of the letters we use today, 4. When might you need an electrician? and our practice of reading from left to right 5. How many sides does an octagon have? came from the Greek language. 6. What kind of science is demography? One way Greek words entered the English language was through the Christian Church. English words like monk, church, and prophet have Greek origins. Another way was through the Roots Sort the words on autobiography revival of interest in classical Greek texts during the right into groups octave the Renaissance, beginning in the 1300s. Here are according to their roots, democracy some Greek roots and their English derivatives. and write them in a chart octet like the one below. See biosphere Greek Root Meaning English Word if you can think of more demographics –oct– eight octagon words that share these October –bio– life biography roots. biochemistry –dem– people democracy Greek Root octogenarian –oct– –bio– –dem– 510 Unit 2 • Collection 5
16. SKILLS FOCUS Literary Skills Analyze a biography; evaluate the coherence of a text. Reading Skills Identify the main idea. Vocabulary Skills Demonstrate knowledge of literal meanings of words and their usage; identify and use Greek roots and affixes to understand vocabulary; use academic vocabulary appropriately. Grammar Skills Demonstrate understanding of correct subject-verb agreement. Grammar Link CHOICES Subject-Verb Agreement As you respond to the Choices, use these Academic Vocabulary In a sentence the verb should always agree in words as appropriate: observation, emphasize, reactions, define. number with the subject. If the subject is singular, REVIEW the verb should be singular. If the subject is plural, Make a Time Line the verb should be plural. In order to follow the sequence of events in Singular Verbs Plural Verbs the selection, draw a time line. Start with a straight line. At the left, write “Tubman leaves comes, helps, does, is come, help, do, are with eleven fugitives, December 1851.” Refer to the text to fill in the time line with other events. EXAMPLES: He rides the bicycle. [The singular verb Your time line may not be exact, but it should rides agrees with the singular subject He.] emphasize the most important events in the Most children love ice cream. [The plural verb biography and make the sequence of events love agrees with the plural subject children.] clear. CONNECT Your Turn Summarize a Biography Choose the form of the verb in parentheses that Re-read the excerpt from the agrees with the subject in the sentence. biography of Harriet Tubman. Then, write a sum- EXAMPLE: The thought of bats (scare, scares) me. mary of the biography. In the first paragraph, [The singular verb scares agrees with the singular include the title of the work, the author’s name, subject thought.] and a general observation about the work. In the second paragraph, summarize the important 1. Many years (has, have) passed. events covered in the biography. 2. The teachers rarely (gives, give) high marks. 3. Most airlines (doesn’t, don’t) serve meals. EXTEND 4. Why (is, are) these questions so hard? Map an Escape 5. One of my teeth (hurts, hurt) a lot. Group Project The fugitives discussed in this 6. We (doesn’t, don’t) want to go to the lake. biography had an advantage over many others fleeing slavery: They were escaping from the northernmost slave state, Maryland. Work with Writing Applications Write a short paragraph a group to find out which states allowed slavery using the following words as subjects: Harriet in 1851. Then, choose a location in one of those Tubman, fugitives, and group. Then, check each states and draw a map showing a possible route sentence to be sure your verbs all agree in number to freedom. Research the Underground Railroad with your subjects. to see if there were any stops along your route. Applying Your Skills 511