Follow the Drinking Gourd Grades 9-12

Follow the Drinking Gourd Grades 9-12

Follow the Drinking Gourd_Picture.jpg

Big Dipper

Big Dipper

Public Domain

In this lesson plan, students will learn about how African Americans escaping slavery on the Underground Railroad used their knowledge of astronomy to find their way to freedom. They will learn about geographic and equatorial coordinate systems through the introduction of angular distance, angular size, longitude, latitude, right ascension (RA), and declination (Dec). Using the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, and North Star, stars used in the navigation of escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad, students will learn about how astronomers today identify the location of stars in the sky.