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The Life of Harriet Tubman

Assembly to accompany the book ‘A World of Difference’ by Bob Hartman, delivered free to schools in October 2017

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To consider the life of Harriet Tubman.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the book A World of Difference by Bob Hartman, delivered free to schools in October 2017. The story of Harriet Tubman can be found on pages 21-8.

  • You will need an image of Harriet Tubman and the means to display it during the assembly. An example is available at:

  • Have available a toy railway track and train.


  1. Show the toy railway track and train to the children.

    Invite a few volunteers to set up the train track while you are speaking, but ask them to make it simple!

  2. Ask the children if they have ever travelled by train, and then ask a few of them to tell everyone about their experiences.

  3. When the volunteers have built the train track, point out that trains are useful for moving people from one place to another. A long time ago, there were no cars, so many people travelled by train.

  4. Explain that the story you are going to read is about something called ‘The Underground Railroad’. Ask the children if they can guess what that means.

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Some of the children may have travelled on underground railways. Ask some of them to share their experiences.

  5. Explain that The Underground Railroad in the story is about a very different kind of railway. Ask the children to listen carefully to see if they can discover what kind of railway The Underground Railroad is.

  6. Read the story of Harriet Tubman found in the book A World of Difference, pages 21-28.

Time for reflection

Show the image of Harriet Tubman.

When Harriet Tubman escaped from her life as a slave, she could easily have forgotten about the people who were still suffering in other parts of the country. Instead, she worked hard to help others by moving them along The Underground Railroad. She was often in danger, but she never gave up. Many people found freedom because of her.

Ask the following questions.

- How quickly do you give up if something is difficult?
- Is there something that you are finding difficult at the moment that you need to continue to try hard with?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Harriet Tubman thought about the needs of others more than she thought about her own needs.

Ask the children, ‘How often do we think about other people?’

Pause to allow time for thought.

Dear God,
Thank you for people like Harriet Tubman who did so much to help other people.
Thank you for her bravery and the difference that her life made to many people.
Please help us to stand up for others who are treated badly or unfairly.
Please help us to think about the needs of others and to take action when we need to.

Further resources

Further resources can be found at:

- Harriet Tubman - a modern-day Moses
Harriet Tubman - discussion questions
- Harriet Tubman - extra activities

More resources about Harriet Tubman are available at:

Publication date: October 2017   (Vol.19 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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