Activity: Fact or Fiction?

By Kristina, posted on September 8th, 2009.
Filed under: Lessons and Activities
Tagged as: , , .

Topic: People in Societies

Activity:  Fact or Fiction?  (Powerpoint)
Should one believe everything written or told about the Underground Railroad? Why are there many myths and legends surrounding the Underground Railroad? Students will look at a primary source and decide if the accompanying description is fact or fiction. Students will then discuss other primary sources they would use to disprove or support the descriptions.

Using Primary Sources: Fact or Fiction?


In this activity students will be divided into groups and look at a primary source and accompanying description. They then must decide if the description is fact or fiction based on what they know about the Underground Railroad.

List of Materials:

  • Fact or Fiction Activity Sheet: PDF
  • Complete list of Primary Sources: PDF
  • Descriptions (you may copy and paste these descriptions into which ever format you choose): PDF
  • Vocabulary list: PDF
  • Envelope (optional)
  • Printable postcards (optional)


  1. Complete a series of lessons of your choosing on the Underground Railroad
  2. Distribute an envelope with one primary source and its corresponding description. Make enough copies of the description for each student in the group.
    1. A fun way to do this is to mark the envelope “Top Secret” or “Confidential.” You can run the envelope through a computer printer to achieve the desired affect.
    2. Try to print the descriptions in a large font on postcards.
  3. Distribute the activity sheet. Ask students to compete all questions.
  4. When students are finished, have each group share their theory with the entire class.

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