Underground Railroad Video Story Project

Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad is a wordless picture book by author Henry Cole that is done in beautiful line drawings showing the story of a young girl who helps a runaway slave.

Ms. Kayla Swan used the book as inspiration to have her 9th Grade ELA students write their own version of the story, sharing what they thought was happening in the book. Each had an opportunity to read his story in front of the class, practicing public speaking skills while sharing his creativity. The stories were well-developed with smooth transitions and rich detail. While all of the stories shared the common thread of a young girl helping a runaway slave, the variety of interpretations was fascinating.

The readings inspired the idea to have the students work on a collaborative version in which the group picked out favorite parts from each student’s story to include, harmonizing certain elements, such as the girl’s and the cat’s name, across all sections.

At that point, Hope Hall’s Marketing Manager Ms. Carol White Llewellyn recorded the story, with each student narrating the section he wrote, to create the video book embedded below entitled The Girl Who Helped the Underground Railroad.

The students enjoyed a viewing party on Monday, April 11, complete with popcorn, while discussing the results and commenting on how different they sound in a recording than when they hear their own voices. They’re looking forward to sharing the story with family and friends.