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We regret to inform you that this is no longer a thing. "Follow the Drinking Gourd" was based on an AskERIC lesson plan, which is no longer available on the web. However, Education World offers a number of lesson plans and activities specifically developed for Women's History Month. 

We encourage you to visit the Women's History lesson plan page.

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Follow the
Drinking Gourd



  • Arts & Humanities
    Language Arts, Fine Arts, Visual Arts
  • Science
    Space Science
  • Social Studies
    History (U.S.), Regions/Cultures, Sociology


  • Pre-K
  • K-2

Brief Description

Students create an art project based on "Follow the Drinking Gourd," a song used to guide slaves to freedom during the Civil War.


Students will

  • read a picture book to learn the story of how Harriet Tubman and Peg Leg Joe led slaves to freedom.
  • learn the "Drinking Gourd" song,
  • learn how the "Drinking Gourd" song led slaves to freedom,
  • create an art project "map" of the drinking gourd.


women's history, slavery, Civil War, Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman, Big Dipper, black history

Materials Needed

  • Follow the Drinking Gourd: An AskERIC Lesson Plan
  • "Follow the Drinking Gourd," by Jeanette Winter
  • Educator's Guide to "Follow the Drinking Gourd" (optional)
  • 9 x 12 sheets of black construction paper
  • white color crayon
  • glue or glue stick
  • star stickers
  • pen

Lesson Plan

The entire lesson plan is available online at Follow the Drinking Gourd: An AskERIC Lesson Plan.


Assess students on the finished art project, student participation during discussion and singing, and ability to recall information by answering questions after reading the story.

Lesson Plan Source


Submitted By

Cara Bafile

National Standards


  • GRADES K - 4
    NA-M.K-4.1 Singing, Alone and With Others, a Varied Repertoire of Music
    NA-M.K-4.9 Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture
    NA-M.K-4.8 Understanding Relationships Between Music, Other Arts, and Disciplines Outside the Arts
    NA-M.K-4.9 Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts

  • GRADES K - 4
    NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.K-4.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures



  • GRADES K - 4
    NS.K-4.4 Earth and Space Science



  • GRADES K - 4
    NSS-USH.K-4.1 Living and Working together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago
    NSS-USH.K-4.3 The History of the United States: Democratic Principles and Values and the People from Many Cultures Who Contributed to Its Cultural, Economic, and Political Heritage

See more lessons at Celebrate Women's History Month!



Originally published 3/8/2002
Last updated 02/21/2017