Harriet Tubman Triarama


Follow the Drinking Gourd! From the United States into Canada, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad helped slaves escape to freedom.


1. Research information about the life of Harriet Tubman and her role in the Underground Railroad in the United States and Canada.

2. Ground: Place white paper on a patterned surface. Remove the paper wrappers from earthy colors of Crayola® Crayons. Rub the sides of crayons on the paper to make an earth-textured pattern. With Crayola School Glue, attach your crayon rubbings on the inside of a recycled box lid or piece of cardboard to form the ground.

3. Sky: Cover your work area with recycled newspaper. Using Crayola Tempera Paint and Paint Brushes, paint the night sky on cardboard or oak tag. Dry.

4. With Crayola Scissors, cut a star from white paper. Glue it to the night sky. Add light rays if you like. Glue the night sky into a box lid. Attach folded cardboard to the back for more support if needed.

5. Cabin: Use corrugated cardboard or peel away the top layer of paper on cardboard to expose the corrugated layer inside. Cut the corrugated cardboard vertically to make a cabin and horizontally to form a roof.

6. With Crayola Markers, draw a door, windows, and color indentations on the roof. Glue the roof to the cabin. Glue the cabin in front of the painted sky.

7. Trees and shrubs: Using various shades of green Crayola Crayons, cover a few coffee filters. Draw lines of green and yellow washable marker on top of the crayoned area. Spray the filters with water. Dry.

8. Cut brown construction paper for tree trunks. Glue coffee filters to trunks and to the background of the diorama. Crumble other coffee filters into a ball and cover them with painted coffee filters to form shrubs. Glue them in front of the cabin.

9. Harriet Tubman: On white construction paper with Crayola Colored Pencils, draw a picture of a Harriet Tubman dressed in clothing typical of the 1800s. Use Crayola Multicultural Crayons or Multicultural Markers for her face and hands. Glue her to the ground in front of the cabin. If needed, glue a craft stick to her back for support.

10. Star Quilt: On white paper, sketch a patchwork quilt and color it with Crayola Fabric Crayons. Your design will transfer in reverse. Press hard so the colors will be bright when they are transferred to fabric. Brush away any flecks of crayon.

11. Cut white fabric that is slightly larger than your crayon design. Color transfers best on fabric that is 100% synthetic or has a high synthetic content. Choose a safe, large, flat location to iron. Make a bed of newspaper. Cover the newspaper with white paper. Place the fabric on the plain paper, face up. Lay your colored design face down on the fabric. Cover with more white paper.

12. Ask an adult to do these steps: Set an iron on cotton, with no steam, and preheat it. Place the iron in one spot, press down, then lift and move the iron to another spot. Repeat until the entire design has been transferred. Gently lift design paper. Cool.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Adult Assistance is required for this arts & crafts project.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.

Fabric Crayons or Melting Crayons—Melt crayons in a well-ventilated area. Overheating wax crayons during melting or ironing may release irritating fumes. Ironing should be done by an adult.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.


  • Celebrate Harriet Tubman Day on March 10. On a map of the United States and Canada, mark major routes on the Underground Railroad. Gather information about the role of Quakers and others who risked their lives to assist slaves in their quest for freedom.
  • Draw the Big Dipper (also known as the Drinking Gourd) which points the way to the North Star. These night sky symbols led the slaves to the Northern states and Canada, where they could live in freedom.
  • Research other famous Black Americans and construct a display for the school library that tells others about their deeds.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Paint Brushes
  • Crayons
  • Fabric Crayons
  • Multicultural Crayons
  • Colored Pencils
  • Markers
  • Multicultural Markers
  • Artista II® Washable Tempera Paint
  • No-Run School Glue
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Giant Floor Pad
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • recycled boxes
  • paper towels
  • iron (for adult use only!)
  • coffee filters
  • spray bottle filled with water
  • cardboard
  • container(s) of water
  • fabric (white synthetic)



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students study the history of the United States in the 1800s, including the issue of slavery.

  • Students learn that the Underground Railroad was a network of people and hiding places in the United States and Canada, set up to help escaping slaves reach freedom.

  • Students recognize the significance of Harriet Tubman's contributions to Black culture and U.S. and Canadian history by depicting her accomplishments in a triarama.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards