Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
From the bookflap: "Winter's story begins with a peg-leg sailor who aids slaves on their escape on the Underground Railroad. While working for plantation owners, Peg Leg Joe teaches the slaves a song about the drinking gourd (the Big Dipper). A couple, their son, and two others make their escape by following the song's directions. Rich paintings interpret the strong story in a clean, primitive style enhanced by bold colors. The rhythmic compositions have an energetic presence that's compelling. A fine rendering of history in picturebook format."
Author & illustrator
Author: Jeanette Winter
The author is also the illustrator.
Topics from the book:
Visit each topic page for downloads, lessons, etc. specific to that topic.
Discovering the Underground Railroad
Junior Ranger Activity Book from the National Parks Service
Teachers' Guide to Follow the Drinking Gourd
Follow the Drinking Gourd, a song published in 1928 by H.B. Parks, encodes instructions for enslaved peoples to escape to freedom using the Underground Railroad. This site contains lyric meanings, astronomy information and activities, and worksheets for elementary, middle school, and high school students.
Why are we featuring this book?
Follow the Drinking Gourd is a book featured in Five in a Row, a literature-based unit study curriculum. Many families use FIAR for all but the grammar/reading and math, and others use it in conjunction with other resources. Above is information about the author and illustrator, story summaries, and links to lesson plans and websites that are great go-alongs for Follow the Drinking Gourd. Please note that these resources are meant to complement, not replace, the Five in a Row units. The Five in a Row volumes are inexpensive and well worth the investment.