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Levi Coffin House
Activities: Primary Elementary, Grades K - 2

A visit to the Levi Coffin House State Historic Site and the use of this packet will, in part, fulfill the following requirements from the Indiana Curriculum Proficiency Guide:

Language Arts:

  • Write for different purposes and audiences producing a variety of forms, including picture books; and personal and informational messages with emphasis on content.
  • Communicate orally with people of all ages by listening and responding.

Social Studies:

Grade 1 - Geographic Relations:  Relate locations on maps and gloves to locations on the earth; name and locate home community, nearby city, body of water, or other features on maps and globes.


Whole number computation and estimation.


Grades K, 1 & 2 - The student will produce artwork that expresses personal ideas (interests), and feelings.


Language Arts
  1. Make a ten page picture book of a slave trying to escape and reach the Levi Coffin House. Each page should be one picture of the escape, such as hiding in a wagon, being helped by a free person, or being chased by slave hunters. Older students may include short sentences that go with each picture.
  2. After your visit to the Levi Coffin State Historic Site, think back to what the house looked like. Make a list of differences between the Levi Coffin House and your house. Compare and contrast items that are found in both houses such as a stove, beds, chairs, and stairways.
  3. Discussion: American Freedom
    People who live in the United States are able to go to school for free and live and worship where they want.
    1. What other freedoms do Americans have?
    2. Did the slaves have these same freedoms?
    3. How do your freedoms affect others?
Social Studies

Find a map of the United States. Find North Carolina and Indiana. Answer the following questions:

  1. How many miles is it from the southern border of North Carolina to Fountain City (Newport), Indiana?
  2. How much further is it to the Canadian border?
  3. Was this a long way to travel, especially in the 19th century? Would you have traveled that far to be in a free state?
  1. If there are 3 runaway slaves hiding in the Coffins' house and 2 more runaway slaves come to the house, how many total runaway slaves are hiding in the house?
  2. If a runaway slave traveled 3 miles from Newport to the next town, but later had to travel back to Newport, how many total miles did the runaway slave travel?
  3. If there are 7 runaway slaves staying in the Coffins' house and each runaway slave drinks 3 glasses of mile per day, how many total glasses of milk do the runaway slaves drink in one day?
  4. Levi Coffin was born in 1798 and married Catharine in 1824. How old was Levi when he got married?
  5. A runaway slave is 10 miles south of Levi Coffin's house and will travel that distance tonight. The slave traveled 14 miles last night and 8 miles the night before. Once the runaway slave reaches the Levi Coffin House, how many total miles did the slave travel to get there?
  6. On Monday, 2 runaway slaves came through the house; on Tuesday, 5 slaves came; on Wednesday, 8 slaves came; on Thursday, 11 slaves came. Based on a logical progression of numbers, how many slaves came through the house on Friday?
  1. Draw a picture of the American flag and answer the following questions:
    1. What does the flag mean to you?
    2. What do you think it stands for?
    3. Do you think slaves would have agreed with you?
    4. What did the flag mean to them?
  2. After your visit to the Levi Coffin State Historic Site, draw a picture of the inside and outside of the Levi Coffin House. Try to remember what it looked like and what you saw.
    1. Where was the secret door?
    2. Where was the water well?
    3. What was the house made of?

    Include these things in your drawing.


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Did You Know?

Richmond was once known as "the lawnmower capital" because of the lawn mowers manufactured here from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century. Manufacturers included Motomower, Dille-McGuire and F&N.