Witnessing the African slave trade

This lesson sequence for Year 8 students was written by Stephen John Roberts from The Queen Katherine School in Kendal.

Overall enquiry question

What would a traveller to the West African coast during the late 17th and 18th centuries have witnessed?

Learning objectives

Students will acquire and/or practice the following skills:

  • interpreting original sources
  • forming and testing hypotheses
  • producing narratives and explanations based on evidence
  • working independently and collaboratively

Students will acquire the following knowledge:

  • geographical and cultural history of West Africa during the late 17th century and early 18th century
  • why Europeans went to West Africa and what they did when they got there
  • how Africans and Europeans interacted
  • why forts were used
  • how slaves were acquired and transported
  • how the slave trade affected people


Lesson plans (PDF, 0.02Mb)

Student’s workbook (PDF, 2.79Mb)

Whiteboard slides (PPT, 19.18Mb)

Sources posters (PPT, 2.06Mb)

Sources for lesson 2 (PPT, 14.31Mb)

Teacher’s notes (PDF, 0.58Mb)

Contextual essay (PDF, 0.02Mb)