Slave Ships

Lesson Plan

Created by Kirstie Mahas

the slave ship Brookes

Core Theme: 

Peopling the New World – African American History

Grade Level: 


Estimated Duration of Lesson: 

2 class periods (50 minutes)

Standards & Indicators:

Study Skills and Methods #2:  Use primary and secondary sources to answer questions.

Primary Source Used: 

Thomas Clarkson (1808) The History of the Rise, Progress & Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African slave-trade by the British Parliament. OHS Archives/Library. Collection Number: V 326.1 C 561 h 1808 v. 2; Image Number: TAH0855.

Lesson Summary:

After analyzing the  , students will discuss the point of view of the resources using a compare and contrast diagram.

Instructional Steps to Implement the Lesson:

Students will work with a partner to analyze the Brookes engraving or the Brookes text using a .  After analyzing the resource in pairs, the students will share and discuss their responses as a whole class.  As a class, the students will compile their responses from the spiral questions in a t-chart, which can be done on a Smartboard.  Following the whole group discussion, students will return to work with their partner to complete the compare and contrast diagram to take a closer look at the point of view from which the resources were created.  After completing the organizer, each student will respond to the following prompt:            
Which resource, the engraving or text, do you feel does a better job at reflecting the point of view and beliefs of the creator?  Why?

Points to Develop:

  • easier to understand overcrowding on the slave ship through the engraving
  • engraving might not make sense if not put in context of the slave trade
  • the numbers given in the text help explain the overcrowding
  • difficult to visualize the overcrowding when only reading the text
  • resources work best together 
  • the creator of both sources did not approve of the conditions on the ship
  • the creator of both sources was trying to educate other people about the conditions on the slave ships

Post-Assessment and Scoring Guideline:

Students will write a paragraph response to the prompt.  Each paragraph response will be evaluated for content as well as complete sentences.  The response will be worth 10 points total. 

Materials Needed by Teacher:

     1)  Brookes Engraving and Text in Smartnotebook file
     2)  t-chart in Smartnotebook file
     3)  writing prompt in Smartnotebook file

Materials Needed by Students: 

      1)  copy of Brookes Engraving and Text
      2)  spiral questions
      2)  compare and contrast diagram