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Lesson Plan by Lauren Martin M.Ed.

The Slave Trade

Pixton Lesson Plan on The Slave Trade

Make American History come to life with comics!

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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map
  • Character Map
  • Timeline
  • Graphic Novel
  • Poster

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

Pixton Lesson Plan on The Slave Trade
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings American History to life with comics and storyboards.
Pixton Lesson Plan on The Slave Trade

Featured Props

The Slave Trade

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Bag
    Bag
  • Chains
    Chains
  • Gun
    Gun
  • Hut
    Hut
  • Map
    Map
  • Ship
    Ship
  • Shore
    Shore
  • Stage
    Stage
  • Tree
    Tree
  • Whip
    Whip
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

The Slave Trade

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

Research and/or discuss the major concepts, events and people related to the slave trade:

  • Triangle Trade
  • Middle Passage
  • Slavery
  • Overseer
  • Plantation
  • Slave Codes
  • Cash Crop
  • Dehumanization
  • Racism
  • Indentured Servant
  • Mercantilism
  • Runaway Slave
  • Slave Auction
  • Fugitive Slave Act
  • Uprising
  • Rebellion

Discuss the major events in the history of the slave trade:

  • 1619: The First 20 Slaves Arrive in America in Jamestown, Virginia.
  • 1641: Massachusetts became the first colony to officially legalize slavery.
  • 1793: Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act allowing slave owners to catch escaped slaves in the North.
  • 1794: Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. increasing cotton production and the demand for slaves.
  • 1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, which highlighted the evils of slavery and inspired many abolitionists.
  • 1854: Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which gave new state's the authority to choose if they would or would not have slavery.
  • 1861: The Civil War Begins, lasting four years and costing 600,000+ deaths.
  • 1863: Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in Confederate states.
  • 1865: Congress ratified the 13th Amendment, officially outlawing slavery.

Discuss historical figures important to the history of the slave trade:

  • Slaves
  • Slave Traders
  • Plantation Owners
  • Small Farm Owners
  • Merchants and Investors
  • Sailors
  • Abolitionists
  • Frederick Douglass
  • William Lloyd Garrison
  • David Walker
  • Nat Turner
  • Margaret Garner
  • Gabriel Prosser
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Elizabeth Cody Stanton
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Sarah and Angelina Grimke
  • Arthur and Lewis Tappan
  • John Brown
  • Martin R. Delaney
  • Dred Scott

Opening Discussion

Discuss the following:

  • What do you already know about the slave trade?
  • What have you learned about the history of slavery?
  • What do you know about abolitionists and the abolition movement?
  • What are the key dates and events in the history of the slave trade?
  • Who are the important historical figures of the slave trade and abolitionist movement?
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Major Concepts & Terms

    Complete after opening discussion.

    View Activity
  • Make a Character Map
    Character Map

    Complete after class reading, research project or discussion.

    View Activity
  • Make a Timeline
    Slave Trade Timeline

    Complete after class reading, research project or discussion.

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Graphic Novel (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Graphic Novel to illustrate a fictional story about the life of a slave, slave owner or abolitionist.

  • Extension / Modification
    Poster (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Poster to illustrate the opposing perspectives concerning slavery and the slave trade.

  • Extension / Modification
    Mind Map (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Mind Map to illustrate the 5Ws of the slave trade.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Discuss the following:

  • What is one new thing you learned about the slave trade?
  • Were you surprised by anything you learned? Why or why not?
  • What did you find most interesting? Why?
  • What more would you like to learn about important events and people of the slave trade?
  • How could you learn more about the slave trade?
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: The Slave Trade 1 Major Concepts & Terms

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

Research and/or discuss the major concepts and terms of the slave trade:

  • Triangle Trade
  • Middle Passage
  • Slavery
  • Overseer
  • Plantation
  • Slave Codes
  • Cash Crop
  • Dehumanization
  • Racism
  • Indentured Servant
  • Mercantilism
  • Runaway Slave
  • Slave Auction
  • Fugitive Slave Act
  • Uprising
  • Rebellion

Instructions

Create a Mind Map or Storyboard to describe at least four major concepts of the slave trade:

  • Identify the word in the panel title.
  • Write a detailed definition of the word.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: The Slave Trade 2 Character Map

Featured Layouts

  • Character Map

Intro

Have students read about, research or discuss historical figures important to the history of the slave trade:

  • Slaves
  • Slave Traders
  • Plantation Owners
  • Small Farm Owners
  • Merchants and Investors
  • Sailors
  • Abolitionists
  • Frederick Douglass
  • William Lloyd Garrison
  • David Walker
  • Nat Turner
  • Margaret Garner
  • Gabriel Prosser
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Elizabeth Cody Stanton
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Sarah and Angelina Grimke
  • Arthur and Lewis Tappan
  • John Brown
  • Martin R. Delaney
  • Dred Scott

Instructions

Create a Character Map for at least three historical figures of the slave trade:

  • It's important to add as many details as you can to all the parts of the map.
  • Include an appropriate illustration based on the character's accomplishments.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Character Map

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The character map is fully developed with details that add significant meaning. The character map is complete; descriptions and details are thoughtful and accurate. The character map is complete; descriptions are basic, but accurate. The character map is incomplete; basic descriptions with little relevant details. The character map is incomplete; descriptions are short or inaccurate.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• significant details that make characters unique and dynamic
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• characters are similar; includes relevant details
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• characters similar to description
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• characters vaguey looks like description
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
• characters do not look like description
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is appropriate; lacks variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• simple language; vague and lacks purpose
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• inappropriate use of language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• panels are missing
Conventions Complete sentences, spelling, punctuation, grammar (e.g.,
use of pronouns; agreement; verb tense
• correct sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation; may include some errors in complex structures • few errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors do not interfere with meaning • occasional errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors rarely interfere with meaning • several errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors may make parts hard to follow • repeated errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar often make the writing hard to understand
Total
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: The Slave Trade 3 Slave Trade Timeline

Featured Layouts

  • Timeline

Intro

Discuss the major events in the history of the slave trade:

  • 1619: The First 20 Slaves Arrive in America in Jamestown, Virginia.
  • 1641: Massachusetts became the first colony to officially legalize slavery.
  • 1793: Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act allowing slave owners to catch escaped slaves in the North.
  • 1794: Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. increasing cotton production and the demand for slaves.
  • 1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, which highlighted the evils of slavery and inspired many abolitionists.
  • 1854: Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which gave new state's the authority to choose if they would or would not have slavery.
  • 1861: The Civil War Begins, lasting four years and costing 600,000+ deaths.
  • 1863: Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in Confederate states.
  • 1865: Congress ratified the 13th Amendment, officially outlawing slavery.

Instructions

Create a Timeline to illustrate at least 4 significant events during the slave trade:

  • Identify the event date in the panel title.
  • Write a detailed description of the event.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

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