KS3 outstanding lessons Slave trade and Civil Rights

As you know, there is no statutory requirement under the current curriculum to teach about Black Americans per se though slavery is still included. The following lessons on Black Peoples of the Americas and slavery have all been judged to be outstanding according to OFSTED criteria.

The title of this section reflects the fact that the new curriculum should not any longer be boxed up into just seven discrete silos called study units. Instead there should be fluidity between and across periods and places. What you will find here initially is a response to the attention paid to slavery recently with the recent bicentenary of the abolition of Britain’s involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The first lesson on the list asks pupils to imagine they are advising a film director. How should the Middle Passage be shot? The second, looks at the key question as to why the slave trade was abolished in 1807 when 20 years previously few would have predicted it. The third, links history and literacy through the use of poetry. The fourth, is a superb enquiry using original slave plantation records to encourage pupils to test and then generate hypotheses. The fifth, takes an overview approach in which pupils have to create their own living graph to look at the whole movement for Civil Rights as a long-term evolutionary movement , not a one-off event.

runaway family
Teaching KS3 History: Black Peoples of the Americas and slavery

The title of this section reflects the fact that the new curriculum should not any longer be boxed up  into…

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Free at Last? How far had the Civil Rights Movement come by 1963?

How far have Afro-Americans come in their struggle for equality over the last 160 years? With many schools operating a…

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Missing slave
Puzzle corner 3: the strange case of the missing slave

Pupils will find that this example of a black slave, painted out of an eighteenth century painting of a tobacco…

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runaway family
What made runaway slaves successful?

This short enquiry enables pupils to come up with their own ideas about runaway slaves working from first hand evidence…

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slave trade
Dread of the lash: How harsh were punishments on slave plantations?

This enquiry-led lesson really does make pupils think as historians. Not only are they introduced to authentic slave punishment records,…

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Reasons for the abolition of the slave trade: poacher turned gamekeeper

This lesson turns on a paradox. If the transatlantic slave trade was prospering in 1787, why was it abolished just…

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middle passage
How should we film the Middle passage? How accurate are Roots and Amistad?

This varied lesson challenges pupils to use evidence constructively to create their own version of conditions on the Middle Passage….

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What can we learn about the slave trade from just one poem?

This lesson uses a very simple source to help pupils to get a feel for some of the issues they…

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Rosa Parks – the true story

This open-ended enquiry explores one of the most abiding stories of American Civil Rights. Students are invited to advise a…

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