Black Peoples of America & Slavery

KS3 outstanding lessons Slave trade and Civil Rights

As you know, there is no statutory requirement under the 2014 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.

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 lord’s family, makes an intriguing starter to any lesson on the slave trade.  They will enjoy ‘finding’ him in the portrait, thanks to 21st century...
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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 of adverts for the slaves ‘ arrest'. They work in pairs to come up with possible reasons why some slaves were caught and not others...
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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 film director on what actually happened in Montgomery in December 1955.  They are introduced to the standard, simplified, textbook version that all young Americans are...
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