Students will learn that the slave trade occurred between West African tribes and various European nations, including Britain, Portugal, and Spain.

Students will learn that the neighborhood of Georgetown used to be a small port that, along with Alexandria, was one of the northern most locations for the trading of slaves in the United States.

Students will draw a map of the slave trade using arrows to show how enslaved persons were originally transported into the country.

Students will learn that the importation into the United States ended in 1808. 


[Applicable DCPS content and skills standards as well as Common Core standards should be listed by number and include the actual text of the standard.]


[Here, you should include a list of primary and secondary sources as well as other materials you will be using in the class. Attach all handouts and readings you will use for this lesson to the curricular unit.]

Some 8,000,000 people were sold into slavery from Africa over the course of about 400 years. Source: Map 1: Overview of the slave trade out of Africa, 1500-1900. Map. From Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database website. http://www.slavevoyages.org/tast/assessment/intro-maps/01.jsp (accessed July 18, 2013)

Advertisements were used to help sell slaves once they arrived in various ports around North American. The Port of Georgetown was one such port, as was Charleston, South Carolina where this "shipment" arrived in 1769. Source: Deas, John and David. A Cargo of Ninety-four Prime, Healthy Negroes. Fine Print Illustration. Charleston, South Carolina: Publishing Company, July 24, 1769. http://www.picturehistory.com/product/id/3518 (accessed July 18, 2013)

Slave pen on south side of O Street in Georgetown. Source: Mead, Thomas, Jr., Old Slave Mart. Photograph. City: Washington, DC. "Autumn of 1904", Georgetown Peabody Room.

Warm Up

Students will break into groups and each will represent one of the following: United States, Dominican Republic, Brazil, West Africa.  West Africa will possess all of the slaves at the beginning of the warm-up and trade each until the supply is exhausted.  Then, each player will shift to being an American port or inland trading post: Georgetown, Alexandria, Charleston, New Orleans, Atlanta and trade the cards until another group of students, pulled aside earlier and trading marbles) begins to tell the baseball trading group that it must stop the activity.

New Material

The slave trade map above will be introduced after a general review of where each continent is located on the classroom globe.  The white board display at the front of the class will be used to explain the detailed information on the slave trade map, advertisement, and photographs of the O Street slave pen.


Students will break into pairs to think about and discuss the facts they have learned about the Atlantic slave trade.  The students will then write a 1-2 paragraph reflection on the slave advertisement with special focus on any of the words that provoked them emotionally or intellectually.


Formative - Essays will be assessed to determine if students responded with curiousity and/or incredulity that an actual slave pen once served the economic interests of Georgetown residents (CP - change over time)

 Maps will be informally evaluated for accuracy and to a lesser extent, precision (contextualization)

Closure and Reflection

A class discussion will conclude the lesson and students will be asked to share their reactions in a whole-group setting.