To gain understanding of the Middle Passage
To increase language and vocabulary skills
To encourage creative writing
Students will listen to a story about the Middle Passage
Students will respond to story in written or verbal form
(i.e. poetry, prose, or discussion)
1. The teacher will ask students to get as comfortable as they can within the confines of a classroom. Students should also close their eyes.
2. Read aloud the following (or something similar. Be creative but accurate): Imagine crossing the ocean aboard a small ship made to hold 200 people but packed with 1000 weeping and crying men, women, and even children like you. Each person was forced to fit into a small space no more than 22inches high and 24 inches wide about the size of your desk. There were no toilets, no lights, and little food. You could hardly;y move! You are chained to other people—some alive and some dead. When the ship rocked, people would fall on top of you or you would be thrown by the movement against the cracked wood of the ship. How do you feel about this? What would you do?
3. Instruct students to respond in written expression. Allow 20 minutes or more. Insist that there be no talking during this time—only writing.
4. Students will share written work with others in the class. This exercise sets a foundation for the unit and should be collected for it will be later displayed.
After students share their selections, read aloud Heritage Kids- How Kumi and Chanti Began Their Stories of African American History. In a comic book fashion, this book illustrates for young learners the slave trade and the middle passage.