The basis of the lesson materials is formed by 7 lessons:
- The departure
- Western Africa along the coast
- Western Africa the middle passage
- West Indies along the coast
- The return voyage to Middelburg
- Finalizing – A new voyage
The subject of trans-Atlantic slave trade is introduced through a general introduction and background information about the general subject. The seven lessons are divided on smaller segments: sub-lessons. Each portion sheds light on a different aspect of the voyage. For lessons 1-6 an extra subject has been added ‘Extra’ with enrichment lessons: viewing assignments, research assignments and discussion assignments. Lesson 7 contains processing lessons en lesson suggestions.
The largest portion of the website is formed by the lessons on the various subjects concerning slave trade and the trans-Atlantic triangle voyage. The website additionally contains web-tips, explanation about the project, an instructor manual including answers to the questions and a colophon. On the website we work with texts, illustrations and moving images.
The lessons connect to the various disciplines in the educational system. In the lessons various subjects are on offer: world orientation/history/geography, language, math and social studies. Specifically in this last subject the current state of affairs surrounding human trafficking is highlighted. These lessons form the basis of group discussions.
The worskheets contain for instance a math exercise about purchasing supplies, a language exercise for reading comprehension or creating a contract, a historically oriented exercise that pays attention to the background of a portion of the voyage (such as life on board), a geographical exercise in which the length of a portion of the voyage needs to be calculated or on the geographical characteristics of a region, an exercise that pays attention to the social and ethical aspects of the events, etc.
For processing the information, worksheets can be used. The worksheets are offered as a pfd link for each segment of the voyage and can be easily printed.
For lessons 1-6 an extra subject has been added ‘Extra’ with enrichment lessons: viewing assignments, research assignments and discussion assignments. Four lessons in the project contain discussion assignments relating to the subject of the lesson. The discussion can be held as an introduction to the subject, allowing the pupils to think about the subject themselves.
You may also decide to hold the discussion after completing the worksheets related to the subject. The pupils then already know more about the subject and can apply the knowledge they have gained during the discussion.
The discussion is structured in two segments: ‘then’ and ‘now’.
The segment ‘then’ contains information about the subject of the lessons with a few questions, which may lead to a discussion. The questions can serve as a departure point for a discussion. Naturally you can depart from these questions, this fully depends on the discussion that arises.
The segment ‘now’ contains information about the subject of the lesson that still exists today and can be compared to what the situation was in ‘then’. Based on these questions a discussion may arise. Here you feel free to depart from these questions, this fully depends on the discussion that arises.
Classroom discussions on sensitive topics
It can be usefull to search on the internet for help on classroom discussions on sensitive or difficult topics in classrooms. Below you will find two exemples:
- Difficult dialogs. At the bottom of the article you will find some additional resources on this subject. Center for Teaching – Vanderbilt University.
- Ten Tips for Facilitating Classroom Discussions on Sensitive Topics. To provide teachers with a framework for tackling sensitive topics, the writers have compiled a tip sheet to use when facilitating discussions or teaching about sensitive topics in the classroom.