Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

NOTE TO EDUCATORS: This movie referenced in this lesson plan discusses the violence and suffering inflicted on Africans and African Americans during the slave trade and slavery in the Americas.

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Slavery Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Slavery, and supports the standard of describing the introduction, impact, and role of slavery in the colonies. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Ask students:

  • What do you know about slavery?
  • What questions do you have about slavery?


  • Read the description on the Slavery topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Laws and Customs,” “Way Back When,” or “Famous Faces.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the Slavery Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about slavery while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Make a movie that describes the role of slavery in the Civil War.
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying the lasting effects of slavery after the Civil War and today. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a museum exhibit about the legacy of slavery in the United States. 

More to Explore 

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of slavery in the United States with these topics: Civil War Causes, Underground Railroad, Juneteenth, and Reconstruction.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments