The Global Origins of Atlantic Slavery and the African Diaspora

Fifth Grade

The objective of this fifth grade lesson is to identify how characteristics of different physical and social environments placed constraints on the creation of music among African Slaves in the United States and recognize parallel changes in their own lives. Ideally a banjo player would be invited to perform as part of this lesson.

In day 1 of this lesson students discuss slavery of Africans and the sugar plantations in the Americas as well as map the locations discussed. Day two introduces students to the role music played for slaves and compare the banjo to the ngoni. Students discuss the cultural change that was forced upon the African slaves as a result of the Atlantic Slave Trade.

Assessment: Students write about a time when he or she had to move and leave something behind and what they did to adapt to the change. Review the writing assignment for students’ comprehension of adaptation to a new environment.

Downloadable Materials

Full Lesson Plan (pdf) includes:

  1. Lesson Plans
  2. Music Extension
  3. On-line resources for use with this lesson
  4. Supporting Materials
  5. Classroom Handouts, Worksheets and Visuals

Supplemental Materials (pdf) include:

  1. Supporting materials
  2. Classroom Handouts, Worksheets and Visuals

Powerpoint on African Rhythms: Music and Culture of Mali includes:

  1. Background, images, and maps about music in Mali