Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Slavery through the Ages

Chet Geering


Students work in groups to define slavery in three different cultures. Students will be given information on slavery in Greek, Roman, and African cultures, and then after some discussion, they will be asked to answer questions on the topic.


The student understands significant aspects of the economic, political, and social systems of ancient Greece and the cultural contributions of that civilization.

The student understands the significant features of the political, economic, and social systems of ancient Rome and the cultural legacy of that civilization.


-Textbook WORLD HISTORY THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE, 2001 New York, Glencoe McGraw Hill (or similar text)
-Handout (see attached file)
-Questions to be answered by students (see attached file)
-Access to copy machine
-Chalk or white board markers
-Chalk board or white board


1. Copy handouts for this lesson, enough for each student to have a copy (with all three sections).
2. Read Chapter Review on the Ancient World. (Have students do the same).
3. Cut handouts into three parts.


1. Make enough copies of the handout provided for each member of the class.

2. Before class, cut the handouts mentioned in number one into three parts, separating the information on Greece, Rome, and Africa.

3. Ask students to break into three equal groups.

4. Have each group work together to create their definition of slavery.

5. Remind students that this is a World History class, and their definition of slavery should come from the materials already covered (Greece, Rome, and Africa).

6. Once the groups are finished, have one student from each group read his/her definition while the teacher records the information on the board.

7. Once all of the groups have given their definitions, discuss the material presented with the class, making corrections as needed.

8. Take the cut-up handouts and distribute them to the class. However, give the first group only the information on Greece, the second group only information on Rome, and the third group only information on Africa.

9. Ask the students to read the material silently and then discuss it only within their group.

10. Monitor the groups to see that they stay on task and when they have had enough time. This usually takes about fifteen minutes.

11. Once the groups are done, pass out the questions and have the groups work together to answer the questions.

12. Again monitor the groups to make sure they stay on task.

13. Discuss the assignment by asking each group the questions and record the information on the board. I usually only let a person answer one question until everybody in the group has answered at least one.

14. Discuss the material as student questions arise.

15. Before class is over, distribute a copy of the information for all civilizations to each student.

16. For the next class, have students answer the same questions for a homework assignment for the two civilizations that they did not complete in class.


1. Students will discuss the material on slavery in class with each other and the instructor. In this discussion the teacher will guide them to make sure they include and understand the economic, political, and social aspects of slavery in each culture.
2. Students will answer a series of short answer questions with their peers to show that they can work together and manage the information in a timely manner.
3. Students will answer a series of short answer questions by themselves, homework, to demonstrate that they understand the economic, political, and social aspect of slavery in each culture.
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