Teacher's notes: Darwin and Slavery

The Teacher’s Notes sections help you to make the most of using Darwin’s letters in the classroom. To accompany every subject specific or cross-curricula pack you will find:

  • An overview of each theme and of the types of activity.
  • A set of ‘Understanding Letters’ questions (with model answers) to test comprehension of letters in each activity.
  • A powerpoint presentation for each pack that is easy to adapt for use in the classroom.

Darwin and Slavery

Activities for: History, Citizenship, English, Design and Technology Key Stage 3 and 4

Darwin came from a family committed to the abolishment of slavery. His experiences of the slave plantations of Brazil confirmed his worst fears and in letters and diary entries he described the horror that he encountered.

Materials in this pack

This cross-curricular resource pack provides edited letters to and from Charles Darwin, contextual images, diary entries and selected texts to enable you to:
- examine the language of slavery
- discuss who and what was involved in the slave trade
- compare primary and secondary sources
- explore methods of campaigning

Activities include:

- design an anti-slavery medallion
- write an eye-witness account
- a creative writing exercise
- analyse jobs and products associated with the slave trade

Packs can be used on-line or materials can be downloaded.
The packs contain links to the Darwin Correspondence Project main site and to other relevant sources.