K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education


LEARN NC is no longer supported by the UNC School of Education and has been permanently archived. On February 1st, 2018, you will only be able to access these resources through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. We recommend that you print or download resources you may need before February 1st, 2018, after which, you will have to follow these instructions in order to access those resources.

Learn more

Related pages

  • Africans before captivity: Most Africans who came to North America were from West Africa and West Central Africa. This article describes some of the cultures and history of those regions prior to the beginning of the slave trade.
  • A forced migration: Reading lesson: In this lesson plan, students read an article about the slave trade in West Africa, which caused the kidnapping of millions of free West Africans by slave traders. The lesson plan includes reading strategies designed to prepare students for end-of-grade reading test.
  • Venture Smith describes his enslavement: Excerpt from a late eighteenth-century book by a freed slave in Connecticut. Describes his capture and enslavement at the age of six. Includes historical commentary.

Related topics


Please read our disclaimer for lesson plans.


The text of this page is copyright ©2010. See terms of use. Images and other media may be licensed separately; see captions for more information and read the fine print.

This activity will support students’ comprehension as they read the article “Africans before captivity.” A series of questions follows the graphic organizer.

Africans before captivity worksheet

In the PDF version of this lesson plan (see print and share menu), this worksheet appears on a separate page for ease of printing.

Location/physical features Culture Connections to American slavery
Ancient Ghana
Songhai Empire
Volga and Asante Empires
Yoruba and Fon Peoples
Bakongo (Kongo)


  1. What were the origins of the African slave trade?
  2. What were the effects of the slave trade on Africa?
  3. What were the effects of the slave trade on America?

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • World History

        • WH.2 Analyze ancient civilizations and empires in terms of their development, growth and lasting impact. WH.2.1 Compare how different geographic issues of the ancient period influenced settlement, trading networks and the sustainability of various ancient...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 11–12 — African American History

  • Goal 1: The learner will assess the influence of geography on the economic, political, and social development of slavery in the United States.
    • Objective 1.01: Analyze the economic, political, and social reasons for focusing the slave trade on Africa.
    • Objective 1.03: Assess the impact of the slave trade on Africa and the colonies.

Grade 8

  • Goal 1: The learner will analyze important geographic, political, economic, and social aspects of life in the region prior to the Revolutionary Period.
    • Objective 1.04: Evaluate the impact of the Columbian Exchange on the cultures of American Indians, Europeans, and Africans.