Triangular Trade: Africa, Europe, and America

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Atlantic Slave Trade

The Triangular Trade


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Activity Overview

In this activity, students will create a storyboard depicting the chain of events that transpired throughout the Triangular Trade. Students will represent the interactions and exchanges in Africa, Europe, and America and describe what each continent imported and exported throughout this trading process.

The Triangular Trade

  1. British Goods Sent to Africa
    A cargo ship would leave Great Britain with valuable goods such as rum, furniture, weapons, cloth, salt, or other goods. The ship would set sail for Africa.

  2. Goods Exchanged for Slaves
    The ship would arrive in Africa with the cargo from Britain. The goods would then be exchanged for African slaves. The slaves would then be tightly packed onto the ship.

  3. Middle Passage Across the Atlantic
    Slaves would then be confined to horrific conditions while on the slave ships. It is estimated that up to 25% of slaves died during the voyage due to disease, starvation, injury, or suicide.

  4. Slaves Arrive in America
    For slaves who survived the Middle Passage, they would be unloaded at a trade port in exchange for rum, tobacco, molasses, or other goods.

  5. Slave Auctions
    Once the slaves were unloaded, they would be separated from their families and auctioned off to plantation owners and others who desired a slave. Most slaves would never see their families again.

  6. Ship Returns to Britain
    The ship would then return to Britain with the rum, molasses, tobacco, or other goods exchanged for the slaves. The Triangle would be complete, and once again the ship would return back to Africa for more slaves and goods.

Extended Activity: For an extended activity, students can use the information from the activity above and represent them through the use of primary source documents. Students may use either a single individual's perspective from a trading ship, or use a variety of resources from each continent. Students will include parts of their research into a storyboard with representations of each primary source.

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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard analyzing the effects of the Slave Trade.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the titles, identify each event in order.
  3. In the description box, describe the event.
  4. Create an illustration using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.
Blank Cell with Title-Description


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Atlantic Slave Trade

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