Africa & the Slave Trade PDF


Africa & the Slave Trade is a history unit where you learn about the African kingdoms and empires of the pre-colonial period from about 1700 to 1880 and the slave trade that also occurred during this period. This is a hands-on unit meant for all ages to learn together.


Africa & the Slave Trade is the seventh unit in the Colonial History course. This unit is about kingdoms and empires in Africa from about 1700 to 1880 including Morocco, Ethiopia, Benin, Angola, European settlements in Angola and South Africa, and many others. The final section of the unit is about the Atlantic slave trade.

This book is for adult mentors to use as a resource when planning lessons, not a textbook for students.

This unit has sections on:

  • Northern Sultanates
  • Eastern Empires
  • West Coast Kingdoms
  • Atlantic Slave Trade

Layers of Learning is activity-based and this unit guide includes many hands-on ways to learn about the Africa & the Slave Trade. Here are a few things you will find to do inside this unit:

  • Map some of pre-colonial Africa’s major kingdoms
  • Play a printable board game about the attempted conquest of Morocco
  • Craft your own citadel for Cairo, Egypt
  • Dress like a Barbary pirate
  • Make a puppet of the leader of Kanem-Bornu
  • Paint a memorial stick for the Battle of Adwa in Ethiopia
  • Color and cut out figures of the Boer settlers in South Africa
  • Make a paper craft in the style of Abomey applique
  • Make a 3-D portrait of Queen Nzinga of Ndongo
  • And much more!

Layers of Learning History units include Library Lists of books on the topic, a family read-aloud suggestion, hands-on activities, printables and paper crafts, sidebars for extra learning, and tools to help you assess your student’s progress and mastery. Learn more about how Layers of Learning works.

See Inside

This is a view of a two page spread from Africa & the Slave Trade:

Africa & the Slave Trade spread

This unit, like all of Layers of Learning is pick-and-choose so the mentor can decide which Explorations to choose from among many options.


This unit was written to be used for a month but contains plenty of content for many more weeks of learning if you choose. This is a pick-and-choose curriculum, meant to be cycled back to in the future when your child is older. As such, it intentionally includes far more material than you can possibly cover in a month.

Africa & the Slave Trade is also part of the overall Colonial History course, the third Year of the four year Layers of Learning History cycle. If you use the program in order, it will take you through the history of the world from ancient times through the 21st century. However, each unit stands alone and can be used independently of any other unit.

Printable Pack

This unit comes with a downloadable Printable Pack that includes all the student worksheets. The printables can be copied as many times as needed for your family or class.

Africa & the Slave Trade Printable Pack

You can download the Printable Pack from your receipt or from your account at Layers of Learning. This printable pack includes 20 pages.

Extra Resources

This unit comes with extra weblinks and a YouTube video playlist on the Colonial History Resources page.


PDF Download








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