Lesson Plan Title : Slavery Debate

Age Range: Grade 6 through Grade 8 (Middle School)

Overview and Purpose: In this activity, students debate the morality of slavery. They use critical thinking skills to evaluate commonly held beliefs held during the days of slavery.

Objective: The student will be able to work with other class members to debate whether slavery was or was not morally right.


Internet access for each group of students

Teacher created worksheet


In this debate, students will have to argue whether slavery was morally right or not. They only need to research information about the side they're going to argue. They should work with other members of their group to create a strong foundational argument for their "beliefs". After both sides have completed their research, help them moderate the debate.

Sample questions for research

1. What are five reasons why people justified the need for slaves?

2. What about the personal rights of the people who would be slaves?

3. How did they view the people who would be slaves?

4. What are five reasons why people should not be slaves?

Wrap Up:

Be sure to remind students that this is only a mock debate and doesn't necessarily reflect the views of the students on either side. Students should be respectful in their speech, but they should be allowed to express the views that were prevalent during the era of slavery.