Crossing the Atlantic: stories and craft - International Slavery Museum on tour

The International Slavery Museum is heading on the road bringing some of the history, objects, and stories straight to you. In this half day session students will engage with historical sources, participate in storytelling and craftivism. 

This unique learning experience aims to show how significant events from the past shapes and continues to shape the world around us. Our amazing learning bases across Liverpool will give students a sense of place and an understanding of the rich local Black communities which have been affected by this history, boosting cultural capital. These sessions will feed into our Waterfront Transformation Project and students will have an exciting opportunity to be part of the development of our new museum. 

Dates and locations

The workshops take place 9.30am-12pm on the following dates:

  • 18 April at the Caribbean Centre, 1 Amberley Street, Liverpool L8 1YJ
  • 25 April at Liverpool John Moores University, Mount Pleasant Campus Education Building, Maryland Street, Liverpool, L1 9DE, room EDN 3.01 
  • 9 May at the Caribbean Centre, 1 Amberley Street, Liverpool L8 1YJ 
  • 16 May at Liverpool John Moores University, Mount Pleasant Campus Education Building, Maryland Street, Liverpool, L1 9DE, room EDN 3.01 
  • 13 June at the Caribbean Centre, 1 Amberley Street, Liverpool L8 1YJ 
  • 20 June at Liverpool John Moores University, Mount Pleasant Campus Education Building, Maryland Street, Liverpool, L1 9DE, room EDN 3.01  
  • 11 and 13 July at the Caribbean Centre, 1 Amberley Street, Liverpool L8 1YJ

Workshop details

This workshop has two sections -

  • Crossing the Atlantic: an Anansi story
  • Crafting for change: legacies of transatlantic slavery

Crossing the Atlantic: an Anansi story

This immersive storytelling workshop for key stage 2 introduces students to the themes of Transatlantic slavery such as belonging, culture, and remembrance. Join Anansi on a journey from Ghana across the Atlantic as he meets important friends, plays games and tricks, and ends up our very own classrooms!

You’ve heard of Spider-Man, but do you know who inspired the story? Anansi is the god of stories and tricks can appear as a spider or as a boy. Originating in Ghanaian folklore, his stories have spread across the world and are still loved to this day. This storytelling session will bring children into the world of Anansi, allowing them to participate in the story through call and response, music, movement and even having a chance to play a trick or two!

Throughout the story students will explore different stages of his journey from Ghana to the middle passage, the Caribbean and his eventual arrival in Liverpool.

This storytelling workshop is a fantastic way to embed the key themes of resistance, cultural continuity, and remembrance. The activities will reiterate the key messages that personal perspective, imagination, and self-belief are central to the story of enslavement. Children will engage with the history of transatlantic slavery and its legacies. New vocabulary will be introduced with the aim of building empathy and understanding of fundamental British values. 

Children are encouraged throughout the session to share their ideas and perspectives. The ideas and artwork created by students will be used in this year’s Slavery Remembrance Day programme.  

Crafting for change: legacies of transatlantic slavery

Transatlantic slavery involved the forced migration and enslavement of millions of people and the actions taken in the past impacts the world that we live in today. This workshop gets children hands-on with museum objects, using these, and several crafting activities to investigate and respond to the connection between Transatlantic slavery and some of its legacies. 

Have you ever wondered why Liverpool looks the way it does today? How the Liver Building, Cunard and Townhall were built? This session aims to introduce students to local Liverpool’s history and how the city we know today was shaped by Transatlantic slavery. 

Using the tool of crafts to empower children to explore and respond to the legacies of slavery, learners are encouraged to challenge misconceptions and change beliefs. A member of our learning team will create a space that empowers discussion enabling students to discuss and respond to race and racism in a responsible way. They will be introduced to new vocabulary with the aim of building empathy and understanding of fundamental British values. 

Students will gain valuable object handling skills as well as explore and critique primary source material. This unique experience in a local Liverpool learning base also gives students a sense of place and a richer understanding of the histories and communities they are a part of.

The artwork created by students will be used in this year’s Slavery Remembrance Day walk of remembrance celebration through the city centre.

Information for teachers

Please note that these are outreach sessions held in either our Liverpool learning bases or in your school. Please note that we are offering a promotional 50% an in-venue tour of the International Slavery Museum when you book this package, please email lois.south@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk for details. We will send venue maps, risk assessments and terms and conditions after booking. 

Optional pre-visit activities and resources are available to complement this workshop. They offer important context and guidance for teachers and pupils. The resources challenge pre-existing misconceptions, explore life in Africa before transatlantic slavery, teach appropriate terminology, and outline a code of conduct for respectful engagement with sensitive content. We provide a straightforward lesson plan and all the necessary resources to do this as downloadable pdfs. 

Image © Mina Bihi Adjustment Bureau

Curriculum links

History

  • Students are encouraged to ask perceptive questions and think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop judgements.
  • Help increase coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.
  • Increase understanding of the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
  • Understand the connections between local, regional, national and international history, as well as between political, economic and social history.
  • Study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality.

Relationships education 

  • That others’ families, either in school or in the wider world, sometimes look different from their family, but that they should respect those differences and know that other children’s families are also characterised by love and care.
  • How important friendships are in making us feel happy and secure, and how people choose and make friends.
  • The characteristics of friendships, including mutual respect, truthfulness, trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness, generosity, trust, sharing interests and experiences and support with problems and difficulties.
  • About different types of bullying (including cyberbullying), the impact of bullying, responsibilities of bystanders (primarily reporting bullying to an adult) and how to get help. 
  • What a stereotype is, and how stereotypes can be unfair, negative or destructive.

Philosophy for children

  • Recognise the need to show awareness of the listener when discussing challenging subjects, by explaining ideas, listening carefully and responding with appropriateness.
  • Understand how the past has been interpreted and represented in different ways by different people.
  • Improve children’s rigorous, critical and creative thinking.

English

  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others.
  • using Standard English confidently in a range of formal and informal contexts, including classroom discussion.
  • giving short speeches and presentations, expressing their own ideas and keeping to the point.

Reading comprehension:

  • Listening to and discussing a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks.
  • Increasing their familiarity with a wide range of books, including fairy stories, myths and legends, and retelling some of these orally.
  • Drawing inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence.
  • Predicting what might happen from details stated and implied.
  • Retrieve and record information from non-fiction.
  • Identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning.
  • Participate in discussions about books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, building on their own and others’ ideas and challenging views courteously.
  • Distinguish between statements of fact and opinion.
  • Provide reasoned justifications for their views.

Fundamental British Values

  • An appreciation of and respect for different cultural traditions. 
  • Build an understanding of respect, tolerance and freedom, as well as individual and collective responsibilities to protecting fundamental rights.
  • Enable students to contribute to a more welcoming, tolerant and inclusive environment.

Art and Design 

  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design.
  • Know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand the significance of the transatlantic slave trade and its impact on today’s society
  • Be introduced to Black role models and celebrate their achievements and excellence
  • Be introduced to the work of young contemporary activists
  • Learn what ‘tools’ they can use to help challenge racism and raise awareness

Skills

  • Use historical terms and concepts in a sophisticated and empathetic way
  • Identify significant events, make connections and draw contrasts
  • Analyse primary sources, including reliability and bias
  • Develop their visual literacy skills by learning how to look for clues in works of art and decipher what these clues may mean.
  • Improve their speaking and listening skills in a group discussion context.
  • Develop cultural awareness of Black British and Afro-Caribbean cultures.

Attitudes

  • Increase confidence in identifying and challenging racism
  • Appreciate a variety of perspectives when leaning about historical events
  • Learn about artefacts in a museum context and as primary sources of investigation
  • Understand how to treat and respect the objects they are working with
  • See Liverpool's built environment as a resource for historical research to help understand legacies of slavery.
  •  Appreciate a variety of perspectives when leaning about historical events

Enjoyment, inspiration, creativity

  • Students enjoy themselves and are enriched and inspired by their experience.
  • Students feel a sense of achievement and wellbeing by participating in creative activities. 
  • Students feel inspired to create art.

Activity, behaviour, progression

  • Students feel motivated to progress their creative practise both at school and at home.
  • Students will feel empowered to continue to challenge race, racism in their everyday lives and communities.