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Elmina Castle

Elmina, Ghana 
Duration: 2hrs - 2hrs 15min

Session Goals:

  • To learn more about the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Elmina

  • To explore personal agency to address issues that impact us and our communities

Materials Needed:


Introduction (2min)

Elmina Castle is the first and oldest European trading post on the west coast of Africa. Built by the Portuguese in 1482 for trade in gold and ivory, the castle was later converted into dungeons to hold Africans captives before they were forced on ships that travelled across the Atlantic ocean.  

Play: Elmina Castle (10min)


This video may be triggering and contains sensitive subject matter. It describes extreme physical violence, sexual abuse and assault. Students may want to unpack feelings that may come up for them outside of the classroom. Here is a list of resources that can be shared. 

Video Debrief (15min)


​Jelly and Yoshi were pretty devastated after walking through Elmina Castle. It's likely students are feeling a wide range of emotions as well. 



  • Is anyone open to sharing how they feel right now (educator could role model their thoughts or feelings before students share)?

  • What shocked or surprised you the most? 

  • Who were the major players in upholding the slave trade? (i.e. European traders, African chiefs, merchants, all people that profited from the slave trade, European laws and government, etc.)

  • Are there institutions or systems that exist in society today or in the past that cause or caused similar harm to vulnerable groups? (i.e. prisons, residential schools, foster care system, racial profiling, etc.)

  • Who's role is it to hold systems and institutions accountable when they are causing harm? (i.e. The United Nations, governments, laws and policies, advocacy groups, activists, voters, etc.) 

  • What's your role?

Activity: Email to Your MP (45min)

An email or letter to a political representative may be an effective way to bring their attention to an issue that's impacting you or your community. Several emails and letters on a specific issue or cause can apply political pressure for change or an action outlined by you and your supporters. 

Have students pick an issue from current events that they are passionate about. Have them write a letter or email to their local representative about the issue or problem and how they'd like the issue to be addressed. 

Reflect and Share (45 - 60min)

Have students share emails/letters.



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