The Amistad

Week 13: The Amistad


READ K – 6: Amistad Rising by Veronica Chambers

7 – 8: Amistad by Walter Dean Myers OR The Amistad Slave Revolt by Karen Zeinert



  • From what continent were many people taken to become slaves? (Africa)
  • What was it like on a slave ship? (many people chained together, no toilet, little room, terrible smells, disease)
  • Was slavery legal at the time of the Amistad? (Yes, but new slaves couldn’t be stolen from Africa.)
  • What country were the slaves taken to? (Cuba)
  • What was the Amistad? (ship taking slaves from Cuba to Cuban plantation)
  • Did the slaves have enough to eat on the ships? (No)
  • Why was Cinque afraid of the cook? (The cook, Celestino, joked that the slaves would be eaten. Cinque believed him.)
  • How did Cinque escape? (picked his lock with a loose nail)
  • Describe the mutiny? (Cinque freed the other prisoners; used knives to kill the captain, & the cook, and took over the ship.)
  • Cinque ordered the remaining sailors to take them back to Africa. How did they trick Cinque? (sailed back towards Africa by day, but towards the U.S. by night)
  • Who were the abolitionists? (people in Northern U.S. fighting against slavery)
  • When Cinque and his friends went to court, the judge listened to their story. What did he determine? (They were taken illegally from Africa and should be set free.)
  • Why did the case go to the Supreme Court? (President Martin Van Buren requested that the attorney file an appeal so the case would be heard again.)
  • When the case went to the Supreme Court, who argued for Cinque and his companions? (former President John Quincy Adams)
  • What was the Supreme Court’s ruling? (Cinque and his friends should be set free and sent back to Africa.)
  • Were they able to return right away? (No, it took a long time before they were able to raise the money for a trip back.)

Question for grades 7 – 8:

  • Was Cinque able to find his family when he went back to Africa? (No, his village had been raided, his family may also have been sold into slavery.)

ACTIVITIES: K – 3: Coloring page from of the Amistad. Click HERE:
4 – 5: Cinque traveled from Sierra Leon, Africa to Cuba to New London, Connecticut (Close to New York).   Using this map for help:, mark Cinque’s journeys on this blank map: AND Then write a short paragraph describing conditions on a slave ship.
6 – 8: Complete the map work listed above (for grades 4 – 5) and choose one of the following topics for a 5 paragraph, 3 proof essay:

  1. Describe the conditions Africans faced on a slave ship voyage OR
  2. What made Cinque such a powerful leader?

Copyright March 27th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette

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Filed under Charlotte Mason, Westward Expansion

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