Meet Toussaint L'Ouverture

Contributor: Roxann Penny. Lesson ID: 12371

Do you like learning? Studying can be hard sometimes but it's worth it. When slavery was legal, education helped an unusual man start a revolution that changed his country and freed many other slaves!



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Meet Toussaint L'Overture. This former slave was the only person in modern history to successfully lead a slave revolt. How did he do it? Find out in this lesson! You may be amazed by what you discover about this extraordinary man!

Since much of what will be discussed in this lesson takes place on the island of Haiti, it will be helpful to have some perspective of where this island is located.

Take a minute or two to study the image below. Do you see the tiny portion of land highlighted in red? That area is known today as the Republic of Haiti. The other portion of the island in green is actually another country known as the Dominican Republic. This entire island was once known as Hispaniola:

Haiti on the globe

By now you may be wondering, what does Haiti have to do with Toussaint L'Overture? The answer is — plenty. Not only was Toussaint born on the Island of Haiti — he later became a very important military and political figure in the island's history.

During the early 17th century, many colonial countries like Britain, Spain, and France relied heavily on slave labor to produce cotton, sugar, and other crops. Thousands of slaves were shipped from west Africa to work on plantations throughout the Caribbean. These slaves were treated inhumanely, and often revolted against their oppressive captors. Sadly, their revolts were never successful. However, that all changed when Toussaint L'Overture, a French slave, decided to take action.

slave irons

Toussaint's story from slave to liberator is a rather remarkable one, considering the extraordinary circumstances he had to overcome. Take a look at this walking cypress pictures video, History of Haiti (short animation- "In Haiti: A roadtrip documentary). It provides more details about the life of Toussaint and the impact his actions had on slavery:

When you are finished sharing your thoughts, move to Got It? to test your understanding of what you have learned so far about Toussaint.

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.