Activity Four: Traditional
and Modern Art in the African Culture
Objects of art have many roles in African culture. Some are
used for everyday life while others serve important social
and religious functions. In this lesson students will view
and write about traditional works of art as well as examples
of modern African art.
PBS AFRICA - Traditions
http://www.pbs. org/africa /explore
Choose a region, and go to the people section, then click on
Traditions. Several traditional art objects are presented
for each region.
2. Much of traditional African art is functional. Art may be
used as every day objects, to teach, entertain, or to contact
the spirit world. Find examples for these functional uses for
art on these sites.
Describe the work of art.
Tell what function the piece was used for.
What do you like about the piece?
In this lesson students will learn about the different
religions in Africa. They will work in research groups to
learn about and compare different religions in Africa.
Students will write a story incorporating what they have
learned about Shona burial traditions.
1. Divide the class into small research groups.
2. Assign each group one of the Explore the Regions sections
of the PBS AFRICA Web site. http://www.pbs. org/africa /explore Tell students to pick a region, and then go to that region's
people section, there they may click on the religion section
for their chosen region's people.
3. Each group will prepare a summary of the information from
4. Select groups to present the information they learned to
the rest of the class.
5. Create a class chart that compares and contrasts the
religions that they researched.
Although more than 25 percent of Zimbabweans attend Christian
churches, Zimbabweans have incorporated elements of their
traditional practices in their beliefs. At the core of these
traditions, is the importance of ancestral spirits, and their
relationship in Zimbabweans' daily lives. In this lesson
students will learn about the Shonas' burial beliefs and