Activity One: African Myths
In this lesson students will learn about the role of
storytelling in the African culture.
1. After students have read the information on oral
traditions discuss the following questions with the class:
What role does oral tradition play in the African
What role does oral tradition play in our culture?
African myths were designed to teach and entertain.
Ask students what fills that role in our society.
Ask students to think about family stories. What
stories are told in your house about your
Ask students how many generations back in time
their family stories reach.
2. Write the following elements of the African myth/folklore
on the board:
Importance placed on nature/wildlife
May explain an historic event
May contain moral instruction
3. Classroom Connect's Africa Quest Web site at
http://quest .classroom .com /archive /africaquest1998 /start/pg00
contains a collection of myths which were collected
during their African trek. Read aloud to your class the myth
from Mangola, Tanzania. As you read the myth, ask students to
refer to the list of elements of the African myth and record
examples as they are contained in the myth.
4. Students will read examples of African folklore on the PBS
AFRICA Web site.
http://www .pbs.org/ africa/ explore
Choose one of the regions in this section, click on people,
and then go to folklore.
5. After students have selected a myth, or folktale they will
complete the following tasks:
Write a summary of the myth, or story.
Explain how the elements of the African myth, or story
were incorporated into the myth they chose.
What was entertaining about the myth, or story?
What did the myth, or story teach them about African
How could they apply the myth, or story to their own
6. Have students choose a myth, or story to share with the
7. Tell students that they will not be reading, but will be
telling the story to the class.
8. Discuss the differences between reading a story aloud from
text and telling a story. (Students may choose to create and
include a "call and response" element described in the Oregon
Community College Web site.)
9. Provide time for students to share their story with the
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