explore the regions
africa challenge
africa for kids
about the series
teacher tools
Lesson Plans
Teacher's Guide

Email this article

Where in Africa
Goals Get Started Learning Activities Extensions
Getting Started Activity Menu

Learning Activity One: African Pictorial Map
Learning Activity Two: African Culture Chart

Learning Activity Three: Daily Lives

Learning Activity Two: African Culture Chart

In this lesson students will collect information about the culture (attitudes, beliefs, customs, habits, and values shared by a society and transmitted from one generation to another) of each country in Africa. The information will be placed on a large class chart.
    1. Creating the Chart
    Place the names of the African countries across the top of the African Culture chart. The following site provides a list of African countries:
    http://www.yahooligans .com/Around_ the_World /Regions/ Africa/Co untries/
    The following is a list of headings to go on the left-hand side of the chart:
    Political Information
      Type of Government
      Suffrage (Who has the right to vote.)

    Economic Information
      Natural Resources
    Historical Information
      Background of Country (You may need to provide more space for this information.)
    Geographical Information
      Elevation Extremes
      Natural Hazards
      Current Environmental Issues (You may need to provide more space for this information.)
    Social Information (Pertaining to the life, welfare, and relations of human beings in a community.)
      Literacy Rate
      Life Expectancy at Birth
    Values/Beliefs (What is held in high regard.)
    What is valued in the sense of beauty and art?
    2. Learn more
    Assign each student one or two countries to research.
    These sites may link to more detailed information, and students may find more information for the social, esthetics, and values/belief categories than is provided on the CIA World Fact Book Site.

    3. Provide time for students write in their journals before and during their research.

    4. Students will place the information on the class chart. (If possible you might choose to have students post their information on the chart in a typed format.)

    5. Each student will prepare a report on his/her country to share with the class.

    6. Provide time for students to present their reports to the class. As students are giving their presentations, other class members will be asked to write down information that they find particularly interesting, as well as questions that they want to ask the presenters after they have finished their report.

    7. Use the students' journals as a jumping-off place to generate a list of questions to be used to compare the various countries. (i.e. Which country has the highest/lowest literacy rate? Compare these two countries GDP. What do you notice? How might countries GDP affect the literacy rate?)

    8. After the last of the reports have been given, and students have compared and contrasted the countries, have students address the following topics in their journals:
      Write a list of the most interesting things you have learned during this lesson.
      What do you still want to learn about Africa?
      Why is it important to ask the "Where" question when you are talking about Africa.
      If you could pick one country to visit on the continent of Africa which one would it be? Why?

Back to top

Learning Activity Three: Daily Lives

    In this lesson students will learn about the daily lives of youths by reading true accounts of young people living in various African countries.

    1. Involve students in a class discussion about what they imagine daily life might be like for kids living in Africa. Remember to keep asking the "Where" in Africa question.

    2. Provide students with time to write in their journal. Ask students to write questions that they would like to have answered about daily life in different African countries. Also have students reflect on what they think daily life might be like in some African countries.

    3. Decide if you want your students to work alone or in small groups for this activity.

    4. Have students choose a country from the following online resources: (make sure all nine countries are utilized)
      OPTION ONE The Africa for Kids section of the AFRICA Web site contains photo essays by young people from Ghana, Republic of South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda.
      http://pbskids .org/africa/ myworld
      Tell students to go to the site and click on the country they want to read about. Tell students to record interesting pieces of information about the student's life in their journal.

      OPTION TWO The following Web site contains information on the five African countries Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Algeria:
      http://www.on theline. org.uk/ index.htm
      Tell students to go to the site and click on the country they want to read about. Read the "Daily Life" section of the site, and take notes in your journal. Then ask students to click on the following categories in the menu section of their country's site and record a minimum of three interesting pieces of information in their journals:
        Arts & Crafts
        Music & Dance
        Speaking Out
        Guide Book
    5. Write a brief synopsis of the daily life of the person, or class-group from your country. Include as many of the following items as possible:
      Description of the homes/surrounding area
      Family life
      Daily routines
      What kind of activities make up leisure time
      Interesting details
      Descriptions about photographs
    6. Select a volunteer, one from each of the nine countries, to share their information with the class.

    7. After the information has been presented for all of the countries, discuss the similarities and differences between the different countries. Refer to the class map and chart during the discussions. (i.e. When schools are mentioned you might want to look up literacy rate. When the youth talks about being cold in the morning or hot at school you might want to look at the climate or elevations.)

    10. Using the information on the Web sites, choose one of the following activities to complete:
      Create a travel brochure.
      Students may refer to additional resources such as

      http://www.pbs.org /africa
      http://all africa.com/

      Write and perform a play. Include details from all of the categories on the site.
      Write a short story about a person from one the countries. Incorporate information and details from the other categories on the site.
      Make a craft, song or dance, and a food dish based on the traditional arts, music and food described on the site.
    Teacher's Note
    My World section of the Africa for Kids
    Has an area for students to e-mail questions to students from the feature.

Continue to extensions

PBS TeacherSource