Gate's Diary

Culture Close-up

Retelling the Story

What is Africa to Me

The Africa Shop

The activities and lesson plans developed for this web site comprise a multidisciplinary unit that uses television and computers as learning tools in the subject areas of computer skills, mathematics, social studies, and language arts. Although the lessons are written for middle and high school level students, some lessons could be modified for elementary level children. Each lesson also could be modified and conducted at home.

These classroom activities were created by a team of educators to parallel the six-hour television documentary, "Wonders of the African World" (PBS Original National Broadcast October 25 - 27, 1999). Each of the six lessons corresponds to a separate, one-hour episode of the documentary and includes: recommended time needed to complete the lesson, a list of necessary materials, clear objectives, a teaching strategy, assessment recommendations, extension and adaptation ideas, and relevant national standards. Each lesson also contains recommended, relevant resources (print, Internet, and multimedia), and many of the lessons have corresponding, downloadable Student Activity Sheets that can be printed, copied, and distributed to students.

NOTE: In order to access and print the Student Activity Sheets for each lesson, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not already have this tool, you may download Adobe Acrobat free of charge at the Adobe Web site.

Lesson 1: Black Kingdoms of the Nile
Students construct a model pyramid and use mathematical problem-solving skills to investigate theories of how pyramids were constructed.

Lesson 2: The Swahili Coast
Students examine the interactions of ethnic, national, and cultural influences as it applies to the culture of the Swahili, past and present.

Lesson 3: The Slave Kingdoms
Students produce a classroom newspaper based on the historical legacy of Ghana's role in the slave trade.

Lesson 4: The Holy Land
Students write paragraphs and create presentations about Ethiopian Christians and the significance of Ethiopia to African Americans and the rest of the world.

Lesson 5: The Road to Timbuktu

Students use maps, timelines, and other hands-on projects to study the relationship between geography and cultural identity.

Lesson 6: Lost Cities of the South

Students investigate South African culture by conducting an online scavenger hunt.

The "Wonders of the African World" video series is available for purchase in the Africa Shop. For more information on teacher resources to accompany PBS programs and on PBS extended taping rights for educators, please visit the PBS TeacherSource web site. This web site will be available on PBS Online through the year 2003. Suggestions for lesson content improvement and implementation are always welcome. Please e-mail your comments and/or suggestions to PBS TeacherSource.



Black Kingdoms of the Nile
The Swahili Coast
Slave Kingdoms
The Holy Land
Road to Timbuktu
Lost Cities of the South