Ancient South Africa Teacher Resources
Find Ancient South Africa educational ideas and activities
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The end of WWII brought big changes around the world, not the least of which occur in the increasingly decolonized continent of Africa. This slideshow details the developing countries of Ghana, Kenya, Congo, Nigeria, and South Africa, to name a few. Viewers will be outraged over the violation of civil liberties in these countries as they work on becoming more developed - and in some cases, more dangerous.
Allusion as Commentary: Richard Rive's "No Room at Solitaire"
In Richard Rive's short story "No Room at Solitaire," based largely on the story of Jesus' birth, a poor Black couple seeks shelter at a white restaurant in apartheid-era South Africa and is turned away. Sets the stage for a fruitful discussion of the purpose of allusion as commentary. Learners then select a literary allusion (3 choices are provided) to use in planning an original story based on Rive's model.
Tribes And Tribulations
Students explore South African history from pre-colonial times to today. They create a timeline of important events in South African history and reflect on connections between this timeline and the existence of tribal traditions in the country.
Seas of Grass
Learners view a video clip about grasslands. They identify threats to grasslands and describe cultures which have adapted to grassland conditions. They discuss possible solutions to preserve grasslands as well.
Survive Or Not
Seventh graders explore how the availability of productive resources could affect an ancient society. In this World History lesson, 7th graders research two ancient civilizations. Students create maps showing the trade routes of these civilizations.
Past Life at Langebaan on the West Coast
Three pages of intriguing pictures and reading passages about the natural history of Africa's West Coast Fossil Park make up the bulk of this handout. There are 13 questions to answer and directions for designing a poster about one of the extinct animals introduced within the text. The assignment is not complex, but it is interesting. It can be used as an effective enrichment for your middle school earth scientists. Teachers notes and a grading rubric for the poster make this more than just a student instructional activity.
The Ancient Cycads
In this cycads worksheet, students will read a short essay on the cycad tree, including it's reproductive strategies and it's general characteristics. Then students will complete 2 short answer questions based on what they read.
Students are introduced to the human stages of evolution. They complete a series of lessons on identifying the cranial structure for various hominids, understanding the timeline involved in human evolution and investigating ancient artifacts.
Students sing a South African song and fill in blank words. They draw images that the song brings to mind while working in groups. Then, they share their art projects with the class.
Survive Or Not
Seventh graders explore how the availability of productive resources could affect an ancient society. Students choose two ancient civilizations from the seventh grade history indicators and research the productive resources available to them, the goods produced from those productive resources, and similarities and differences bet.
Horn of Plenty
Students read the article "African Pastoral: Archaeologists Rewrite the Story of Farming" from The New York Times and discuss how the image of the farmer has changed over the centuries. Students work in groups to create time-lines and handouts on the different aspects of farming as they relate to the article.
The Achievements and Challenges of Zimbabwe
Here is an excellent set of five short lessons and activities intended to help learners not only gain an understand of current issues in Africa, but build critical thinking, synthesis, analysis, expository writing, research, and evaluation skills. Each lesson focuses on one of the following topics: women in Zimbabwe, agriculture, economy, education, racial issues, and land redistribution.
Middle schoolers go on an information gathering hunt on the Internet to study West African empires. They work in teams; meteorologists, bankers, writers, and archaeologists. They collect data on all sorts of topics related to West African cultures, and build a website to publish their findings. An ambitious, and educationally rich lesson.
The Fossilization Process
After a one-page reading passage about fossilization, earth science explorers make Plaster of Paris molds and casts of objects of their choosing. This activity, although stated as grades 7-9, is really more appropriate for grades 4-6. Also note that some of the questions following the activity are specific to the West Coast Fossil Park in South Africa. The resource is most useful for the informative text and the instructions for making the fossils in class.
Martin Luther King and Writing as a Tool for Social Change
Students explore writing as an agent for social change. In this Social Studies lesson, students examine the power of writing using Dr. King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Students will practice the technique of persuasive writing by writing their own version of Letter from a Birmingham Jail.
Gandhi's Ashrams and School Sustainability
Explore philosophy and religion by researching Gandhi. Lead your young students to investigate the life and accomplishments of Mahatma Gandhi by reading the assigned text. Your class will define sustainability and create a sustainable vegetarian meal which they enjoy with their class.
Everything is Made of Something
Students identify which parts of the earth are solids, liquids or gases. They discover the need to conserve natural resources. They examine different products and what materials are used to make them.
Mystery of the Maya
Students examine a piece of pottery and make conclusions about the culture. They demonstrate the skills used in digging at a dig site. They also make inferences about the responsibility archaeologists have when excavating a site.
Family Life Among the Ashanti of West Africa
Students examine the way of life of the Ashanti who live in West Africa. After locating the countries on a map, they are shown slides of artifacts to determine their uses. In groups, they compare and contrast the Ashanti's view of beauty to their own. To end the lesson, they focus on the family life of the Ashanti by reading proverbs.
SAT Reading Comprehension Practice Test 07
In this reading comprehension worksheet, students read an extract from Darwin's book The Voyage of the Beagle. Students answer 12 comprehension questions in 15 minutes in this SAT practice worksheet.