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Ancient South Africa Teacher Resources
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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.
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.
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 worksheet.
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.
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.
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.
After reading about how polar bears and camels are specifically adapted to their environments, young zoologists choose an animal and do the same. They work in groups to discuss how humans interact with their surroundings and then design a poster about possible problems caused by our activities that impact the environment. There is a third activity on this handout that relates to a field trip, but it is conveniently placed on a new page and therefore easily left out if you do not live near the West Coast Fossil Park in South Africa!
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.
Students explore writing as an agent for social change. For 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.
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.