New! Fun and Free Lesson Plan for the Continent of Africa
2nd - 12th
Students study the continent of Africa. In this geography lesson, students participate in several activities to celebrate the culture of Africa. These activities include playing African musical instruments, telling West African folktales and wearing African-inspired clothing.
Africa Speaks Out; A World History Lesson on the Effects of Colonialism on Africa
High schoolers study the effects of colonialism on Africa. In this world history lesson plan, students identify and locate the colonial powers within Africa as well as the make-up of Africa today as they read and analyze writings/readings from multiple perspectives. High schoolers analyze the reasons for the colonial break-up in Africa and identify stereotypes of Africa and work to dispel these myths/stereotypes.
Got Lactase? The Co-Evolution of Genes and Culture
Does the human body evolve as quickly as human culture? With a stellar 15-minute video, explore the trait of lactose intolerance. Only about 1/3 of human adults seem to still have the enzyme lactase and therefore, the ability to digest lactose. Scientists look at the DNA and the history of two cultures that might explain why. Follow the video with one of the accompanying lab activities in which biochemistry learners measure glucose changes over time after adding lactose (milk) to simulated intestinal fluid samples (lactase solution). This is a thick and creamy lesson!
Grow a Musical Instrument
Music, culture, social studies, and plant growth all in one! Kids explore the various type of traditional African instruments that are made out of gourds. They then grow their own gourds and use them to create a wide variety of African style instruments. They can then decorate and play their instruments to create a uniquely traditional African sound.
Africa, Africans, and Film
Students examine the impact the Atlantic Slave Trade had on Africa and the African people, through the analysis of literature and film. They identify the geographic regions of Africa and locate selected African countries, countries that are used as later case studies in the examination the legacy of slavery and colonialism
Foods of African Countries
Third graders study foods of African countries and geographical locations of specific countries on the continent, vocabulary of African food products, and similarities/differences of food grown throughout various terrains/climates of Africa.
Oprah Winfrey Opens New School in Africa
Students locate Africa and share their knowledge of the continent, then read a news article about Oprah Winfrey building a school in South Africa. In this current events lesson, the teacher introduces the article with a discussion and vocabulary activity, then students read the news report and participate in a class discussion. Lesson includes interdisciplinary follow-up activities.
Stories from Africa
Students discuss the size of adult African elephants after a demonstration on their height. They try to guess the animal of discussion based on clues given about their size and characteristics. As a class, they try to identify other items around the classroom or school that are as tall as the African elephant. Afterward they compare the size of the adult elephant to a newborn.
Making a Living and Leisure Activities
Students investigate the economic and daily activities in a typical African community. They design and construct a small scale house, play an African board game, create African money, discuss vocabulary, and write an essay.
Instruments from Various Cultures
After a review of orchestral instruments and instrument families, learners make their own. They listen to the song "Simple Gifts" and identify the instruments heard in the piece. Then they draw an instrument of their own invention, describing how it sounds, is played, and they type of music it could be used to make.
African-American Art and the Political Dissent during the Harlem Renaissance
Students are introduced to the culture of African American art. Using the internet, they research the events surrounding the Harlem Renaissance and discover how it produced a wide variety of art and literature. To end the lesson plan, by analyzing different pieces of artwork by various artists to identify the political statement in the art.
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