Cameroon: General Information  
Curiosity Teaser
Lesson Plan
Information on Cameroon

Review-Student Worksheet
Teacher Answer Sheet


ACTIVITY: Prior to day one, teacher may wish to do the following assignment as a "curiosity teaser".
Have students go to their local groceries and compose a list of any/all "foreign foods" that they may find, as well as their countries of origin. Be prepared to discuss their findings and to compile an overall list on DAY 1 of the unit.
After discussion of their "finds", students should keep their answers for use in a cumulating assignment.


OBJECTIVES: Students will be presented with a general introduction to the country of Cameroon. The information presented will be composed of geographical, historical and sociological content.
Tip: Use overhead maps of the African continent and of the country of Cameroon, to presented a general introduction to the country of Cameroon.

STUDENT ACTIVITIES: Students can take notes as the teacher introduces the country of Cameroon. Upon completion of the lecture, students will be asked complete the review questions to check for comprehension of the presentation. Teachers will go over the answers with the students.

Students to brainstorm a list of foods that they think they would be likely to eat or encounter, should they travel to the country of Cameroon.
Tip Teachers should not interject as to the correctness of student responses at this point. These lists should be saved for future use within the unit.

HOMEWORK (suggested): Students will be asked to write a short paragraph abut mealtime in their home/family. This assignment may be adapted to meet the needs of the individual classroom. (E.g., English for exploratory or beginning students; use of French for more advanced students, options to concentrate/review grammatical concepts such as present, preterit/ imperfect, irregular verbs: boire, mettre, prendre.)

Paragraphs should include vocabulary dealing with food items and table setting. Students should be encouraged to address specific cultural patterns/habits associated with meal time (e.g., no hands/arms on the table, when meals are served, etc.) These paragraphs may later serve as a vehicle for short classroom discussions, or mini-skits.

Teachers may choose to assess/evaluate these activities in a variety of ways (as they deem appropriate). Some examples would be: accuracy of responses on the worksheet, stylistics/grammar of the paragraphs (particularly if done in the target language), or simply completion of the task.


OFFICIAL NAME: République du Cameroun

SIZE: 475,00 sq. km. (slightly larger than California)

CAPITAL: Yaoundé
Other important cities are: Douala, Maroua, Bamenda, Bafoussam, Garoua, Buea, Ngaoundéré, Bertoua and Ebolowa: all provincial capitals.)

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: French and English. Cameroon in the only African country with two official languages, French and English.

MONETARY UNIT: CFA (Franc de la Communauté financière africaine) 500 CFA = $1 (approx.), (1FF [French Franc] = 100 CFA).****

FLAG: From left to right, three vertical bands of green, red and yellow, with a yellow star in the center of the red band.****

RELIGIONS: Although estimates vary, approximately 33% of the population is Christian (mostly in the south), approximately 15% are of the Islamic following (mostly in the north), others practice indigenous religions. (It is interesting to note, that even if one is Christian or Muslim, indigenous religious overtones are still incorporated into their lives.)

LOCATION: West-Central Africa, with lake Tchad to the north, Tchad and Central African Republic to the east, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea to the south and Nigeria to the west. Cameroon has 5 primary regions: a coastal plain, southern plateau, western highlands, Adamaoua plateau and the northern savanna regions.

POPULATION: Approximately 13 1/2 million and growing rapidly. The average life expectancy is about 56 years. Also, about 45% of the population is under the age of 15, complicating the already difficult economic situation.

GENERAL INFORMATION AND BRIEF HISTORY: Cameroon is very diverse from a sociological point of view. There are well over 200 ethnic groups, which can be further sub-divided into clans, and approximately 253 languages.

Cameroon owes its name to the Portuguese. They named the area of the Wouri river, "Rio dos Camaroes" or "River of Shrimp". During the 15th century, when the explorers came to the mouth of the river, they found it teeming with shrimp. This name was later attributed to the entire country.

Cameroon had been a German protectorate (1884) and after the first World War, was divided between the French and British, first as a League of Nations mandated territories and later as a UN Trust territories, with about 4/5 of the land going to the French. Cameroon gained independence in 1960 from the French and from the British in 1961, at which time the two parts united.

Cameroon has great diversity as to the agricultural and economic products. Agriculturally, Cameroon produces: cocoa, tea, coffee, cotton, peanuts, tobacco, bananas, sugar cane and palm oil. Other economic products include: rubber, tropical hard-woods (such as ebony), leather goods, and petroleum. (Cameroonians are very aware of the potential dangers of sole dependence on the oil industry and feel that agriculture is also very vital to the country's economic growth.)



These questions include true/false, matching and short answer. Answers are provided below.

(correct any false statements to make them true)

1._____Cameroon is smaller than Indiana
2._____There are two languages spoken in Cameroon.
3._____Cameroon had been a German protectorate until the end of World War I.
4._____There are three primary regions in Cameroon.
5._____Cameroon became independent from the French in 1960.

1. The city of ________________ is the capital of Cameroon.
2. There are over ______________ethnic groups in Cameroon.
3. The official name of Cameroon is _______________________________.
4. The lake _______________lies to the north of Cameroon.
5. The population of Cameroon is approximately ______________________________.

1. Where, in Africa, is Cameroon located?
2. Name the surrounding countries of Cameroon.
3. Describe the flag of Cameroon.
4. Name the primary cities (other than the capital).
5. Using the map (provided by your teacher), identify Cameroon, fill in the surrounding countries and the primary cities.

1._____Rio dos Camaroes
a. religion practiced (mostly) in the north
b. name given to the Wouri river, from which is derived the name Cameroon
c. group responsible for naming Cameroon
d. monetary unit
e. capital


1. F slightly larger than California
2. F 253+ languages
3. T
4. F 5 primary regions
5. T

1. Yaoundé
2. 200
3. République du Cameroun
4. Tchad
5. 13 1/2 million

1. West-Central Africa
2. Tchad, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria
3. Three vertical bands, left to right of green, red and yellow with a yellow star in the
    center of the red band.
4. Do
uala, Maroua, Bamenda, Bafoussam, Garoua, Buea, Ngaoundéré, Bertoua, Ebolowa
5. (consult maps in the unit packet)

  1. B       2. D       3. A       4. E       5. C