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Lending Library » Resources for Elementary Grades

Title Author Description Reader

10 African Folktales Vol. II

J. T. Barika

This is a collection of 10 folktales from Momo Division in the Republic of Cameroon. At the end of the book there are questions on each story. (Mu. Geom Bari & Co, 1982, 52pp)

African Children's Games for American Children

Nancy J. Schmidt, et al.

This packet describes games children play in several African countries and provides directions on how to play them. It includes guessing games, board games such as African checkers and oware, school-yard games, and games which imitate adults such as "house" and "market place." Many of the games come from Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana. A few games from Tanzania, Guinea, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Malawi are also mentioned. (African Outreach Program, University of Illinois, 1975, 36pp)

Bingo! The African Connection

Barbara Brown

Through this paper and pencil game, students learn about ways in which they are connected to Africa. Each student receives a game board that has 25 squares. Each square asks a question such as "Have you used the word 'guy'?" or "Have you smelled a clove?" Students circulate around the room in search of a classmate who can answer 'yes' to the question in each box. The object of the game is for every student to fill each square with the initials of one of their classmates. Then the entire class reads through the explanations behind the questions such as "Guy, phoney, and many other words have their origins in Wolof, a language widely spoken in Senegal." (African Studies Program, Boston University, 1992, 3pp)

The Currency of Africa

Newark Museum

This book of postcards of paper money designs from 19 African currencies. It is based on money purchased in 1990 and before. The collection includes money from Algeria, Belgian Congo, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, French West Africa, Togo, Gabon, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Somalia and Uganda. (Pomegranate Artbooks, 1995)

Daily Life in Africa: Celebrations of African Life

Diana Leoni and Rachel Fretz Yoder

The key teaching concepts in this book are the extended family within a community, the stages of life, and the celebrations marking the stages of life. The classroom activities focus on types of celebrations, music, masks and masquerades, food, and a coming out ceremony. Student readings include an African folktale and stories entitled "Young Saki's Naming Ceremony" (Ghana), "An Ugandan Wedding Ceremony," and "Uncle Kofi's Funeral" (also from Ghana). (UCLA, 1982, 50pp)

Daily Life in Africa: Market Scenes in Africa

Diana Leoni and Rachel Fretz Yoder

This book looks at markets in Africa, specifically in Nigeria. Classroom activities includes exploring the component of a market, how to create a market scene, and how to buy and sell. Student readings include "A Trip to the Market" (from Senegal) and "Egbe Market" (from Nigeria). (UCLA, 1982, 48pp)

Daily Life in Africa: Variety of African Dress

Diana Leoni and Rachel Fretz Yoder

This book looks at clothing in the countries of Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda. Classroom activities include examining hair styles, Yoruba clothes, cloth-dyeing, and Yoruba patterns. Instructions for cloth-dyeing projects including tie dye, brush batik, and stencil resist are also included. The book has two student readings entitled "My Sister's Best Dress" (from Senegal) and "Dressing for a Wedding in Kampala" (from Uganda). (UCLA, 1982, 44pp)

Destination: Cameroon (Study Guide and Video)

H. Thomas Collins and Christopher Majeske

Because of its great physical and cultural diversity, Cameroon is sometimes referred to as "Africa in Miniature." The 20-minute video introduces students to three different communities - one in the western highlands, one in the rain-forest region, and one located in Cameroon's grassy lowlands - and demonstrates how the homes, agricultural crops, and lifestyles differ in each area. The Study Guide provides: background on the African continent and Cameroon; discussion questions and inquiry activities based on the video; maps and a list of resources; 11 lesson plans; and a worksheet collection. (U.S. Peace Corps, 1993, 57pp)

Destination: Lesotho (Study Guide and Video)

Elise Sprunt Sheffield

"The Mountain Kingdom" of Lesotho, a developing nation surrounded by industrialized South Africa, is both an anomaly among nations and, at the same time, a symbol of the geographical and cultural dynamics at work in almost every land. Here, the contrast between tradition and modernity, between rural and urban ways of being is delineated as starkly as the rugged terrrain. The 22-minute video visits a lowland village and a highland village to meet two Peace Corps volunteers and the communities they serve, and students learn the ways people cope in Lesotho's two very different types of physical environments. The Study Guide is intended to direct student attention to the ways that physical geography has shaped, preserved, and transformed local human culture. Each topic unit has lesson materials which are grouped according to three academic levels: grades 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12. The materials are developed along five fundamental themes of geography: location (position on the Earth's surface); place (physical and human characteristics); relationships within places (humans and their environments); movement (humans interacting on Earth); and regions (how they form and change). (U.S. Peace Corps, 1994, 76pp)

Destination: Senegal (Video Guide and Video)

Margaret Legowski and Shirley Puchalski

Senegal has a rich culture that reflects its ethnic diversity, its colonial past, and the reality of its geography. The 15-minute video provides a brief overview of Senegal's geography and history, and viewers visit the capital city of Dakar and learn about life in two villages. The Video Guide has been designed for a 3-5 day mini-unit, with activities written for 3 grade levels: grades 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12. The activities are designed to present basic information on the geography of Senegal and to explore aspects of Senegalese culture. (U.S. Peace Corps, 1991, 83pp)

The Games of Africa

Jennifer Prior

This is an introduction to five African games, mancala and yote from Burkina Faso, sey from Mali, achi, and the Guinean String Puzzle. The book is accompanied with a mancala game board, and 48 playing pieces for mancala. This is a variant of one of the oldest African games. (Harper Festival, 1994, 45pp)

Lessons From Africa: A Supplement to Middle School Courses in World Cultures, Global Studies, and World History

Merry Merryfield

A collection of eleven lesson plans that each focus on a different theme such as family, occupations, and adolescence. The materials were written for American students by twenty-five African educators representing the countries of Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia. As a result, the lessons help students to become aware of the diversity of cultures and perspectives throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Some lessons can be adapted for elementary or high school level and for other subject areas. (ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, 1989, 99pp)

Mapping Africa

Stephen Cummins and the Africa Project

This curriculum unit introduces students to many key geographical features of Africa. Lessons include "Getting Oriented to Globes and Maps," "Countries of Africa," "Human and Environmental Interaction in Africa," "Learning the Physiographic Features of Africa," and "African Climate." (SPICE, 1994, 72pp)

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale

John Steptoe

Mufaro's two beautiful daughters, one bad-tempered, one kind and sweet, go before the king, who is choosing a wife. A beautifully illustrated, Caldecott Honor Book that was inspired by a story collected in 1895 and published in the book, Kaffir Folktales. The tale was collected from people living near the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, East Africa' magnificent ancient trade city. The book's illustrations are based on the architecture of Great Zimbabwe, and the flora and fauna of the Zimbabwe region. (Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard Books, 1987, 29pp)

West Africa: An American Heritage

George E. Urch

Concentrating on the West African country of Ghana, this book is divided into three sections sub-divided into several topics. "The Expressive Arts" contains various student activities: Arts and Crafts; Music and Dance; Folktales; and Poetry. The "Lesson Plan and Unit Outline Section" has interesting student readings - "An Individual African in a Changing Society," "Colonialism and Nation Building," and the section "Units on Africa - Bringing Africa into the Elementary Classroom." The "Resource Section" has case studies, interviews, and newspaper clippings on individual Africans; changing institutions; colonialism and liberation; national development; and languages and culture. (Center for International Education, University of Massachusetts, 1975, 160pp)

Zamani: African Tales from Long Ago Africa, Volume 1

Tom Nevin

Zamani is the Kiswahili word for 'long ago'. Drawn from the rich traditions of Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania, Sudan, Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland, and Uganda, these ten selected tales tell of the animals and trees, chiefs and kings, young men and maidens, ogres and spirits of this mighty continent. Written by a South African author and illustrated by ten talented African artists, this book combines the legends of Zamani with the art and design of Africa today. (Jacaranda Designs, 1995, 80pp)