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exploring african culture
Goals Get Started Learning Activities Extensions
Getting Started Activity Menu

Activity One: African Myths
Activity Two: Everyday Life

Activity Three: Food in Africa
Activity Four: Art in African Culture

Activity Five: Indigenous Religions
Activity Six: Musical Reflections

Activity Two: Everyday Life

In this lesson students will learn about daily life in various African countries. Students will read accounts about young urban Kenyans, child brides in Côte d'Ivoire,the Dinka in Sudan, a Tuareg nomad, and others. After reading the articles students will create an interview that they will present in class.

    1. Working in pairs, have students select an article/story from the following Web sites:

    http://pbskids. org/africa/ myworld/
    Contains photo essays by young people from Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda.
    http://www.pbs.org/ africa/explore/
    Contains links to profiles of sixteen ethnic groups from eight significant regions in Africa.
    http://www.washingtonpost .com/wp-srv/ inatl/longterm /africanlives /front.htm
    Profiles eight people from Africa as they live through everyday challenges.

    2. Using the article they selected, students will create an interview.

    3. One student will take the role of the interviewer, and generate a list of questions that touch on the important information in the article.

    4. The other student will be the person who wrote, or who the article was written about. This student will answer the questions that the interviewer has written.

    5. After being given time to practice their interview, students will present their interviews to the class.

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Activity Three: Food in Africa

In this lesson, students will learn about the kinds of food that are eaten in a particular region and the reason for its consumption.

    1. Ask students to give examples of typical foods that are eaten in their household. Record their responses on the board.

    2. Ask students why we, as Americans, eat these kinds of food. How does our country's geography and economy impact what we eat?

    3. Write the following excerpt from the CIA World Fact Book about the United States on the board. Agriculture - products: wheat, other grains, corn, fruits, vegetables, cotton; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; forest products; fish

    4. Refer back to the list of foods students eat and discuss how the foods they eat relates to the agricultural products we produce in the United States. (i.e. The United States produces beef, and it is found in many peoples' diets.)

    5. Ask students for examples of countries from which their families originated.

    6. Working individually, or in small groups, send students to the African Studies section of the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania's Web site.
    http://www.sas. upenn.edu/African _Studies/Cookbook /about_cb_wh .html
    Recipes may also be found on the AFRICA Web site in the Explore the Regions section.
    choose a region, click on people and then find recipes and click on it.
    Have students select a country from either of the above web sites to study, and then send them to the CIA World Fact Book site at the following location:
    http://www.odci .gov/cia/ publications/factbook/

    Find the country you have been reading about from the list of countries on the site.

    Gather information on this Web site that you think has influenced the food in the country you are studying. The following are suggestions of where to look:
      The country's background of the Introduction section of the site. (i.e. Mozambique was a Portuguese colony for almost five centuries. How does this influence the food of Mozambique?)
      The People section contains ethnic group information.
      The Geography section contains information on climate, terrain, land use, natural hazards, and the environment.
      The Economy section contains information on agricultural products and exports.
    Students should prepare a Culinary Report on the food of the country they selected. The report will contain the following information:
      An overview of the kinds of foods that are served in the country.
      A brief overview explaining how a dinner is served in your country.
      A description of the dishes that will be served.
      A section that relates the information you gathered from the World Fact Book site about your selected country. How are the history, geography, and economy of the country reflected in its food?

    Have students present the information on their country to the class.

    If you are very ambitious, or if you have students who enjoy cooking, you may choose to have the groups prepare one of the dishes to share with the class.

Continue to activities 4, 5, and 6

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