Teacher's Guide

June 23, 1999 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.

Check out this date's update
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Abeja - Immersion in Zulu Culture
Kid's version available

Abeja and Shawn visit the DumaZulu village in KwaZulu-Natal, meeting some of the village's most important figures, learning some vital customs and enjoying a traditional dance performance.

This dispatch, along with Abeja's other two, provides a lot of information about pre-colonial and colonial history in South Africa. Have the students write quizzes for each other using her three dispatches, or go ahead and have them try to find answers to these. They're in order, so you may wish to mix them up. Also, try having the students read the three dispatches, then answer these questions quiz-style, without referring to the website, and see if they can answer half of them!

  • What is a Kraal?
  • What is an important symbol of wealth and power to the Zulu?
  • how fo you know if a woman is unmarried?
  • What kind of sin do the Zulu leaders wear?
  • How long does it take to train to become a healer?
  • By the time Shaka Zulu was killed, his army had grown to include how many people and how large an area?
  • What is a swallow?
  • What is a 'iXhwa' and why did they call it that?
  • How many cattle did Shaka have? How many wives?
  • How many people did Shaka kill at his mother's funeral?
  • Who killed Shaka Zulu?
  • Who were the Khoi Khoi and how many of them are around today?
  • What were the first white people to settle in southern Africa, the religious Dutch people, called?
  • What was Shaka Zulu's war against his neighbors called and what does the word mean?
  • Who were the Voortrekkers and what does "trek" mean?
Abeja - Abeja Meets the Great King Shaka Zulu

Abeja constructs a fictional interview with the great Shaka Zulu, which allows her to tell the great leader's story through his "own" words.

See the previous suggested activity.

Abeja - Get Off My Turf

Abeja provides a brief history of race relations in early Southern Africa, showing that things were never as simple as black and white.

See the previous suggested activity.

Kevin - Harare: a Capital City that feels like a Village

A short history and description of Harare, Zimbabwe's capital city, and Kevin's impressions of it, including references to banking, the Shona and Sindebele languages, local handicrafts, Cecil Rhodes and the British South Africa Company, and colonialism.

This is the first real dispatch from Zimbabwe, where the Team will now spend about six weeks. IT presents a good opportunity for your students to share their current knowledge (and stereotypes/incorrect beliefs) about Zimbabwe and Africa in general. Have them brainstorm ten things they think they know about Africa. EVERYONE can come up with at least ten, even if it means, "The people there breathe air." Then have them share a couple each. Make a master list, which you can then return to later to see how much else they learn, and to see how accurate their ideas were.

Kevin - Somebody Stole My House!

Kevin writes about the theft of his backpack en route from Johannesburg to Harare, and tries to make the best of it. Includes references to Zimbabwe's major indigenous languages, Shona and Ndebele.

This is a fun dispatch that the students should definitely read for fun, though it doesn't support any particular national education standards, except maybe success strategies!

Monica - A Typical Day in the Life of a Trekker
Kid's version available

On a day of long travel to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Monica takes students through a typical day between destinations.

This dispatch also doesn't do alot towards supporting any particular educational standards, but is great to have your students continue relating to the Trekkers as real people and the people and places they are visiting as real as well. If you haven't already, have your students consider whether they would want to be Trekkers, and what the pros and cons would be.

Kavitha - Soweto: Young Lives Lost in Battle

A history of Soweto and the student riots in 1976, and a description of the hostels and squatter camps that were built there after the destruction of Sophiatown in 1954. Includes information on Mandela village, the Apartheid government, black South African's rights, and National Youth Day.

Soweto is an hugely important symbol in South Africa, and can be a particularly powerful way for your students to connect with the history there because the uprising was a youth movement.

Have students do some brief research on the pass laws of South Africa and the massive relocations of blacks from cities to places like Soweto. See if they think they could have complied with the laws, or if they would have been willing to risk their lives to protest.

Try having students create "protest flyers" against the laws, where they have to include at least three facts about the laws. OR, have them draw a memorial to the slain students, again ,including key facts to prove what they learned and help remind students of what the riots were about when they see the work on the walls of the classroom.

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