Africa
Teacher's Guide
 

June 26, 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 - Traveling in Fairyland: Visiting Swaziland's Colorful Culture and Wildlife
Kid's version available

A brief story introducing the Swazis, their mores, language, manners of expression, song, dance; comparison with those of other cultures; natural resources.

Have the kids bring in a song they think identifies their culture and play it for the class. Have them try to explain what about the music or instruments say about their culture.

Kavitha - Davinci and Michelangelo have nothing on the Sam Bushman
Kid's version available

Kavi explores the caves at Motopo National Park in Zimbabwe and discusses the 6000 year-old paintings insides these caves.

For the people who left these drawings, the subjects of the drawing, animals, had an immense importance in their lives. Have your students create a time capsule, either with objects or drawings, that they think best represent their culture. Have them explain why they chose those objects or drawings, and have them explain why they think the cave drawings were of animals.

Kevin- Mbira, Mbira, in the Hand, Who's the Coolest Cat in the Land?

An informative dispatch about the mbira instrument native to Zimbabwe, including its cultural, spiritual and social significance. Kevin also details the sounds, harmonies and melodies of the mbira and how they come together.

Have the student search the Internet for other instruments particular to different African countries.

Also, see the suggestions for Abeja's dispatch above.

Kevin - Music Can Keep a Family Together... Even After Death

A description of the Shona rituals of death, the symbolism, spirituality and reality, emphasizing the Shona bond to their ancestors. A journey that follows the spirit after death and all the Shona rituals that take place.

OK, it's obvious, but good and important. Have students compare death rites they are familiar with and those of the Shona. What other traditions are they aware of. This can all be done as a discussion, or in essay form, or in drawings.

Monica - So Who Was Shaka Zulu Really?

Monica learns the origins of the word Shaka through students and traces the history of the Ndebele and Shona peoples.

For students with no background in Zimbabwe culture, there are a lot of ideas here. Have them reflect on the most interesting five things they learn and explain why. They can do this in two columns, with the fact or observation on one side of the paper, and their own response/reaction in the other.

Shawn- Swaziland - Rich in History and Smiles

Shawn discusses the history of Swaziland and its importance as one of the few monarchies left in the world.

Have the students find which countries in the world still have monarchies. What do your students think of the fact that Swaziland is still a monarchy? What factors would be important for a monarchy to survive today? (What kind of ruler, or what kind of leader, what kind of country?)

 
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