Africa
Teacher's Guide
 

September 15, 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 - In the Shadow of the Dogon Ancestors

Abeja provides a broad view of life in the Dogon village of Endé. Includes information on the Tellem, the Dogon, Dogon history, Animism, architecture, millet, kola nuts and the role of women in Africa.

Have students pretend they work for a travel magazine: They have been asked to describe their town for a story. Their stories should include local color, as Abjea did in her dispatch, including people, population, houses, climate, geography, local animals, weather, entertainment, sports etc.

Jasmine - Lions and Tigers and CAMELS???
Kid's Version Available

Jasmine recounts her first camel riding experience, as well as the story of Africa's Tuareg people. Includes information on deserts, the Sahara, African animals.

The crux of this story is about the many different African animals. Try to find images or pictures (via books, internet, magazines) of all the ones mentioned and hang them all together in one place so class can get a sense of the variety, colors, shapes and forms. Have them give the animals names for fun and create an African Animal Zoo!

Kavitha - Education is a Girl's Best Friend

Kavitha reports on the SAGE (Strategies for Advancing Girls Education) in Mali and its progress. Many of the development programs remain ineffective because of the cultural differences the major supporters (developed countries) of SAGE fail to recognize.

Divide the class into gender groups, boys on one side of the room, girls on the other. Have them answer the next four questions amongst themselves and then bring them back together as class to discuss results.

  1. How far does gender dictate the quality of education in your country? Are boys and girls treated the same?
  2. Do you believe that equal education for boys and girls benefits everyone in a society? Why or why not?
  3. Who has more opportunities to speak in class, boys or girls?
  4. Do boys or girls make better students?
Kavitha - Part 1: "A Girl Named Fanta"/A Death in Dogon Country

Part 1 of a fiction story written by Kavitha about a 12 year old Dogon girl named Fanta and the death of her grandfather. Includes information on Dogon funeral ceremonies, Dogon traditions and proverbs, spiritual chiefs (hogons), and masks.

What traditions and ceremonies are there in your culture? Have the students each write a story attempting to explain one of their traditions to a person of another culture. Remember to be descriptive. Those from other cultures are not necessarily aware of the things you use every day.

Kavitha - Part 2: "A Girl Named Fanta"/Growing older

Part 2 of a fiction story written by Kavitha about a 12 year old Dogon girl named Fanta coming of age. Includes information on Dogon traditions, the Dogon story of creation, arranged marriages, circumcision, and customs surrounding the full moon.

Explain female circumcision to the students as described here. Female circumcision involves clitoridectomy, or removal of the clitoris. Circumcision can be performed in three degrees, ranging from the "milder" form, which involves the removal of the hood (similar to male circumcision in the United States) to complete infibulation, involving complete removal of the labia majora, the fleshy part surrounding the vaginal opening, as well. The process is complete only when the edges are sewn across the midline in order to prevent premarital sexual intercourse. When the girl is married, however the opening is once again opened and sex is permitted.

What are their personal reactions? Now ask them to think of it from a global perspective: Would they label circumcision "abuse" or "part of culture and tradition"? Lastly, do other countries have a right to interfere with another culture's practices when they believe the practice violates human rights? Where do we draw the line? Can you think of any common practices or traditions in your country that the Dogon people might find inhumane or offensive?

Team - Mosquitoes and Malaria: A Deadly Combination

The team reports on the effects and symptoms of malaria and the ways that they have learned to protect themselves against this deadly disease. Information on DDT, California Condors, and the Anopheles mosquito.

Pinpoint an equally dangerous type of insect that resides in your community. Discuss what's dangerous about it and how to avoid getting sick from it. (ie; Ticks on the East Coast and Killer bees on the West Coast in North America)

 
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