Africa
Teacher's Guide
 

November 24, 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:
Jasmine - Greetings, Nubian Queen! Jasmine's Not in L.A. Anymore!
Kid's version available

Jasmine peels back the layers of modern-day Aswan, Egypt, and discovers part of her Nubian heritage. Includes information on Elephantine Island, Nubia, the Nile River, Los Angeles and African-Americans.

In this dispatch, Jasmine relates a part of Egypt's history which doesn't get told as often as the exploits of Pharaohs, and foreign conquerors. She tells us a little about the history of the Nubian people who have lived in Egypt for 5000 years. Even though the Nubians have lived in Egypt as long as anyone else, their story is less often told because they were (and still are) subordinate to their Arab Egyptian compatriots...and history is usually written by those in power.

Kavitha - Fighting the Rising Tide - Controlling the Nile River

The story of Egyptian attempts to control the Nile and its floodwaters, the history of irrigation, agriculture and population in the delta and valley and information about the Aswan Dam, the High Dam and Lake Nasser.

Keeping in mind Kavi's story about the High Dam on the Nile, talk about some "monument of hydro-engineering" that is in or near your hometown. Discuss what went into building it (how many pyramids-worth of stone), and the advantages (power, irrigation), and the costs (environmental impact, etc) to you, as the local population. Ask opinions: Is it right for humans to tamper with the environment in this way? What factors does the answer to this question depend on?

Team - The Story of the Suez Canal

Team dispatch on the Suez Canal and the Egyptian city Ismailia.

On a world map with a scale, measure the distance a ship would have to travel from somewhere in Europe (like England or France) to somewhere in India or China:

a) if it had to travel around the southern tip of Africa
b) if it took the "shortcut" through the Suez Canal

Discuss the enormous economic significance of such a shortcut in terms of the amount of time and resources it saves. This is the main reason the canal has been a source of political tension. It is similar to the story of the Panama Canal.

Monica - When Does Flirting Become Hurting?

Monica describes in plain language what sexual harassment looks like, its effects on people and why it's not reported more often.

Discuss the sexual harassment policy of your school and go over one more time what steps students should take if they think they are being harassed.

Monica - No Thanks: Sexual Harassment in School and at Work

Monica attends a university discussion on the status of women, where discrimination, gender-inclusiveness and sexual harassment are covered. Includes information on school and workplace policies, reporting and effects of sexual harassment.

After reading Monica's report, what do you think? Are policies about discrimination and harassment on the books because, as Burts thinks, "they're a Band-Aid: they pat women on the head and say 'we're taking care of you?'" Does the publication of policies about discrimination and harassment "step-by-step change the culture," like Margaret Zohni said? Or do they fail to address the real issue, which is how men and women relate to one another, both as individuals and within the society or culture? How does this discussion relate to your own life? What stereotypes do you hold about women and men? How do you relate to your peers, your friends, your family, your teachers, your boss?

 
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