Last week I discovered a box of schoolbooks I had received some time ago and packed away because my kids were not ready for them. In there, I discovered a social studies book that I am going through with my older girls. The first unit is on Africa, so I built a unit for all the kids to go around it. Here is what we did this week:
Writing- I had each child write about an imaginary trip to Africa. The younger kids drew a picture to go with their paragraphs. The older kids wrote theirs as narrative essays.
History-Each child was to choose (with help) an age appropriate biography about one of the following Africans (links are affiliate links, you can buy them or check your library for them)and share with us what they learned. Each person needed to be chosen, with a younger and older child both working on Nelson Mandela.
- Nelson Mandela: Elementary kids: Nelson Mandela: A Biography for Kids (currently free for Kindle) and for Middle schoolers: Nelson Mandela: "No Easy Walk to Freedom")
- Phillis Wheatley: Middle schoolers and older elementary: Phillis Wheatley: Young Revolutionary Poet
- Wangari Maathai: Elementary kids: Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai (Frances Foster Books)
Health- With the ebola virus in the news recently, I had the older kids learn more about it and teach the younger ones the basics of what they learned: what it is (symptoms, treatments), where it is most prevalent, why it is so bad, and how it is spread.
Physical Education and Music- All of the kids listened to some traditional African drumming and learned a traditional African dance.
Visual Arts- We looked at some traditional African masks and designed our own.
Practical Arts- The older girls were each assigned a traditional African dish to make. My 8th grader made African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup, and my 7th grader made a Melktert (Milk Tart). I had my elementary students team up and make Moroccan Krsa (flatbread). All together it made for a yummy African themed lunch.