Explore Our World: Africa – Unit Study Week Two

This past week, we focused upon the countries in Northern Africa.  In doing so, we learned that the countries in the northern region of Africa are characterized by the desert biome and thereby many of the cultural groups that reside in this area are nomadic.  As such, for many, cattle are very important in their lives.

We also discovered that along the coastal areas, the populations are very dense and as you proceed south, the populations become more sparse due to the climate and environmental conditions (desert).  Throughout the first centuries (633-732 AD), Arabs spread their culture and religion across the northern countries and even into the southern parts of Spain.  To this day, their influence is very strong though Christian and Jewish faiths are also prominent.

Africa Unit Study :: Week Two

Listed below are the key activities we coordinated for the second week of our study. Join me each week as I outline the many hands-on activities and projects we implement to introduce the kids to the beauty and culture of Africa.

  • Read aloud Living in the Sahara by Nicola Barber, Houses & Homes by Ann Morris & Ken Heyman, and A is for Africa by Ifeoma Onyefulu
  • Read about the Tuarag of the Sahara
  • Began a flip-book illustrating many of the cultural groups of Northern Africa (Tuarag, Berbers, Copts & Nubian)
  • Illustrated on a map the cultural regions of a variety of ethnic groups in Northern Africa
  • Prepared a few Northern African recipes:
    • Saffron & Raisin Couscous (National dish of Algeria)
    • Carthagenian Flank Steak (Morocco)
    • Chick Pea Tagine (Morocco)
  • Discussed differences between soils (potting soil/dirt, clay, and sand) and took part in a soil erosion experiment
Check out my Hub page for more information about our Africa Unit Study

Explore Our World: Africa – Unit Study Week One

My neighbor is a retired teacher and the grandparent of two girls the same age as my children. This summer we are venturing on a journey through the continent of Africa together; team-teaching a variety of lessons to engage our kids in the culture and geography of the continent.

We will meet three mornings a week for approximately 90 minutes. In that time, we will do a variety of activities that will incorporate the art, language, music, science and history of the region. Each day, the children will also journal about what they learned each day in illustrations and words.

image of a child's salt dough map of the African continent

This first week, our focus was to introduce the kids to the 7 continents, assuring they were able to locate each on a globe and printed map. We also discussed the overall geography of the continent of Africa – emphasizing the three main ecosystems in Africa (savannas, deserts, and rain forests). While the kids worked in their journals or between activities, we also introduced the kids to African music.

Africa Unit Study :: Week One

Listed below are the key activities we coordinated for the first week of our study. Join me each week as I outline the many hands-on activities and projects we implement to introduce the kids to the beauty and culture of Africa.

  • Overview of the 7 Continents
  • Practiced identifying Africa on the globe & on a printed map
  • Shared what we know about Africa and what questions we have
  • Salt Dough Map of the African Continent (MeiLi’s is shown above)
  • Put together a floor puzzle of the world, identifying the continents as we did so
  • Read aloud Atlas of Africa by Karen Foster and Africa by Mary Lindeen
  • Drew a map of the continent showing the three major ecosystems (Savannah, Desert & Rainforest)
  • Listened & danced to the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”

Ready for more? Jump over to see what we did during week two.