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Lesson Plans

Either before or after African Arts in Education visits your school, the following lesson plans will enable your educators to teach your students more about the fascinating history and culture of the continent of Africa:

Moved by the Music: A Musical Journey in West African and African-American Music

This curriculum unit explores the music of West Africa and the rich contributions it has made to contemporary African-American music. Through lessons and listening activities, students will gain knowledge and appreciation of the musical contribution that African music has made over time across the Atlantic and into American homes. Tracing the roots of African music, we find so much beauty and learning in this cultural music.

The Art of Africa – A Resource for Educators

This resource provides an excellent set of educational materials from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This distinguished collection of African art has special significance both because of its aesthetic excellence and because of the strong collections in all artistic traditions complement one another so profoundly. Christa Clark, curator of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific at the Newark Museum, Alisa LaGamma, curator of African Art at the Metropolitan Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum’s education staff have worked together to select and shape the content to be especially useful to teachers and students.

African Arts & Music Lesson Plan

In this lesson, co-produced by Nature and National Geographic, students will gain an overview of the art and music that represent the diverse regions of Africa. They will read picture books, listen to folktales, and research the history of Kente cloth. They will have opportunities to create original art, learn about and make African crafts, listen to selections of African music, and explore numerous websites that depict images of many different art forms. They will also create and perform a dramatic presentation, based on what they have learned about Africa.

African Arts & Music Scavenger Hunt

This activity, co-produced by Nature and National Geographic, provides students with a brief overview of Africa, with the primary focus on that continent’s art and music that represent the diverse regions of Africa. They will read picture books, listen to folktales, and research the history of Kente cloth. They will have opportunities to create original art, learn about and make African crafts, listen to selections of African music, and explore numerous websites that depict images of many different kinds of art forms. They will also create and act out a dramatic presentation based on what they have learned about Africa.

Africa: It’s Not a Country

These are lesson plans created by pre-service teachers at Utah State University for teaching about Africa in the early-elementary grades. The plans include: General Introductory Lessons on Africa; Daily Life in Africa Lessons; and, Geography/Environment Lessons on Africa, Wildlife in Africa, African Folktales, African Languages, Apartheid/South Africa, Music, Art, and Beauty of Africa, African Names, and Africa and the United States.

Exploring Africa

This curriculum is divided into Units, Modules, and Learning Activities. Each Unit covers a major topic or theme in the study of Africa. Each Unit is divided into thematic, disciplinary, regional or country Modules. Each Module is comprised of four to eight Learning Activities. The Learning Activities in each Module vary in length of time needed for completion. Consequently, each Module will take between two and five standard 50-minute class periods to complete. Teachers are free either to select one or two Learning Activities from a Module or to complete all of the Learning Activities.

African Playground Teaching Guide

This guide introduces children to the fascinating musical cultures of Africa, a vast continent whose traditional and popular music expresses the cultural influences, values, challenges, and hopes of its people. This guide provides cultural information, musical terms, activities, resources, and extension ideas for exploring some of the music and traditions of the African continent.

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