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Main Curriculum Tie:
For Griot Staff
Background For Teachers:
The following site contains sheet music and a sound file for the unofficial African Anthem "God Bless Africa".
Instruction and Activities:
Do a K-W-L chart as a group on the board filling in "What I think I know about Africa", "What I want to know", and leaving "What I learned" blank. Tell the students we will learn many things about Africa during the next few weeks.
Have a grand conversation about the distance between Mali and Utah. Ask open ended questions to determine their preconceived notions about Mali and to stimulate thinking for future lessons. Have each child write a fact they learned about Mali on the bulletin board, and also in their own fact book.
Have the students talk about differences and similarities between Mali and Utah. Add facts to the fact poster. Tell them our fact poster is showing they have learned lots of important facts about Mali. Add a fact or draw a picture in the fact book. Share the information in the anticipatory set from lesson 4 with the students.
"As in much of Africa, Mali's history was preserved by a rich oral tradition. Until Middle Eastern traders brought written language to the area, all of Mali's history was memorized and shared in a storytelling performance by professional historians called GRIOTS (Gree-ohs). Griot is an old French term that used to mean "keeper of memories". Griots were employed by villages, kings, or clans and had to commit to memory tremendous amounts of information."
Read aloud an African folktale from the bibliography below. Discuss what message or moral the folktale was teaching.
Instruction and Activity:
Strategies For Diverse Learners:
Encourage the gifted children to learn more about Mali and share it with the class. Also, they may complete additional activities on the other topics not covered by the whole group.
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