Ouelessebougou, Mali, Africa

Teacher Resources

Background Information

Since 1985 the Ouelessebougou-Utah Alliance has helped provide resources and support to the Ouelessebougou region, which is located in the country of Mali in Western Africa. The images and text on this web site are designed to help students to compare life in Ouelessebougou to life in their own community.

Students will want to visit the five main sections:

The supportive text for each of the images includes background information, and in most cases, questions for students to answer.

Teacher Tips

Teachers can choose to use this site in a variety of ways:

  • Whole Group: Using a PC/TV converter box or a video projector, display the computer screen so that the whole class can view the web site. Either read the text to your students or have them take turns reading aloud. Give your students a chance to answer the questions and discuss how life in Ouelessebougou compares to their life. Be sure to talk about similarities, as well as differences.
  • Student Partners: Send a pair of your students (perhaps a good reader and a less skilled reader) to your classroom computer and instruct them to go through each of the five main sections of this web site. They should spend time viewing the photos, answering the questions and developing their own questions to share with their classmates. After about 15-20 minutes, send two new students to the computer. Continue this rotation until your whole class has had an opportunity to visit this web site. Note: Be sure to monitor the students' computer screen to ensure that they stay on this web site.
  • Computer Lab: If this is an option, take your whole class to the computer lab to visit this web site. You can choose to go through the five main sections of this site as a whole class, or you can allow students to explore the site on their own. You should be constantly wandering around the lab and monitoring the students' computer screen.
  • Home Activity: More and more Utahns have Internet access at home. Encourage your students to share this web site with their parents or guardians and other family members. This activity will give students an opportunity to practice their reading skills and it may generate a family discussion about their local community.

Teacher Resources: Trunks, Videos and Web Sites

The Ouelessebougou-Utah Alliance has educational trunks with materials helpful for teaching about Ouelessebougou. The trunks include: traditional clothing for 2nd graders to try on, a "talking drum," a gourd musical instrument, special wood sticks used as toothbrushes, a mask, a kolon and kolongone (for pounding millet), jewelry, photocopies of Malian money, homemade soap, millet, photographs with explanations and a 10 minute video. One of these trunks will be available at each School District's central media center by the beginning of the 2001-2002 school year.

The video that is included in the trunk has great visuals and background music and sounds. There is no narration, so teachers can talk to the children as they watch it. It gives great "real life" examples of daily activities and can be used in connection with the trunk supplies.

Below are a few Internet web site to help you and your students learn more about Ouelessebougou and Mali, Africa.

  • The Road to Timbuktu
    Visit this site to learn about the ancient culture of Mali, its people, its past, and its present.
  • An Introduction to Africa
    This site has captured the geography and history of Mali in a brief, readable, introductory way.

Special thanks to Marianne Jones, a Utah educator, for providing the images and supportive text used on this site.

Contact us with any comments or questions.