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English Language Arts Grade 2
Reading: Literature Standard 1
4 class periods of 15 minutes each
Students will explore literature about Africa and exhibit an interest in learning more about it. This unit will introduce them to the seven continents of the world.
For Griot Staff
The following site contains sheet music and a sound file for the unofficial African Anthem "God Bless Africa".
Give each child a book and have them study the cover without opening it. Ask several of the children to share what is interesting about their book cover and to predict what it might be about. Write these predictions down to refer to later.
Instruction and Activities:
The following may be read or paraphrased:
"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:
Talk to your family members and ask about a story that they can relate about your family. Share it with the class.
All families have stories that they pass down from generation to generation. Share a story from your background that they can relate to.
Partner the children for extra support. Make a contact with the home and see if there is any help you can provide before activities are carried out.
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.