Table of Contents
Top Ten Lists 

Trip to Ghana 

Book Summary Information 

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I went to the Internet in search of information about how children spend their time in Africa, thinking that I would then have a better understanding of the comparisons to be made. I came across some top ten lists that were very insightful. Some of the activities are different, but many are VERY similar ... including some of the same movies and television shows we enjoy today. I think I would include some of these lists in my lesson with the children, perhaps having them come up with their own top ten list. (See example below.)

(While information from the Internet is very useful, we must keep in mind that it often represents only those children privileged to have access to a computer.)
 
 

TOP TEN LISTS

This month's Pick City: Nairobi, Kenya

Calling All Kids in Kenya! We're making a Top Ten List for our pick city. What are the top 10 things for a kid to do in Nairobi?

Kids all over the world do different things to have fun. Do you draw, or collect something? Where do you go to relax? What kinds of music do you listen to? What's your favorite movie or television program? We want to hear from you!

Results are in !!!!

1.  Swimming 
2.  Movies 
3.  Television 
4.  Listening to Music 
5.  Playing tennis

6.  Reading books  
7.  Drawing pictures  
8.  Collecting stamps  
9.  Cycling  
10. Going to Mombasa

(There were also some lists from individual students.)

Individual Top Ten Lists included collections (stamps, keychains, stickers, pens, etc.), going to Mombasa and Singapore, listening to "English" pop music and Indian songs, swimming, reading, driving fork lifts, drawing, watching movies (Mrs. Doubtfire, Gods Must be Crazy, and Jurassic Park) and t.v. ("Full House" and "Lois and Clark"), shopping, accounting, cycling, and carpentry.

 



I also found a students article on her trip to Ghana which I felt would be good to read (or summarize or have the children read) in connection with my lesson.
 
 

My Trip to Ghana

by Alima Abubakari, age 10 from Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

Last summer in June I went to Ghana. Ghana is a country in West Africa. My dad was born there. My mother had been to Ghana, but my brother and I hadn't. So one day we hopped on the airplane and zoomed off to Ghana. While we stayed in Accra (the capital of Ghana) my Uncle Yahaya took us on a tour of the city. One of the things we saw was the Kwame Nkrumah monument and museum. In the museum I learned about all Nkrumah did to help Ghana get its freedom from the British. He was also the first prime minister or president of Ghana after it got its independence.

Later we went to the beach. We forgot our swimming suits so we swam in our clothes. They dried quickly though because the sun was hot. There was horseback riding on the beach. My brother and I raced the horses on the shore. It was really fun. My Uncle also bought us cokes after we were finished swimming and playing. The cokes weren't in a can like they are here. They were in the glass bottles. That is the only way people sell coke in Ghana.

A Couple days after my family got to Ghana we took a State Transport Bus to Bolgatanga (a town in the northern part of Ghana). In Bolgatanga instead of driving to the supermarket you would walk to the Market. There are all kinds of booths with all kinds of stuff. It is really neat. Also instead of houses there were compounds. Almost all my relatives lived in one compound. The compound is square with rooms all along the sides. In one corner there was a shower. In the middle there was a big room, and that's where my grandfather lived. Most of the time you would sleep outside under the stars. My brother brought his soccer ball and all of our cousins came with us to the park and we played soccer. It was lots of fun.

When my mom was with the Peace Corps, she stayed in a village called Tarsaw. When we stopped in Tarsaw all the women were glad to see my mom. She spent almost all the time she had there with them. When my family went to Tarsaw, my brother and I got slingshots. It was fun to play with the other children and see whose stone could go the farthest. In Tarsaw the goats were left free to graze on the grass. My brother, the other children, and I tried to catch the goats. The closest market to Tarsaw was three miles away. You would have to walk or ride a bike, if you had one, to get there. I saw one man riding to the market with a goat tied to the back of his bike. In one of the compounds there was some straw lying on the ground and a chameleon was walking on it. It was funny to see it turning bright yellow to match the straw.

On our last day in Ghana we decided to go to Cape Coast which is a really neat fishing town by the ocean. Here we saw big slave castles. My family went on a tour of one. We went into the auction hall and the dungeons. We also saw the place where the British put the slaves if they tried to escape. If you didn't suffocate in there you would starve. There was a huge balcony with cannons on it. Under the balcony you could see some men and women getting ready to fish. Their boats were really, really cool. They had all these cool designs on them and they were really colorful.

That night we packed up and got all ready to leave. But we just couldn't resist one more dip in the ocean so we had a little swim and then headed right for the airport. When we got home, I was tired but the trip was really worth it.

 


Book Summary

 

In the presentation of this lesson, it is important to make sure that the children are aware that these are only two examples and are not representative of the entire African or Western cultures. The book compares a rural African way of life with that of life in a more suburban setting in the West.

This book is a picture book that displays the differences between the life of a boy living in a suburban community in a western nation and that of an African boy in a rural African village.  The story depicts these differences through the use of illustrations.

 

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