Hunting and Gathering

in the African Rain Forest


Lesson Plan

Title of lesson: Hunting and Gathering in the African Rain Forest

Author: Jaime Lentz

Subject Area: Social Studies

Grade Level: 1-3

Date: 10/30/98


Objective: Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the Mbuti people hunting and gathering in the African rain forest, by writing a story about a Mbuti hunting or gathering food.

Materials: Bitter Bananas, The Last Rain Forest (see background link for book references), pictures of the levels in the rain forest from the books, paper, and coloring utensils.


1. Read Bitter Bananas. It is about a boy who collects palm sap to drink and sell at the market. He discovers that the sap is disappearing. He tries to save his sap.

2. Ask the students: Where do you get your food? How does Yusuf (from the book) get his food? How might you get food if you lived in a forest away from stores?

3. Mbutis are people that live in the African rain forest. They are hunters and gathers. They must hunt animals and gather plants to eat, instead of growing their own crops. The rain forest is very dense with trees and plants. There are very few roads in the rain forest, it would be very hard to get to a store to buy food, so the Mbuti must find their own food. Some hunt with bows, others fish.

4. Show pictures of the rain forest from the books. Explain how large many of the trees are and that they are very close together, with lots of undergrowth. Some of the animals that live in the rain forest are: baboons, squirrels, frogs, lizards, snakes, bees, bats, humming birds, birds, moths, fish, beetles, caterpillars, rodents, monkeys, parrots, tortoises, termites, and snails. Big game is rare in the rain forest. Some plants they eat are: palm fruit and oil, bananas, fruits, and nuts. Many of the people also eat honey.

5. Have the students create a story about a Mbuti hunting or gathering food in the African rain forest.

Evaluation: The students will create (draw or write) a story about a Mbuti getting food. They will use their knowledge of hunting and gathering in creating their story. Look for knowledge about hunting, gathering, environment, and types of food.


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