by Rebecca Caldwell
Note: The background information should be read before using this lesson.
GRADE LEVEL: Early Elementary
2. As a class, students will orally contribute to a summary paragraph on what they have learned about the different forms of shelter found in Africa.
2. Tell the
children that they will be making one type village that Africans
live in. In order to do this, they will first need to make
the houses. Give each child a piece of brown construction
paper. Instruct them to cut the paper in half horizontally
(giving each child two pieces of 6"x9" paper). This step may
be also be completed ahead of time. Instruct the children to
tape or glue the two pieces of paper together on the short sides
creating a tube. Give each child a circle made from brown
construction paper. The circle needs to have a section cut
from it creating a "pac-man" look. The gap where the "mouth"
opens should be about three inches wide. Have the children
"close" the mouth by bringing the sides together and taping or
gluing them together. This will create a cone that will be used as
the roof of the home. The children can then glue leaves and
grass to the roof.
3. Explain that many African groups live together in villages. Inside of each village, families live together in areas called compounds. Have the children pretend that they are members of a rural African group. They are going to build their own village using the models they have created. They will gather in groups of 4-5 children. The children may have the option of organizing their homes in a circle or back to back. Each group of children will represent a family and organize their models into a compound. The compounds should be arranged in the cardboard boxes. This will create the walls that separate the compounds. Place the boxes next to each other to create a village.
4. Once the children have formed their village, discuss the nature of these villages and compounds. Explain to the children that the homes are very simple and do not have things such as bathrooms or kitchens. Ask the children what types of things the compounds may need (make sure they cover things such as latrine, well, and open courtyard). If desired, they can add these things to their compounds. Tell the children the compounds of different families are separated by walls in the villages. The walls do not have ceilings. They just separate the compounds.
5. Explain the remaining three types of houses that are discussed in the background information section of this lesson plan (homes in the rain forests, camel hair homes, and red mud homes). Make sure to emphasize the role environment plays in the first two types of homes.
6. Make sure that children understand that not all Africans live in these types of homes/villages. Africans who live in large towns and villages may live in housing developments. For more information on this subject see Melissa Murray's lesson plan on this web site.
2. As a follow-up activity, a classroom discussion will be held where the students explain to the teacher the different types of villages/homes that can be found in Africa. The comments from the students will be recorded by the teacher. This paragraph can then be displayed with the village the students have built. For example, a question could be asked such as, "Why do some ethnic groups build their homes close together?"
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