Author: Tara Berge

Grade Level: 2-3


1. Students will compare the life of a boy in Africa with their own lives.

2. Students will act out stories that they have written in groups.

Materials Needed:

Book: Not So Fast Songololo, by Niki Daly, Aladdin Books, New York. 1985, materials to create puppets (old socks, buttons, needles, thread, yarn, scissors, glue, pipe cleaner, tape) and a puppet theater. Instead of doing a puppet show the teacher or students could opt for a play. (Clothing for characters would be needed.)


1. Introduce the story Not So Fast Songololo to the students. Tell them that Malusi is a boy who lives in Africa.

2. Read the story.

3. Talk about unfamiliar words and ideas that were used in the story. Let the students answer questions. (What does Gogo mean? What are tackies?)

4. Compare the story to the students lives. What are the similarities and differences? Consider what your lives would be like if you lived in Africa. Have the students compare and contrast their lives with the life of Malusi. Why was Malusi so excited to get the new shoes? Why did he want to walk faster with his new shoes? Do you remember a time when you got something that you had wanted so badly?

5. Divide the students into groups of four or five. Explain that each group is to write a story that connects somehow to the book. Tell them that they will be sharing the stories in a play or a puppet show. There are many different things the students can write about. Their own trip downtown, a story about Malusi, what he might see if he came to our town, or an adapted version of Not So Fast Songololo. The teacher or a parent volunteer may need to write down the script for the students.

6. Make puppets and assign characters. Be sure all students have a role or a responsibility.

7. Share the stories.

8. As a large group discuss the similarities and differences between the stories written by the class. What things did the students notice about the stories? Did each group write about something different? Can they relate to the stories that were written? Then compare the stories to the book.


Assess the contribution and participation of each student to the stories and plays. Evaluate the comments made in discussions. Observe the dramatizations.


Not So Fast Songololo, by Niki Daly. Aladdin Paperbacks. 1985. Ways That Work: Putting Social Studies Standards into Practice, by Tarry Lindquist. Heinemann. 1997.

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