Elementary School Resources

Important Pedagogy for Teaching Elementary

Interactive Classroom Activities

  • African Cultural Activities 
    These hands-on crafts and games were co-prepared by the Boston Children’s Museum, BU’s African Studies Center, and a contributor from the activity-specific country for students in grades 4-7. The activities include contributors from Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Cape Verde, which are the African countries which have the highest population in Boston. The activities included are enjoyed by children in their origin country.
  • Creating Your Own Travel Kit
    If you are interested in developing your own country-specific or thematic travel kit, this lists a few suggestions, but we would be delighted to assist you further. Contact us here.
  • Bingo: The US-Africa Connections Worksheet
    This activity is designed for middle school students who focus on finding peers who can answer ‘yes’ to many of the Bingo sheet questions, and then uncover how elements of their daily lives–food, music, language, games, etc.–are all connected to Africa and/or the African diaspora. It is an excellent way to ‘bring Africa home’ for most students.
  • Creating Your Own Travel Kit
    If you are interested in developing your own country-specific or thematic travel kit, this lists a few suggestions, but we would be delighted to assist you further. Contact us here.

Lesson Plans

  • The Role of Wildlife in Teaching about Africa 
    Too often, evocative images of exotic animals are used to represent Africa in the media, literature, and in our schools. This is a dangerous mischaracterization and is very unrepresentative of the continent. In fact, most Africans see wildlife in zoos! We have produced an elementary-appropriate poster and accompanying lesson plans to help teachers combat this stereotype.
  • Discover Africa: A Travel Blog Project
    For this project, students write a series of travel blog posts that track their experiences and movements across the continent, highlighting their knowledge of African human and physical geography. The project focuses on representative and in-depth accounts of specific locations, rather than a broad and unrealistic generalization about the continent.
  • Using Visuals to Teach about Africa
    Visuals are key for student learning—more important for learning about Africa than perhaps for any other region of the world. This resources includes two lessons plans for recognizing bias through photos and for highlighting similarities across cultures. Sample Student Work contains student work from the two lessons discussed above and demonstrates the value of approaching visuals in area studies in this manner.
  • Africa Is Not a Country Statistics Comparison Activity
  • Guiding Questions for Discussing African Literature
  • Passport to the World: Learning about the Lives of Children in Africa through Picture Books

Additional Resources

  • Getting Started with Africa: A Resource Guide for Adults
    This annotated bibliography provides a number of sources to familiarize you with prominent works and resources in African Studies so that you are more informed and better equipped to introduce your student to the subject material.