High School Resources

Interactive Class Activities

  • BINGO!: Stereotype Edition
    Anthropologist Mark Moritz writes about his approach for getting students to recognize how films and media perpetuate stereotypes and myths about African forager groups. The BINGO! format discussed is a great activity for stereotype- and myth-busting for any subject.
  • Nidad: The Maize and Malaria Card Game
    This is a strategy and risk game modeled after the Ethiopian agricultural system. The name of the game, Nidad, or malaria, in Amharic, emphasizes the link between maize, mosquitoes, and malaria as found in the Rockefeller Foundation study lead by Boston University Professor James McCann. Instructions, game templates, and playing cards are all easily printable.

Lesson Plans

  • Language as Evidence: Using Swahili to Understand East African History
    World history teacher Eric Beckman created a resource-rich website for educators to teach about East African history and contemporary society through classroom study of the Swahili language. These lessons are useful for teaching about the Bantu migration, Indian Ocean trade network, imperialism, colonialism, and globalization. Includes multimedia resources and editable powerpoints and worksheets for classroom use.
  • South African Short Stories: Apartheid, Civil Rights, and You
    Created by high school teacher Carol Marshall, these lesson plans will not only introduce students to a diverse group of South African writers and literature, but also help students to begin to understand how apartheid created discriminatory and despicable laws, boundaries, and limitations for those who lived in South Africa during this time period. Additionally, students will explore how race in America impacted citizens here in a profound way through a lesson plan on the Little Rock Nine.
  • Modern Africa: Unit Plan and Lesson Excerpts 
    Created by high school teacher Rachel Otty, this resource frames students’ understanding of how they should consider the study of Africa. Students will spend a week studying economic issues, specifically the debate surrounding international economic aid.
  • African Democracy Simulation Activity
    In this simulation, students will study the politics around an upcoming election in the fictional African country of Mambia. In different groups, students will study the perspectives of and represent one of seven community organizations in a national meeting. In this meeting, students must develop collective goals for Mambia’s civil society for responding to the growing authoritarianism of the incumbent leader, President Jones.  This innovative and engaging lesson plan includes procedures, readings, and handouts.
  • Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali Reading Guide
    This student reading guide features a timeline of the Empire of Mali, a character list from the reading, chapter by chapter comprehension questions, pulled quotations, and reading activities. 

Film Guides

  • Pray the Devil Back to Hell: A Women’s Peace Movement in Liberia
    Created by high school teacher Frank Swoboda, this film guide focuses on comparative topics like the causes and effects of war and conflict, responses to oppression and violence, nonviolent protest and civil disobedience, human rights, women’s participation in society, and peace-building and peacekeeping.

Curriculum Guides

  • Exploring Disease in Africa: A Curriculum Guide for High School & College Students
    This curriculum guide undermines biases that imply that Africa is a disease-ridden continent, that help for these diseases only came with the arrival of outsiders, and that disease on the continent continues to a problem that only foreign aid and western ideas can fix. This resource counters these ideas by focusing on the only disease that has been globally eradicated (smallpox); an ancient disease that lingers on today (sleeping sickness); and a disease that has only emerged in the lifetime of your students (AIDS). The resource is available in several parts linked below:

Multimedia Resources

The Boston University African Studies Center presents the Case Studies in Colonialism Lecture Series. The series seeks to challenge the misconception that colonialism was a universal experience across the African continent. These videos are suitable for upper high school and college students. For more resources and lesson plans on teaching about colonialism, please visit us here.

Case Studies in Colonialism: Algeria and Morocco

In the video below, Boston University Professor of History Diana Wylie warns of the danger of broad generalizations about colonialism in Africa. To illustrate the complexity and idiosyncrasies of colonialism found throughout the continent, Professor Wylie compares and contrasts the colonial experiences specifically in Algeria and Morocco.

Case Studies in Colonialism: Senegal

In the video below, Boston University Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the African Language Program Fallou Ngom focuses on the specificities of colonialism in Senegal and how Senegal’s unique history and culture shaped and were shaped by the colonial experience.

The Teaching Africa Library boasts a number of rentable, interactive, and educational films on Africa, two of which were produced by the Outreach Program. To view the entire catalog of available films, please click here.

 

What Do We Know About Africa? (Grades 7-12 DVD)

The video below is a trailer to our film What Do We Know About Africa?, which serves as an excellent counter to common misconceptions about Africa. The film introduces students to the diversity in the histories, religions, cultures, and peoples of the African continent. The film is particularly suited for upper middle and high school students, as well as college students in introductory courses.  It is available for purchase on our website here.

The Language of Africa series highlights a number of languages spoken around the continent and explores the personal and cultural connections each language has for its speaker. These abbreviated clips are an excellent way of introducing the multiculturalism and linguistic diversity found throughout the continent and provide students with an opportunity to think about the way their use of a specific language(s) carries with it historical and cultural connotations as well.

Afrikaans

In this particular video, Professor Zoliswa Mali provides an example of the Afrikaans language. Afrikaans is one of the official languages of South Africa and is the third most spoken language in the country. For more information on the Afrikaans language, please follow the link here.

(Portuguese) Creole

In this particular video, Professor Fallou Ngom provides an example of the Creole language. Creole is one of many languages spoken in Senegal, but examples of Creole can be found in numerous countries worldwide. For more information on the Creole language, please follow the link here.

Mandika

In this particular video, Professor Fallou Ngom provides an example of the Mandinka language. Mandika is the primary language of the Gambia but variations are spoken in Senegal and parts of Guinea-Bissau. For more information on the Mandika language, please follow the link here.

Sesotho

In this particular video, Professor Zoliswa Mali provides an example of the Sesotho language. Sesotho is one of the official languages of South Africa and is the national language of Lesotho. For more information on the Sesotho language, please follow the link here.

Xhosa

In this particular video, Professor Zoliswa Mali provides an example of the isiXhosa language. IsiXhosa (known as Xhosa in English) is one of the official languages of South Africa and is widely spoken throughout the country. For more information on the isiXhosa language, please follow the link here.

Zulu

In this particular video, Professor Zoliswa Mali provides an example of the Zulu language. Zulu is one of the official languages of South Africa and is the most widely spoken home language there. Zulu is also spoken in surrounding Southern Africa countries, such as Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. For more information on the Zulu language, please follow the link here.