Middle School Resources

Interactive Classroom Activities

  • 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.
  • 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.

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.
  • 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.

Multimedia Resources

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.

Inside Africa (Grades 2-7 DVD)

The video below is a trailer to our film Inside Africa: Introducing the Continent and Its Peoplewhich introduces elementary and lower middle school-aged students to the diverse human and physical geographies of Africa. The final portion of the film follows the lives of children in three countries, depicting both the diversity and the universality of childhood experiences. The film is available for purchase on our website 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.