Elementary Lesson Plans & Activities

General introduction to Africa:

  • Are there any animals in Africa? Who has seen them?
    A lesson & poster that brings real people’s voices to weigh in on these questions. The goal of the lesson is to push back agains the frequent 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 (Kindergarten-6th grade).

  • Bingo: U.S. – Africa Connections Game
    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 (3rd-6th grade).

  • 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. 

  • Teaching about Africa through Artifacts 
    Our Artifact Map contains a catalogue of over 60 artifacts that we currently hold (in our online library as well), from several regions of Africa including West Africa, Eastern/Central Africa, and Southern Africa. Teachers can use this resource to click on any artifact on the map (images included) and find a list of resources for the classroom about the artifact’s origins, background, and history.

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • A People First Google Earth Lesson Introducing the Geography of Africa in Key Concepts and Questions
    The goal of this resource is to activate students’ knowledge by providing an experiential understanding of select concepts in the physical geography of Africa. The presentation uses an inquiry-based approach to probe key understandings of the ways geography shapes human activity. The Google Earth presentation was designed to  address the types of questions that can be asked about concepts in the physical geography of Africa with the goal of building curiosity.

English Language Arts

This article frames how to teach and discuss the award-winning author Ifeoma Onyefulu’s My Grandfather is a Magician within the economic, civic, geographic, and historical concepts of work. Designed for lower elementary school students, both the book itself and this approach are highly recommended ways of incorporating Africa into your classroom in an universally relatable way.

Math and Science

    Physical Education

      • Physical Education Games
        Physical Education teacher Matthew Bassett offers resources to educators interested in teaching students to appreciate physical games and activities reflecting diverse heritages, including games from Botswana, Ethiopia, Guinea, and Nigeria.


      • Dancing with the ancestors: A study of Egungun Masquerades and Nick Cave’s Soundsuits, Pre-K-K. by Paula Mans, a unit that brings students to understand Egungun masquerade traditions and the ways Diasporic artists have taken them up as inspiration. It leads students to engage with their own ways of meaning-making through masks, without reproduction or appropriation. A groundbreaking lesson that changes the course of the many lessons on African masks that came before it, which were developed without cultural responsiveness.