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.
- Outreach Program Artifact Map
The Outreach Program 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.
- 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.
- Spoken Word Poetry Unit Featuring Malagasy Slam Poet Caylah
Created by high school teacher and 2018 Curriculum Development Grant recipient Lee Naughton, this unit plan on spoken word poetry emphasizes the importance finding one’s voice in order to affect change. The unit includes an overview of Madagascar and Malagasy Slam Poet Caylah as a means by which to globalize youth issues such as representation and gender rights, among others, and encourage students to develop their own slam poetry in a culminating class project.
- Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony: Highlighting Music in the Fight against Apartheid
Created by high school teacher Byrce Mattie, this film guide is a perfect supplement to add context and nuance to a discussion about apartheid and recent South African history while viewing Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony.
- 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.
- 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:
- Teaching Ebola: Responses, Ethics, and the Future
Created by Melissa Graboyes, a University of Oregon professor, this curriculum guide focuses on the 2014 ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. Designed for advanced high school students or first or second-year college students, it contains thoroughly-researched readings, classroom activities, and an annotated list of additional recommended resources. The materials explore the logistical scope of the Ebola outbreak and the countries and people affected as well as the role of Western media in its depiction of Africans during the crisis. This resource may serve as an entry point for exploring other topics related to media bias, global health, and disease.
Case Studies in Colonialism Lecture Series
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.
Film Clips and Trailers
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.
Languages of Africa Series
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.