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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: An Exploration of Africa

An Exploration of Africa

HOW IT WORKS
Students learn that Africa is a diverse land with customs, religions, daily practices, and languages varying greatly from region to region.
They identify the three major land forms: desert, grassland, and rain forest, and individually research an African animal by writing papers and creating animal trading cards, which are shared with the class. They also create a chart comparing and contrasting two tribes in Africa.

An example of one activity that incorporates technology is as follows: using the Internet, students find information on the three land forms and write a brief paragraph describing each. Each student writes an individual narrative describing an adventure he/she had using one of the three regions as a setting. Students can download pictures and create a postcard describing a trip taken to one of the three regions. As a culminating activity, the class will go on a field trip to the Bronx Zoo to see the Congo Exhibit, and visit the Museum of Natural History to see artifacts from Africa. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden also offers hands-on workshops on plant life of the desert or rain forest. 

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum has a collecting of objects from Africa, which the children can explore in a workshop format. 

THE STUDENTS
An Exploration of Africa is set up for an entire class to work individually and cooperatively.   Each teacher can modify the program based on the number of students and computer. Each activity can be modified for students of all levels. Lower-functioning students can pair up with other students for a writing activity. Once students are familiar with the computer, the program allows all different types of students to be accountable for their work in their own capacity. Even if a child cannot read, he/she will benefit from the visuals and sounds of the web sites.

THE STAFF
Marion Peluso has taught third grade for two years. She created this program after seeing the need for students to more fully experience the world outside of the classroom. She developed the program working with TeachNet Mentors Carolyn Hornik and Bonnie Glasgold at her school. She will be completing her Masters this May, and she took part in Teachers Network courses last year. 

WHAT YOU NEED
Several computers with Internet access, word-processing program such as Apple Works or Student Writing Center, and drawing/painting program such as Kid Pix are needed. Student copies of the literature listed in the individual lesson and pictures of animals from all over the world are essential, and the books Africa by D.V. Georges and City and Village Life by Warren J. Halliburton are helpful. Assistance from a volunteer or paraprofessional could be used, but a well-organized teacher can integrate the program on his/her own. Consulting with the school’s technology and science teachers would be helpful, as they may be able to enhance what you are doing in the classroom.  

OVERALL VALUE
This program is of value to all teachers who feel that students need hands-on experience to truly learn. There is a great difference between memorization and realization. In a diverse place such as New York City, it is important that students learn to accept and appreciate other cultures—ones that may be different from what is familiar to them. This program allows students to meet the City’s Standards while being immersed in a different continent. A program such as this promotes cooperation as well as individual achievement. Students will feel pride when they see how much they have grown both personally and academically from such an experience.  

 

View the Curriculum Unit/Dissemination Packet

CURRICULUM AREAS
Social Studies
Language Arts
Science
Technology

GRADES
4-6

MORE INFORMATION  

Marion Peluso
Verrazano School
P.S. 101
2360 Benson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11234
Phone: (718) 372-0221
Fax: (718) 372-1873
mdpeluso@verizon.net
Principal: 
Dr. John A
Szczepanik

 

IMPACT II Catalog 2001-2002

 

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