Category: History: Africa Unit

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Slavery Unit: Books and DVDs We Used

This semester we are doing a unit on Slavery and the Civil War for history.  Today I wanted to share some of the books and DVDs we used for this part of our unit. We first talked about the kingdoms of Africa.  We began watching the first disc of the documentary, African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (affiliate link), which we borrowed from the library. (We stopped there because we hadn’t...

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History: Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, Songhai

We’re so excited to officially be back in school! Last week, I shared some of our science plans.  For history we will be doing a big unit on Slavery and the Civil War.  As we ease back into our routine, we’re going to spend some time learning about history West Africa just prior to the onset of the slave trade.  We’re going to talk about the salt and gold trade...

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Forgiveness, Fairness, Equality, Justice…Lessons on South Africa

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom Last night I read about the passing of Nelson Mandela,...

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The Kids Sing the 7 Continent Song

Yesterday someone asked me how the tune to the 7 Continents song goes that we use in geography.  We decided to try our hand making a video to help. ED sang the song by herself the first time through… then all the kids joined in the other two times. When they were first learning the seven continents they pointed (at first with my help) to each continent. When they were...

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Montessori Geography Activities (Free Montessori World Map)

  While my older kids were learning a lot about the location of the specific countries of Africa, my preschooler was working on world geography again.  I thought I’d share some of the activities ED has been doing the past week or two. As always, we started out by singing the continent song. It’s to the tune of Frère Jacques: Click here to hear the kids sing this the Seven...

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Wonderful Geography Games for Kids

We have been playing a couple of wonderful geography games in our homeschool. We have the Africa version, but you can also buy these same games in a version of Europe, Asia, or the Americas. The first is a card game called WorldWise Geography (Africa) I got for just a couple of dollars (it’s a different version that the one I linked to. It looks like the game has been...

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East Africa: The Maasai

We are winding down our school year and will be bringing our Africa unit to a close in the next week or so. The past couple of weeks we’ve been reading about East Africa. We’ve read about a number of countries and then learned a bit about the Maasai people. The Maasai are semi-nomadic people who live in Kenya and northern Tanzania. They have quite distinctive customs and dress and live...

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Transatlantic Slave Trade: Notebook Pages

As many of you know, we have been studying Africa this year in our homeschool.  As we finished up our studies of West Africa, we spent about a week learning about the Transatlantic Slave Trade and about slavery in general.  My kids had not yet studied this in history. We read a number of books… most of them had an incredible impact on the kids.  You’ll need to read these...

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Field Trip! Visiting the Global Village at Heifer International

As I mentioned yesterday, the kids are raising money to buy some livestock for Heifer International.  When I looked on the map, I saw that the Heifer has various learning centers around the country.  We called and made arrangements to visit Shepherd’s Spring in Maryland. Oh my goodness, what an amazing trip we had!!! The program director was so engaging with the kids and she led us on a 3+...

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The Kids’ Service Project – Selling Their Paintings to Raise Money to Buy a Goat, Sheep, or Chickens…

One of the lovely things about homeschooling is that we can reach out to our community — both near and far.  The kids and I helped a bit here in our community by volunteering at the local food pantry during the fall. They bagged apples and passed them out to people who came to the bi-weekly food bank.  This semester, we’re doing a service project that spins off from our...

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Our Care Package from the Gambia!

The Internet is so wonderful because you connect with and make friends with people from all over the world.  I’ve made some good friends through my years of blogging with whom I email pretty regularly.  One of the friends we’ve had for years live in the Gambia… and they sent us a care package that fit in absolutely perfectly with our studies of West Africa!!  The kids were SO SO...

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Learning About West Africa – Children’s Games and more

It has been quite a while since I talked about our African Unit. I think the last time I wrote, I shared the history pages I made about the Ghana and Mali Empires. We had also learned about some famous Africans such as Sundiata and Mansa Musa. The past couple of weeks, we’ve been learning more about contemporary Africa.  We’ve been doing a lot of reading from Journey into Africa:...

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West African History – Free Notebook Pages, Africa Picture Books

We have spent two weeks learning about the history of West Africa.  The kids did a lot of different West African art projects and while they worked on those, I would read aloud to them. After the camel was introduced in the 7th century or so, West Africa began trading more and more with North Africa. West African gold, salt and slaves moved north, while goods, ideas and Islam came down...

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Geography of Africa–The Countries and Physical Features

Once again, we brought out our pin maps as we learned about the countries of West Africa. We used the flags of Africa from Montessori Materials  to create country pins for our pin map (African Flags-page 1;  African Flags-page 2). You can download and print out the map from the African Learning Pack I made back in September. I used a plain cork board underneath the map. As we were talking about the trade between...