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 quite close to the game parks. Here are a couple photos from wikimedia of a woman and children with beaded necklaces around their necks:

File:COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Close-up van een Masai vrouw met drie kinderen bij Kajiado TMnr 20038609.jpg

We read about the Maasai warriors and learned about the rite of passage boys undertake to become a warrior.  The Maasai warrior’s shield is on the flag of Kenya:


Many years ago, my Mom went to a conference in Nairobi. While she was there she went on a safari and bought a Maasai beaded necklace. After my Mom has passed away my Dad gave the necklace to me.  I took the necklace down from the wall and let the kids all try it on:


After spending quite a bit of time examining our necklace and the ones in the books we had on hand, the kids set about making their own… while I read aloud:


The kids have also worked quite a bit on the geography of East Africa with our pin map.


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 print out a map of Africa from our Africa Learning Packet:

Africa Learning Packet: Geography of Africa


I have a couple of wonderful geography games we’ve been playing, but I’ll save that post until tomorrow.

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