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