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Special Area Classes Explore Africa

Drumming Ensemble

This year the special area teachers will focus on a different continent each six weeks. The first six weeks of this school year our focus was on the continent of Africa. Each of the special area teachers focused on the African continent and countries located there.

  • During Music classes students in grades 3, 4 and 5 learned how to use the African drums and formed a drumming ensemble.
  • In Art class they drew African animals. Africa is rich with varied wildlife including elephants, penguins, lions, cheetahs, seals, giraffes, gorillas, crocodiles, and hippos.
  •  In PE they studied famous African athletes.
  • During their media lesson, students in grades 2-5 learned about Dr. Jane Goodall, a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace who worked in Tanzania, Africa from 1957 and still today. Throughout her life and career Dr. Goodall's goal has been to empower people to make a difference for all living things. Prior to Mrs. Shulman reading Me....Jane by Patrick McDonnell the students enjoyed a slideshow of Dr. Jane Goodall's life growing up in England, moving to Africa, and her studies of animals, primarily Chimpanzees. Many of the students identified with Dr. Goodall because of their own love of animals.
  • During Global Studies classes the students have explored Schools and education around the world and compared with Rocky River. We were surprised that several countries in Africa have schools with no electricity, holes in the walls and roofs, no technology or textbooks. Many students have to travel a long way to get to school and face barriers. Families have to pay for students to go to school. First grade students brainstormed ways they could help children in these schools. These included sending supplies, providing books, sending money, fixing building walls, getting electricity and technology for them. The students showed real empathy with others around the world when they started brainstorming ways they could/would help other students to get an education. Mrs. Todd shared a video about Journey to Schools around the World and in it Nelson Mandela (Nobel Peace Prize winner from South Africa) said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Students in 2nd through 5th grade discussed what this meant. Students decided that everyone should have the right to get an education no matter where they live or what barriers they face.

• Africa is the 2nd largest continent in the world. It is made up of 53 countries. There are more than 1,000 languages spoken in Africa.
• You could fit China, India, Europe, Argentina, New Zealand and the mainland of the United States into the continent of Africa.
• Africa is home to the Nile River the longest river in the world and the Sahara Desert which is the largest desert.

Written by: Brenda Todd
Posted: Oct 15, 2013 by Brenda Todd

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