Connections - African Cultural Root

Africa in the Classroom

Activity One: Group students by twos and assign each pair an African Nation. By using the Web and library resources, have your students discover as much as they can about visual arts in that nation. Include a timeline with examples of art from each time period. Start with some of the links below.

Activity Two: Put your students into groups of four and have them create a dance through which they can teach classmates about some aspect of African culture. Dancing groups may have a narrator who helps interpret the symbolic meaning of the dance steps. Have students bring rhythm instruments-hand drums, bells, rattles, etc. to accompany their dances.

Photo by Juanitia De Paola, used with permission.

Activity Three: Research the history of Kente Cloth-cloth developed by the Akans in Ghana and worn during ceremonial events and special occasions by kings. Help students discover the historical background, symbolic meaning of colors and designs, and techniques used in weaving the Kente cloths. Next, have them trace the political and fashion significance of these cloths in the United States. Have the students draw and color their designs on paper or cloth, or if you are feeling brave and creative, use Claris Works and have the kids "weave" a Kente Cloth on the computer.

Connections - African Cultural Root

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