Africa (Old Curriculum)

Land of diversity (Old Curriculum)

Children's rights and the millennium development goals are studied in relation to Africa and the UK. Health, water, food and trade, Mandela, African art, history and geography are all covered and support to link with an African school is given. Gain your International School Award!

Each Topic is written for a particular Key Stage. If you use a Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

This Topic was written for the old National Curriculum of England.  We have left it on the website so that teachers unconstrained by the new National Curriculum can continue to access this material.  Teachers in England would have to adapt this Topic to the new curriculum or use some of the new Topics available on the website. 

Supporting documents for topic
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01: Continent not country

Children look closely at the continent of Africa. They recognise that it is a huge and diverse land with many different countries and widely varying landscapes and climates. They take one or two countries each and create a huge collage-map of Africa.

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01a: Oceans, seas, rivers and lakes

Following their personal choices in session 1, children research the countries they identified. They mark physical features on their maps, including rivers, lakes, deserts and mountains. They also identify the oceans and seas.

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02: Mountains to seas 1

Using a PowerPoint presentation, children look at a variety of images from across Africa, the largest landmass on the planet. They begin a research project to find out more about a particular type of landscape, possibly linking this to their chosen country.

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02a: Mountains to seas 2

Children focus on producing a really exciting presentation to encapsulate all the information they have discovered about their particular landscape. They consider what makes a good PowerPoint presentation and ensure that they work to produce this.

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English Plan 2: Non-fiction - information texts

Investigate information texts, identify features and find out how to extract useful information. Explore a variety of paper and online guides. Plan and create own guide to a new imaginary African Safari Park using computers and technology, then present it to an audience in role.

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03: Animals of Africa

In this session children start a sustained piece of work on African animals. They look at the different animals across the continent and link this to the variety of climates and landscapes. Each child decides which animal they will focus on for their own project.

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04: Madagascan chameleon

Using Madagascan chameleons as a model, show children how they can focus upon particularly interesting aspects of their chosen creature. They will need to write an explanation of this feature. Model this using the chameleon’s camouflage as an example.

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05: Endangered species

Looking at the causes of endangerment and how it can be prevented is the focus of this session. Both generally and in relation to their chosen animal, children consider how habitat, conditions and human activity contribute to the numbers of breeding animals.

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05a: Protect the animals

Children complete their projects on African animals. They include advice or information about how their animal can be protected, drawing on World Wildlife Fund sites and advice. They proudly display their finished booklets.

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English Plan 3: Narrative - African myths

Share a selection of African myths about Anansi which children retell orally or in different written formats. Read other African myths and inspire children to compare the stories, create their own mythical creatures and write a book review. Finally children write their own myth.

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06: Pre-history

Pre-history and what early man looked like. Exciting stuff, this foray into the earliest origins of our species. We can all be traced back to species living in Africa. What were people like then? Children research and find out, producing a profile of homo erectus.

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06a: All of us are African

We now know from genetic evidence that everyone alive today originates from one species in Africa. Children listen to the genealogists on the BBC and learn about genes. They explore and create family trees – we all link back to our African family.

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07: What archaeologists tell us

Bury a tool! This session focuses on the processes of historical enquiry – how archaeologists can find out about a culture from the tools they dig up. Children look at pre-historic tools and consider what tools we could bury to represent our present culture.

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08: First hunters

In this session children look at how pre-historic man created his or her tools. As hunter-gatherers they had need of sharp knives and axes and spears. Children have fun making their own pre-historic tools using sticks, twine and stones.

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09: Music roots

Children find out about the diversity of music in Africa. African music has been influenced by the music of other cultures, but it has also influenced other music itself. Children listen to some African music, comment and try to identify the instruments used.

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09a: Kye kye kule

Children learn a ‘call and response’ song from Ghana in West Africa, after warming up their voices by copying sounds made. Add actions and then a drum beat rhythm. Children use untuned percussion instruments to create different rhythms.

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10: African instruments

Look at a variety of African instruments in detail. Find out how they make their sound. What vibrates? Show children pictures of six instruments and play a small clip of music. Can children match the sounds to the instruments?

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10a: Making a shekere

Children discover that in Africa musical instruments are often hand made from objects found in the environment. Look at an African shekere in detail. Children make a shekere of their own based on a plastic washing up liquid container, then make music.