Implementation of “In love with Africa” (SOI-IT-41)

The context for the implementation

I have implemented the learning scenario of Vittoria Volterrani In love with Africa with my 4th grade pupils.

The activity took place during 6 hours, in three lessons, plus an extra hour for the opening of the exhibition designed by students. Pupils already knew Europeana because they attended a presentation at school by students involved in a learning scenario. They were thrilled to discover something new and work with digital devices!

Implementing the Learning Scenario

We started with the question “What do you already know about Africa?” to activate prior knowledge. I noticed they had lots of stereotypes about African people, regarding poverty and severe diseases, but also knew many features of the African fauna and flora. At this point the Europeana collection On Safari was shown and discussed, finding out the wonders of the African landscape.

This activity was really interesting because they realized they could find link between Geography and History related to the study of ancient civilizations, such as Ancient Egyptians. Moreover, some stereotypes were called into question and students found out Africa’s beauty.

As home assignment, they browsed Google Earth to explore the African continent, taking notes about landscape and played a jigsaw. Their discoveries were shared during a lesson and used to plan an art exhibition for their schoolmates. They worked in groups of four, using tablets. Each group found at least two interesting screenshots about the topic they were assigned and showed them to the whole class.

Some realia, such as sand paintings from Senegal and Kenya, a little ebony statue and some bracelets made with multicolored fabrics from Tanzania, were brought and shown to the class. Some videos about Masai dance, Miriam Makeba songs and traditional music of Congo were played to create a connection with African culture. Pupils found this audio experience really enjoyable and some of them could not help dancing!

During the last lesson each group had to choose the most explicative screenshot and draw it for the art exhibition using different techniques (pastels, wax colors, tempera, collage, spices…). After that, a paper exit ticket was given to each pupil to record their experience and give feedback about the learning experience.

They wrote down three things learned, two things that made them curious and one thing they still want to know about Africa. Before the exhibition each group wrote a short description of their art works as an explanation for the inauguration.

Reflections

This learning scenario was so rich in contents to implement that we could not cover the whole of it. Even so it was a really interesting learning experience, useful to deepen global citizenship and develop critical thinking. The feedback provided by students encourages me to continue using Europeana resources, using colleagues’ scenarios or simply making my own scenarios.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario?

In Love with Africa created by Vittoria Volterrani

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? You might also like:

  • In Love with Africa, implemented by Visan Gratiela

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