Curriculum ideas from the Salmonberry School

In December, the Salmonberry School, an independent school located on beautiful Orcas Island in Washington State, began to incorporate the Amman Imman project into their elementary curriculum in preparation for fund raising activities in January. Please take note of what they did! The ideas listed here provide a rich orientation for students to enliven their cultural awareness about Africa as they engage in the project. Many thanks to Paul Freedman, head of the Salmonberry School, for providing this list of activities.

"In December, we dove into our studies of Saharan Africa:
  • We looked at a number of photographs from the Azawak region of Niger, which we used as texts and tried to glean as much as we could about these people’s lives and culture.
  • We similarly looked at some of the North African artifacts on loan from the Global and Multicultural Resource Center.
  • We looked at some North African art and designs.
  • We worked with the map to discover the vast Sahara desert and the “sahel” region to the south (see map).
  • We cooked a Nigerien snack on Thursday, cous cous – a big hit – which is a rice-like granule made from semolina wheat and peanuts, actually not a nut at all, but an underground growing legume.
  • We listened to African music and recreated some simple rhythms.
  • We learned a cooperative group game from Africa, which makes use of rhythm and movement, as well as the two person strategy game of mancala.
  • On Friday we heard and analyzed a folktale from the Tuareg people of Niger and Mali. We looked at characters, setting, lesson, and plot and compared this story to Cinderella. We employed drama to act out a folktale.
  • We also made some North Africa inspired masks, in which we used art principles of positive and negative space and symmetry. We also discussed use of dance, costume and masks in traditional rituals across cultures.
  • We looked at math from a North African perspective, both through number systems and geometry."

Paul tells us, "The kids seem extremely engaged, full of questions, excited by the mystery and unfamiliarity this region represents, and extremely and markedly uncritical or judgmental. They are so open and receptive. It’s incredible."

On Tuesday, January 15, ten children from Salmonberry's primary class participated in A Walk For Water. Stay tuned to the blog for the story and photos!

Note: map showing Sahel, credit Wikipedia


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