Teaching Guide for An Invitation to Senegal

Also refer to the Module Guide for additional information.

Content area and grade levels
Standards
Lesson summary
Rationale
Instructional plan

Pre-visit activities
Museum visit planning
Post-visit
activities
Assessment and evaluation


Content area and grade levels

History/Social Studies and Fine Arts for grades 3-5.

Standards

The lesson, An Invitation to Senegal, is aligned with the following Illinois Learning Standards for
social science and fine arts.

ILS 16D - I understand Illinois, United States and world social history.

ILS 16.D.2 (W) - I can describe the various roles of men, women and children in the family, at work, and in the community in various time periods and places (e.g., ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, ancient China, Sub-Saharan Africa).

ILS 18A - I can compare characteristics of culture as reflected in language, literature, the arts, traditions and institutions.

ILS 18.A.2 - I can explain ways in which language, stories, folk tales, music, media and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture.

ILS 27B - I understand how the arts shape and reflect history, society and everyday life.

ILS 27.B.2 - I can identify and describe how the arts communicate the similarities and differences among various people, places and times.

This lesson also addresses Language Arts standards through reading, using the online dictionary, and answering online journal questions.

top

Lesson summary

This lesson is presented as a letter written by Anwar, a 14-year old boy from Senegal. Anwar describes what daily life is like in Dakar, Senegal, in an effort to persuade the reader to visit his country. He focuses on the culture and customs of Senegal, including musical traditions, religion, and manners.

Rationale

The lessons in the module A Field Trip to West Africa were developed in response to teacher requests for curriculum materials on contemporary Africa for late elementary and middle-school students. Teachers expressed the need for materials that would highlight everyday life in Africa and that would present the cultural diversity of African countries. The Field Museum, Chicago and the Chicago WebDocent Project partnered to develop A Field Trip to West Africa to address this need.

The lesson An Invitation to Senegal is intended to prepare students who will visit The Field Museum’s Africa exhibit. The exhibit includes a display focusing on Senegal, which presents some of the artifacts on view in the lesson. Teachers using the lesson will be able to prepare students for what they will see and learn about in the exhibit, as well as preview key artifacts.

In addition to a field trip, this lesson can be used in conjunction with other Africa resources at The Field Museum, including online and hands-on materials from the Harris Educational Loan Program. Please consult Additional Activities and Web Links for other resources for this lesson.

top

Instructional plan

The online lesson is designed to be as part of a pre-visit activity for a field trip. It can be completed in one class session; however, the lesson may be delivered over multiple class sessions depending on how long students spend reading, viewing images, exploring dictionary terms, and responding to online journal questions. Please consult the Module Guide for A Field Trip to West Africa for instructional use scenarios that describe how to use the lesson in a classroom or lab setting.

The lesson includes images of artifacts and parts of the exhibit that students can closely inspect using a “zoom” tool. This content is presented in a clickable museum icon that opens full screen to reveal a high resolution image. Teachers can engage students in a series of questions that foster visual thinking and critical thinking skills. Invite students to spend a moment looking at the image or object and ask them to describe what they see. Ask students to support their observations by pointing out specifics. Invite the class to analyze what they believe the image was intended to communicate, when it may have been created, by whom, for whom, etc. Typically students will get involved spontaneously offering their interpretations in an energetic discussion that moves learning into their hands. These techniques can be used both in the classroom using digitized images and at the museum looking at artifacts.

It is recommended that teachers preview this lesson to find any concepts or vocabulary that may need to be covered before the students begin. All vocabulary words are listed in the lesson in the "Words to Know" box. Teachers may wish to create a vocabulary/spelling list for using the terms found in this lesson.

The lesson includes an online journal with several essay-type questions for students to answer and print. Teachers may wish to preview the questions and select which ones students should answer.

Teachers are strongly encouraged to set up a discussion time for students after each session so that they can reflect and give feedback on what they have experienced so far in the lesson.

top

Pre-visit activities

The lesson includes images of artifacts and parts of the exhibit that students can closely inspect using a “zoom” tool. This content is presented in a clickable museum icon that opens full screen to reveal a high resolution image. Teachers can engage students in a series of questions that foster visual thinking and critical thinking skills. Invite students to spend a moment looking at the image or object and ask them to describe what they see. Ask students to support their observations by pointing out specifics. Invite the class to analyze what they believe the image was intended to communicate, when it may have been created, by whom, for whom, etc. Typically students will get involved spontaneously offering their interpretations in an energetic discussion that moves learning into their hands. These techniques can be used both in the classroom using digitized images and at the museum looking at artifacts.

Create a visual organizer to help guide viewing at the museum. Choose artifacts found in the lesson and have students look for more examples while at the museum, for example, clothing or musical instruments.

top


Museum visit planning

Visit the Field Museum's Planning Your Field Trip website for information. Also refer to the Teacher Checklist for field trip planning.


Post-Visit Activities

The materials below are available from The Field Museum's Education Department and Harris Educational Loan Program for use in the classroom as post-visit activities.

Printed Materials
Africa! An Activity Book
Africa! An Exhibit Guide
Africa Exhibit Poster
A Field Trip to Africa, Video

Harris Educational Loan Program Experience Boxes
Adindra Cloth from Ghana
Africa Calabashes
Africa Jewelry
African Metalworking
The Art of Cameroon
Fabrics from West Africa
Listen to the Sounds of Africa
Africa the Land
Ancient Egypt: Life Along the Nile
Caravans to Kano
Studying Africa Wildlife

Audio Visuals
Africa, A View from The Field Museum
A Field Trip to Africa
Animals of Africa

top

Assessment and evaluation

Students should answer questions that are presented in the lesson as part of the online journal. These questions can be used by teachers to faciliate discussion at the end of the lesson.

In addition to activities using The Field Museum's resources listed above, the Additional Activities link provides suggestions for offline projects for students that can be used for assessment.

top