The Classroom Package: Where to Begin

Through OneWorld Classrooms' Africa Classroom Travel Resources , your students will be 'traveling' to a small village in East Africa and several villages in Namibia. So, before you pack your bags, try the warm-up activities below.

1. Where on the Globe is Kenya?
2. Where on the Map is Namibia?
3. How to Get to Namibia
4. Things That Go to Make Up a Life ((K and up)
5. Similarities and Differences (4 and up)
6. Packing Your Bags I (Math Activity) (K-3)
7. Packing Your Bags II (Math Activity) (4 and up)

1. Where on the Globe is Kenya? - Use the globe to locate Kenya. Have students identify their own continent and country, Africa, Kenya and its neighbors, Tanzania, Somalia, the Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia, Lake Victoria, the Nile River (starting where it flows out of Lake Victoria in Uganda), the Great Rift Valley, Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro (in Tanzania) and the Indian Ocean. Have students identify the equator, noting that the equator runs east-west and the Nile River runs north-south. Have them consider what formed the Great Rift Valley. What other lakes make up Africa's 'Great Lakes?'

2. Where on the Map is Namibia? - Using a map, have students identify Namibia and its neighbors, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Namib and Kalahari deserts, the Etosha pan, the capital city, Windhoek, the Atlantic Ocean, the Okavango River and the Caprivi Strip. Have them compare the sizes of their own country and state with Namibia. For maps of Africa visit the Lessons and Activities section of The Classroom Package. (Online, the World Atlas << >>  has good political maps and Atlapedia <<  >> has good physical maps.)

3. How to Get to Kenya/Namibia - After completing the above activities, have students pick a specific location they would like to travel to in Kenya or Namibia and trace a route from your home state/province. Ask students in what direction(s) they will travel and by what set of means they might go (car, bus, taxi, train, ship, small airplane, jet, donkey, canoe, bike or feet). Have them estimate the distance in miles or kilometers and have them estimate a travel time, given their various modes of transportation. After reading the project's E-Travel Logs from Namibia, you'll be able to compare your routes with the actual route taken by the project coordinators.

4. Things That Go to Make Up a Life (K and up) - Brainstorm with your students to create a long list of things that make up their lives (allow a wide range of responses both general and very specific). Have students determine which items on the list are general and which are specific, then have them break up the items into categories, listing specific items under general categories. The overall list should provide a snapshot of the life and culture of your students. Next, have your students do the activity considering the lives of children who live in Namibia. Save the list and when your classroom explorations of Africa are complete, review it to determine how accurate the snapshot your students had in their minds about African children was. Modify the list based on what you learned by completing the project and discuss it as a cultural snapshot.

5. Similarities and Differences (4 and up) - A key social skill for all children is to understand that people are all similar in ways and different in ways. Discuss similarities and differences between students in your own classroom. Encourage students to speak of similarities and differences in a inclusive and inoffensive way. Both should be celebrated: similarities bind us as human beings and differences make us special and able to make unique contributions to the world around us. After, using the list you made in Things That Go to Make Up a Life (above), discuss ways that students in your class are similar to and different from Namibian children. Revisit the discussion at the completion of the project.

6. Packing Your Bags I (Math Activity) (K-3) - Have your students make a list of which items they would bring with them if they were traveling to Namibia for two weeks. Have them take into consideration the weather and the environment as well as health and entertainment. Also consider what activities you would be doing in the Namibia and consider what items you might be able to purchase or acquire there. Make sure they list how many of each item they would bring. When they've completed the list, have them add up the total number of items. Next, tell them they have to fit all of their items into one large suitcase. Have them prioritize the items eliminating those that are least important. Next have them estimate how many of each item they could fit in the suitcase. If possible, have each student bring in one item on the list (or something of similar size that could represent the item - i.e. a small box instead of a camera). Bring in a large suitcase and see if you can fit all of your items into it. If not, have students prioritize further until they can get everything in. Compare the number of items on the original list with the number of items that actually fit in the suitcase.

7. Packing Your Bags II (Math Activity) (4 and up) - Modify Packing Your Bags I (above) by telling your students, after they have made their initial list of items, that the airline they will be flying to Namibia has a baggage limit of 70 pounds or (rounding off) 30 kilograms. Have students estimate the weight of all the items on their list, then prioritize considering their estimations and the weight limit. When they've pared the list down, have them bring in the items and check them for actual weight, comparing the results with their estimates.

Choose another Classroom Package page below:
Where to Begin
Reading Fun
Related Activities and Lessons
Swahili Swirl
Other Fun Stuff
Links and Resources
Classroom Package Home
Classroom Travel Resources

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