Curriculum Connections

The Poem: The following is the full text of Part Four of the poem, Children of East Africa (©6 OneWorld Classrooms. All rights reserved).

Fishing is one job to which we aspire
In Luo tradition, there are few jobs higher
But with waves of modernity shaping our shore
Now it's education that we value much more

So let's stop at our school and check it out
For plenty is happening there, no doubt
It's a place of learning and a hub of activity
Where we exercise our minds and test our agility

Back home of course we have homework too
But when the chores are over we're just like you
That is, like children anywhere, we love to play
And that's just what we do till the day runs away

So we're glad you could come and look through our window
Now it's time to say farewell, though
And as we give you "a push" to the outskirts of our town
We'll leave you with smiles instead of good-bye frowns

For closeness is really only measured in the heart
And the time we shared is not a closing but a start
For warm departures can never mark a true end
If the people departing have become good friends

Our village is small and our country one of many
So just remember that Africa is a land of plenty
Plenty of wonder and magnificent places
Plenty of beauty and beautiful faces

And don't forget that the faces of Africa have smiles
They always will as they have all the while
For a smile is a great universal expression
The symbol of friendship, love and compassion

And children are smiling all over this great land
They'll be your friend too if you extend them your hand
From Ghana to Egypt, Mali to Mozambique
Just like you all are special and all are unique.

Language Arts/Music Connection: The poem, Children of East Africa, uses rhyme, word repetition, alliteration and consistent line length to create rhythm. Have students locate specific examples of each. Point out that, in each technique, it is a pattern or a repetition of sound that actually produces the rhythm: after all, that's exactly what rhythm is. Break out some CD's and compare this to rhythmic techniques found in music.

Writing Idea: Using Children of East Africa as a model, have students write an original Children of ....poem about children from your school, town or part of the country.

Social Studies Connection: This section of the poem revisits the theme of being different and the same at the same time, this time at school. Go through the section one time, reading the poem and looking at the photos, then go through again reading the corresponding 'Tell Me About It' pages. Use the themes and information in each 'Tell Me About It' as a starting point for a brief class discussion. Below is a list of 'Tell Me About It' pages and related topics of discussion:

Photo #1 - Professions/lifestyles children aspire to. School uniforms/dress codes/accepted dress.
Photo #2 - Physical structure of school building. How physical structure of school fits local climate.
Photo #3 - Subjects studied by students at school. Overall purpose/objectives of schooling.
Photo #4 - Daily school schedule.
Photo #5 - Homework and chores at home.
Photo #6 - Play at school and at home.

Writing Idea: Of course, these discussions can lead to writing. Have students imagine that they are describing things about their school to African children. Explain that their descriptions have to be detailed and accurate so the African children can get a clear picture of what it is like at your school. Assign topics and have students write one or two descriptive paragraphs each. When they've finished writing, have them read their descriptions to the rest of the class. Allow classmates to decide if the descriptions are accurate and to suggest details that could be added, subtracted or altered to make the description clearer. By allowing a class critique of each essay, you are reinforcing the writing process, since rereading, rethinking, and clarifying/editing are important steps in reaching a quality final product.

Geography/Social Studies/Writing/Math Connection: 'Tell Me About It' pages 10-12 look at the geography and people of Africa as a whole. In #10, students read that Africa has as many countries (including some island countries) as the U.S. has states. To illustrate the incredible geographical, natural and human diversity of Africa - and of the U.S. - assign each student (or a group of students) one African country (include an island country or two) and one U.S. state. Using the Internet, have students research their country and state and prepare compare/contrast reports with respect to geography, climate, animals and people. To tie in math, require students to make bar graphs and charts for use in their reports, using statistics they discover in their research.

Curriculum Connections: Children of East Africa - Part 1
Curriculum Connections: Children of East Africa - Part 2
Curriculum Connections: Children of East Africa - Part 3



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