Curriculum Connections

Connecting Your Safari to the Curriculum: Social Studies/Geography

Before you take your class on Safari!, read this site's Introductory Poem about the African continent. Then, take out the globe or the map. See if your students can locate Africa, the savanna, Kenya, Tanzania and other East African countries, and other geographical features of the area. Your students are probably familiar with The Great Lakes of North America; see if they can locate 'The Great Lakes' of East Africa (the largest, Lake Victoria, is 'greater' than all of the North American Great Lakes except for Superior). What are some of the major game parks of East Africa? What are the weather patterns in the park areas? How does this affect the behavior of the animals? What is the Rift Valley and why is it significant in the area of archeology?  Does wildlife live there? What ocean borders East Africa? What are the important rivers of East Africa? What large cities are in East Africa?

Have students locate the equator and predict the climate of East Africa. Be careful - it's not all hot and dry. Two mountains in East Africa have snow on them all year round. Can your students identify which ones (Mounts Kenya and Kilimanjaro)? East Africa has grasslands, highlands, mountains, deserts, rain forests, semiarid land and coastal regions. Have students locate each.

Here's a fun geography activity: Make a chart comparing Victoria Falls (of Africa) and Niagara Falls of North America, indicating the following: the two countries that the falls fall between; the name the indigenous people gave the falls; the first persons to write about the falls; descriptions and dimensions of the falls; the rivers the falls are located on; where those rivers flow from and to; and how the falls are used or why they are important.

Once you've visited an East African country by exploring its geography, take the next step by meeting its people and exploring its culture. Your librarian can get you started. Or, visit the rest of the Africa Classroom Travel Resources for students. Another fun way to learn about African culture is to read traditional African stories. See Connecting Your Safari to the Curriculum: Traditional African Stories.

Finally, you don't have to be studying East Africa or the African grasslands to make use of Safari! If you are studying the arctic or the desert or another geographical region, use the poems and activities in Safari! as models for writing 'guess who' animal poems about the animals found in the regions you are studying.



Mystery Animals     Animal Index      Introductory Poem    Safari Home


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