INTRODUCTION TO CULTURE AND THEMES OF GEOGRAPHY THROUGH THE STUDY OF KENYA: Time Frame: (10 weeks)
The main focus of this first theme is map skills and geography terms as well as the introduction to culture and themes of geography through the study of Kenya. Once students are familiar with the continents and world oceans teachers should use the continent of Africa and Kenya as the basis for lessons on geographical terms and physical features of the world. Resource material on Africa/Kenya should also be used for instruction related to the expectations for labeling and interpretation of different types of maps, tables, charts, and graphs. When teaching topics related to Africa/Kenya, teachers should incorporate specific strategies for reading and comprehending non-fiction text while at the same time helpingstudents achieve the learning expectations for social studies related to the study of Kenya. Note: This unit will be followed by the study of electricity, light, and sound, part of the grade five science curriculum. It is suggested that teachers might begin with the study of Sound and connect learning to a study of African music and instruments.
Major Concepts: Geography terms
Directions, latitude and longitude
Locating specific places and physical features
Reading and interpreting types of maps, graphs, charts and tables
Interpreting scale, key, compass rose
Mechanics of map labeling
Understanding of Kenya relative to the continent of Africa (location, geography, climate, environment)
Geography, People and Culture of Kenya
Student Expectations: Students will:
Be able to read and interpret different types of maps. G, E, C
Read and interpret types of graphs, tables and charts. G, E, C
Be able to locate and label the continents and oceans. G
Learn basic geography terms G
Be able to identify specific physical features of the world. G
Be able to label the major physical features and geographical regions of Africa and G
Describe how the geography of Kenya affects people and their way of life. G, E
Learn about the country of Kenya including the contrast between modern cities and G, E
Learn about various aspects of Kenyan/African culture G, H
Required Instructional Tasks and Assessments:(See Note 1) Students will:
Learn vocabulary words and geographical terms through project work. (See Note 2 and list of Additional Instructional Tasks and Assessments)
Use an atlas to respond to geography based critical thinking questions. (See Rand McNally Teacher Guide p. 15)
Label all continents and oceans on a blank map of the world.
Create an illustrated dictionary, mini-book, flip book or flashcards of geographical terms.
(See also: Teaching the Five Themes of Geography pages 22 – 29)
Label main geographical / physical features on an outline map of Africa. (See Note 4)
Hands on Geography: p. 66 – 67
Thematic Unit: Multicultural Folk Tales pages 10 – 11, and 58
Africa Geography Unit pages 1 – 3
Nystrom Student Activities pages 49 – 54
Mapping Africa pages 9 – 22 and 47 – 58
Learn vocabulary words related to Kenya. (See Note 5)
Learn about and define the term “culture” through the study of Kenya. (See Note 6)
Read Text: Highlights Top Secret Guide to Kenya(Includes a general description of Kenya, and information on ethnic / tribal groups, geography, climate, animals, Nairobi, sports, crops, products, Lake Victoria, The Great Rift Valley, lakes, parks, Mt. Kenya, safaris, Mombassa, Lamu, art activities, food, farming, trade and industry, schools, and other facts and figures.)
Read Text: Faces: Kenya (Includes a detailed map of Kenya, comparison of the four main land
regions of Kenya, and information on the use of land, climate, crops, Jomo Kenyatta, problems
facing Kenya, formation of the Rift Valley, games, traditions, parks, animal life, poaching, the
Maasai, beadwork activities, herders, growing up in Kenya, farming, crops, exports, industries, tribal
groups and sports. )
After reading about Kenya students may complete a semantic web on aspects of Kenya.
(See also: Living Geography Eastern Africa pages 32 – 33)
Use an atlas or other resources to label geographical features of Kenya ( landforms, bodies of water
and major cities) and surrounding countries.
Time Traveler Series: Kenya p. 9
Living Geography p. 5
Read about various cultural / tribal groups in Kenya from modern cities and from villages. Take two column notes on each or complete an "I – chart" on aspects such as organization of family units, bartering, marriage, raising children, adulthood rituals, warriors, crafts, homes, personal belongings, education, earning a living, etc. Once reading and note taking are complete students can write paragraphs or an expository essay comparing two tribes or create informational pamphlets.
Possible tribes and sources of information / activities:
Living Geography pages 44 – 46 (Kikuyu)
Living Geography pages 14-15 (Luo)
Time Traveler Series: Kenya pages 10 – 14 (Kikuyu, Luo, Maasai, Turkana)
NOTE: See Appendix A for Additional Instructional Tasks and Assessments as well as possible
For some assessments (required or suggested) specific resources and pages have been listed for
teacher reference. The cited activity pages would be useful in achieving specific expectations. Teachers may choose to use activities sited, adapt them to meet their needs, or substitute similar activities from other appropriate sources.
Though activities for building map skills are incorporated into a distinct unit, teachers will reinforce concepts and skills taught during the course of all other social studies units.
2. Geographical Terms / Vocabulary:
Antarctic Circle Archipelago
Climate Compass Rose
Meridians of longitude
Parallels of latitude
Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Capricorn
Geographical Terms / Mapping Requirements for Africa Study:
Definition of Culture: The way of life of a group of people which includes the following; their language, clothing food, housing/architecture, religion, government, geography, family structure and corresponding roles, holidays, traditions and customs, education, art, music, literature and societal contributions.
Resources: (Resources denoted with an *asterisk are available at both middle schools.)
Map Skills: *Culturgrams. (1998). Fort Atkinson, WI: UpStart Co.
*Dill, Bonnie. (1994). Teaching the Five Themes of Geography. (1994). Torrance, CA: Frank
Schaffer Publications, Inc.
*Fischer, Max. (1995). Geography Simulations. Huntington Beach, CA: Teacher Created Materials,
Forte, Imogene and Frank, M. (1997). World Geography from the Basic not Boring Series.
Nashville, TN: Incentive Publications, Inc.
*Global Study Cards. (1997). Holbrook, NY: World Class Learning Materials, Inc.