PrintOne Thirty-Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • analyze acts of kindness and selfishness.
  • place events of the story in their proper sequence.
  • describe the setting.
  • trace a route on a map that shows rivers and mountains.


  • Physical map of Africa
  • Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe


Steptoe, John. Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters. New York: Lothrop, Lee Shepard Books, 1987. ISBN: 0688040454.


  1. Hold up the cover of the book Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters. Activate prior knowledge by asking children to describe what they see.

  2. Read the book to the class. Discuss the artwork and the different types of wildlife that are seen on each page. Ask students why the environment in the book looks different from where they live.
  3. On selected pages, stop and encourage the students to interact with the book in the following ways:
  4. Hypothesize about what may happen next, what the motives of the characters might be, and why something is happening.
  5. Have children discuss other solutions that may have been tried and predict what the consequences would have been.
    • Reread the book, inviting the children to add further comments on what they see and think about the story. Ask students why a king would want to make sure that his country's future queen would not be a selfish person.
    • Have students sequence the trials that both girls encountered on their journeys and analyze how each girl responded as either unselfish or selfish. They can list the events or draw pictures showing the trials in their journeys.
    • Trace the route traveled by the girls on a physical map to show rivers and mountains.

Observe how students participate in the discussions of details in the story. Observe students' ability to list the tests that each girl encountered and analyze her actions.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.4 Define and give examples of selfishness and selflessness.