Africa—The Great Southland
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Examine several examples of philanthropic traditions practiced in diverse cultures.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Give an example of how philanthropy can transcend cultures.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Analyze information to differentiate fact from opinion based on the investigation of issues related to the common good.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Describe the task and the student role.
    2. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.

Learners will engage in using the five themes of geography to explore the political, geographic, economic and social aspects of the continent of Africa and identified specific nations. They will develop a visual aid for younger learners for celebrating African American History Month.

PrintSix to Eight Forty-Five Minute Class Periods (or equivalent block schedule sessions) Additional time for service-learning activity presentation and celebration

The learner will:

  • examine the rich cultural traditions of Kenya, Cameroon, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Sudan and Somalia. Additional nations dictated by class size or peer group may be used at the discretion of the instructor.
  • analyze the impact of his/her culture on the development of philanthropic organizations and stewardship.
  • compare/contrast the development of philanthropy and stewardship in African nations studied.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the nation studied and African continent in general.
  • design a service learning project.
  • demonstrate skills necessary for an effective service learning activity including reflection and celebration.
  • Poster board
  • Markers
  • Large sheets of paper to use as pattern for project
  • Dry erase markers
  • Geography text of local school district
  • One copy each of The Lost Boys of Natinga and Brothers of Hope (See Bibliography)
  • Sheet of plywood or cloth to be determined by activity
  • Our Readings, My Feelings, Our Challenges (Attachment One)
  • Personal Graphic Organizer (Attachment Two)

Artists for a New South Africa 

Desmond Tutu Peace Trust.

History of Apartheid in South Africa, The. 

Levitan, Sonia. Dream Freedom. Silver Whistle, October 2000. ISBN: 0152024042 

Lonely Planet: Travel in Africa

Physical map of Cameroon and a short history can be found at:

Physical map of Kenya and a short history can be found at:

Smith, Bradford, Sylvia Shue, Jennifer Lisa Vest, and Joseph Villared. Philanthropy in Communities of Color. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999.

Walgren, Judy. The Lost Boys of Natinga: A School for Sudan's Young Refugees. Houghton Mifflin Co. (Juv), September 1998. ISBN: 0395705584 (Out of Print)

Williams, Mary. Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Lee & Low Books, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-1584302322


  1. Anticipatory Set: Give a brief synopsis of Apartheid in Africa. Read the poem, "Betrayed," by Richard Frankland and discuss its meaning. Place a copy of the poem on the wall or board. Students will write about the feelings that the poem evoked in them. Tell them that they will be studying the continent of Africa and many of its countries and that they will produce a wall presentation reflecting their learning about Africa for younger learners to be part of the annual African-American History Month.

    Teacher Note: The Web site for the article on Apartheid in Africa and the poem, "Betrayed" can be found in the Bibliographical References.

    Class Session One:

  2. Read excerpts from the book, The Lost Boys of Natinga: A School For Southern Sudan's Young Refugee by Judy Walgren, which tells about the boys without borders who find peace and education at the school after being displaced by war and the philanthropic efforts at the school.

  3. Read excerpts from the book, Dream Freedom by Sonia Levitan, about youths sold into slavery and how an American fifth grade student mounted a campaign to save them. This also is about Sudan.

  4. Give each learner Attachment One: Our Readings, My Feelings, Our Challenges and have him or her react to each reading. Allow the learners to take the attachment home to finish and show their parents.

  5. Class Session Two:

  6. Share learner responses to Attachment One: Our Readings, My Feelings, Our Challenges and compile a list of what the class would like to learn about Africa.

  7. Give each learner a current map of Africa. Familiarize them with key geographic themes as applicable to the continent in general. Identify key physical geographic places and locate nations to be studied. Ask learners to make generalizations about each nation. Discuss key political and economic themes identified in the geography text of your local school district.

  8. Discuss with them the nonprofit organizations that they may encounter with the study of their nations. Recall the readings from the day before. Discuss the basic needs for services that non-profits could give.

  9. Class Sessions Three through Five

  10. Divide the class into groups of three to five learners and have them each select one of the following African nations to study: Kenya, Cameroon, South Africa, Liberia, Sudan or Somalia. Each group will assign team member tasks and keep a journal of all activities. Each peer member will submit paperwork demonstrating his or her knowledge in a presentation that will also serve as the assessment for this lesson.

  11. Give each member Attachment Two: Personal Graphic Organizer to use as their personal graphic organizer for their research. This is to be completed each day. Instructor's General Directions to Peer Groups: Assign each team member a different aspect of the nation.

  12. Learner One will research the geography of their nation.

  13. Learner Two will research the history and diversity of the nation.

  14. Learner Three will research modern customs including arts and music.

  15. Learner Four will investigate government, i.e. tribal, local and national.

  16. Learner Five will investigate the development of philanthropy and stewardship, both domestic and international.

  17. Provide opportunity for Internet research, schedule time in the school library/media center, and have adequate resources for research available in your classroom.

    Class Session Six. (Add additional session if more time is needed.)

  18. Each group will present its information to the class. They may choose from one of the following projects for their presentations. Direct the class that all must contain connections to philanthropy.

    • Write and perform a skit depicting an aspect of life in their nation.
    • Present the cultural life of their nation, including playing music and inviting a speaker if available in the community. (Miriam Makeba is one artist whose music is available from
    • Summarize the history of philanthropic organizations in their nation and present it on a poster or storyboard.
    • Create a timeline of history and philanthropy of the nation studied.
  19. Instructor's Note: Contact potential interested partners as recipients of the wall map your learners will create. Donation to an elementary school, preschool, community center program for young children or library are possible choices.

  20. After the presentations, begin the service project. Reassemble the learning groups. Divide the continent of Africa into contiguous geographic regions and have each peer group select one. Their task is to complete a geo/political map with key features, cultural diversity identifications and connections to the United States, past or present. The class must decide if they are going to use cloth or wood as a mounting surface. At the completion of each section, assist the class in joining the pieces together.

  21. Teacher Note: This can be easily accomplished by making an overhead transparency of the continent of Africa, projecting it onto a large sheet of paper or large cloth (a bed sheet works well), tracing the outline map, and dividing or cuting it into the number of sections to match the number of peer groups. As the pieces are finished they can be reasembled to create a large display map. For permanancy, the pieces can be mounted on cloth or wood.

  22. When completed, present the class with choices of donation to an elementary school, preschool, community center program for young children or library. After they make their selection, plan with them the celebration. That celebratory event is when your class makes the official presentation of their wall hanging to the recipients. At that time also, each peer group should also repeat their classroom presentations with any additions or corrections they may have made.


Assess and evaluate the peer group presentations according to the following rubric: Expected Outcomes

Four Points Peer group works cooperatively, equitable distribution of work is demonstrated, and all five areas described are covered in presentation. Geographic concepts demonstrated, and clear connection to philanthropy is made and described. All complete their learning logs or journals at the end of each class session. Competency in the content standards identified is demonstrated at 90 percent.

Three Points Peer group works cooperatively with division of work demonstrated. Four of the five areas described are addressed in the presentation. A connection to philanthropy and stewardship is addressed in the presentation. Journals and learning logs are completed. Seventy percent of identified standards are met. Clearly connected to philanthropy.

Two Points Peer group demonstrates an ability to work together but may not evenly distributes the tasks. Only fifty per cent of identified competencies are met. Learning logs or journals not completed. Clear attempt is made but may not complete the assignment.

One Point Peer group has difficulty adjusting to identified tasks but reasonable attempt is made. Presentation is incomplete.

Evaluate Attachment One: Our Readings, My Feelings, Our Challenges and Attachment Two: Personal Graphic Organizer: Teacher observation, Class participation, Teacher-designed test instrument on geography concepts, and Evaluate map to be part of wall hanging