Africa Today
Age 11-13: Concept 1 - Semester 1: Unit 2

In this unit, you'll explore the continent of Africa, learning about its geography, history, economic systems, political systems, and cultures region by region. Along the way, you'll create a beautiful map of Africa, keep a journal of current events from across the continent, and explore folktales from Africa.

Your final project will allow you to create a news report about Africa, either in the form of a newspaper or a broadcast. Alternatively, you can choose to create a lapbook about a country in Africa, sharing information about its history, economy, government, culture, and geography in creative ways.

Other Items You May Need

The Age 11-13 social studies units utilize a Timeline of Ancient Civilization along with a stack of timeline cards to enhance your child's understanding of the chronology of historical events. Cards are color coded so your child can easily see and compare what was happening in different parts of the world at the same time.
$6.99 #780 World History Timeline
$5.99 #781 World History Timeline Cards


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 7th or 8th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Familiar with the five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the seventh grade.

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Overview of Africa
  • Lesson 2: Northwestern Africa (2 Days)
  • Lesson 3: Northeastern Africa (2 Days)
  • Lesson 4: West Africa (2 Days)
  • Lesson 5: Central Africa (2 Days)
  • Lesson 6: Central East Africa (2 Days)
  • Lesson 7: Southern Africa (2 Days)
  • Final Project: African News Report (3 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze the different forms of government developed in Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Analyze the impact of interactions between humans and their physical environments in Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Assess the connections between historical events and contemporary issues in Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Assess the influence of major religions, ethical beliefs, and values on cultures in Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Assess the relationship between physical environment and cultural characteristics of selected societies and regions of Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Create maps, charts, graphs, databases, and models as tools to illustrate information about different people, places, and regions in Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Describe different levels of economic development and assess their connections to standard of living indicators such as purchasing power, literacy rate, and life expectancy. (Social Studies)
  • Describe factors that influence changes in distribution patterns of population, resources, and climate in selected regions of Africa and evaluate their impact on the environment. (Social Studies)
  • Describe how different governments in Africa select leaders and establish laws in comparison to the United States and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each. (Social Studies)
  • Describe how different types of governments in Africa — such as democracies, dictatorships, monarchies, and oligarchies — carry out legislative, executive, and judicial functions and evaluate the effectiveness of each. (Social Studies)
  • Describe rights and responsibilities of citizens in selected contemporary societies in Africa, comparing them to each other and to the United States. (Social Studies)
  • Describe the environmental impact of regional activities such as deforestation, urbanization, and industrialization and evaluate their significance to the global community. (Social Studies)
  • Describe the patterns of and motives for migrations of people, and evaluate the impact on the political, economic, and social development of selected societies and regions. (Social Studies)
  • Describe the relationship between and cultural values of selected societies of Africa and their art, architecture, music, and literature, and assess their significance in contemporary culture. (Social Studies)
  • Describe the relationship between the location of natural resources and economic development, and analyze the impact on selected cultures, countries, and regions in Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Describe the role of key groups such as Arabs and Bantu and evaluate their impact on historical and contemporary societies of Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Evaluate the varied ways people of Africa make decisions about the allocation and use of economic resources. (Social Studies)
  • Examine factors such as climate change, location of resources, and environmental challenges that influence human migration and assess their significance in the development of selected cultures in Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Examine key ethical ideas and values deriving from religious, artistic, political, economic, and educational traditions, as well as their diffusion over time, and assess their influence on the development of selected societies and regions in Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Examine the causes of key historical events in selected areas of Africa and analyze the short- and long-range effects on political, economic, and social institutions. (Social Studies)
  • Examine the development and use of tools and technologies and assess their influence on the human ability to use, modify, or adapt to their environment. (Social Studies)
  • Examine the major belief systems in selected regions of Africa and analyze their impact on cultural values, practices, and institutions. (Social Studies)
  • Generate, interpret, and manipulate information from tools such as maps, globes, charts, graphs, databases, and models to pose and answer questions about space and place, environment and society, and spatial dynamics and connections. (Social Studies)
  • Identify examples of cultural borrowing, such as language, traditions, and technology, and evaluate their importance in the development of selected societies in Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Identify examples of economic, political, and social changes, such as agrarian to industrial economies, monarchical to democratic governments, and the roles of women and minorities, and analyze their impact on culture. (Social Studies)
  • Identify historical events such as invasions, conquests, and migrations and evaluate their relationship to current issues. (Social Studies)
  • Identify key physical characteristics such as landforms, water forms, and climate and evaluate their influence on the development of cultures in selected African regions. (Social Studies)
  • Identify significant patterns in the movement of people, goods, and ideas over time and place in Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Identify the concepts associated with culture — such as language, religion, family, and ethnic identity — and analyze how they can link and separate societies. (Social Studies)
  • Identify the main commodities of trade over time in selected areas of Africa and evaluate their significance for the economic, political, and social development of cultures and regions. (Social Studies)
  • Identify the ways in which governments in selected areas of Africa deal with issues of justice and injustice, and assess the influence of cultural values on their practices and expectations. (Social Studies)
  • Identify various sources of citizens' rights and responsibilities, such as constitutions, traditions, and religious law, and analyze how they are incorporated into different government structures. (Social Studies)
  • Identify ways in which people of selected areas in Africa have used, altered, and adapted to their environments in order to meet their needs, and evaluate the impact of their actions on the development of cultures and regions. (Social Studies)
  • Recognize the common characteristics of different cultures in Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Recognize the relationship between economic activity and the quality of life in Africa. (Social Studies)
  • Trace the development of relationships between individuals and their governments in selected cultures of Africa and evaluate the changes that have evolved over time. (Social Studies)
  • Trace the historical development of governments, including traditional, colonial, and national in selected societies, and assess their effects on the respective contemporary political systems. (Social Studies)
  • Use the five themes of geography and geographic tools to answer geographic questions and analyze geographic concepts. (Social Studies)
  • Use tools such as maps, globes, graphs, charts, databases, models, and artifacts to compare data on different African countries to identify patterns as well as similarities and differences. (Social Studies)
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