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This lesson introduces the legendary Malian king Sundiata Keita, known as the Making Art: Composing and Planning, Producing, Executing and Performing.
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Students will identify the important role of Griots as storytellers in Mali and their responsibility to pass on traditions from one generation to the next. Students will recognize that most of what we know about Mali's history comes from oral accounts that were handed down from generation to generation. Ask the students if they have any family traditions centered around a special event. Have the students record a family tradition in their travel journals.

Explain that, in Mali, historical events and special occasions are honored as well. The role of the Griots, or storytellers, in Mali is to preserve the history of this country by passing on its traditions with oral accounts. These accounts can be in the form of a song, a poem, or a riddle. The responsibility of the Griot to collect, record, and share information with his fellow villagers was important to the early empire of Mali and is still valued today as a means to preserve the history and customs of this country. Griots not only share oral accounts of historical events, but they initiate the celebration of yearly activities such as the planting and harvesting seasons as well.

They will sometimes present their stories in the form of a theatrical drama and have the villagers dress up to represent certain characters. The villagers wearing the masks will not have any speaking parts; they will merely act out the motions and emotions of the story.

The Griot always narrates these productions and is the only one allowed to speak. Discuss the responsibilities of the Griots in Mali and have the students work in small groups to research a historical event or a holiday they would like to present to the class. Next, have the students create masks out of the recycled materials to act out their accounts. Don't forget to include the Griot, or narrator, in these productions. Give the students several minutes to respond to this saying and figure out its meaning.

Tell the students that, in addition to the Griot, Grandmothers also play an important role in the oral tradition of Mali. Grandmothers share stories with their grandchildren each evening around the cooking fire when the meal is finished. These stories are different from the type of story shared by the Griot at a village celebration. The stories may differ from village to village but the lessons remain the same. Grandmothers use their stories as a way to help their grandchildren make good decisions as they grow up.

Have the students choose one of the sayings and figure out what lesson it is trying to teach. Next have them create a fictional story based on the proverb in their travel journals. Let the students practice telling their stories with partners and have them share their stories in a round circle in your classroom.

If you would like to provide a snack, roasted ears of corn or peanuts in the shell would be in keeping with tradition. Use digital images of each child. These also should be available on a network folder, a disk or the hard drive of student machines. Teachers may elect to provide students with a Venn diagram to use for filling in the comparison information.

Have students draw pictures of the characters on the Venn diagram. Read each cause blue boxes and each effect yellow boxes. Write three of your own causes and effects in the blank boxes at the bottom of the page. Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials. Are you getting the free resources, updates, and special offers we send out every week in our teacher newsletter?

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Sundiata Lesson Plans for Teachers

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English Language Arts. Foreign Language. Social Studies - History. History World History. For All Subject Areas. See All Resource Types. This primary source epic is an excellent way to teach about geography, leadership, economy and achievements of the African Empire of Mali under Sundata.

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The Epic of Sundiata has riveting battle scenes and has awesome, accessible, cultural, historical content. My students loved it! The story is cond. Lesson Plans Individual , Activities , Printables. Add to cart. Wish List. Activities, word sorts, maps, a Sundiata Historical Stick Figure assignment, background info and more.

Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali | Documents

The story "The Lion King" has many parallels to this story. This packet is designed to teach students about the Sundiata Epic from West Africa and to then compare it to more recent books and movies. Worksheets , Activities , Graphic Organizers. This series of PowerPoint slides guides students in creating 8 comic strip boxes to summarize the oral history of the epic of Sundiata, the Lion King of Mali.

Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali Documents | Course Hero

Students read text and view images before creating boxes of their own on a blank piece of paper. They need to be handled with kid gloves, looking them in the eye, letting them present from a seated or standing position, changing plans tactfully if they are so scared they look like they'll cry. These are the ones, at the end of eighth grade whom you do cry with, as they present their final portfolio to staff and family with grace.


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They will discuss what these words mean to them and write a phrase about their response to the word on the back page of their organizer. Groups will discuss, and a reporter from each class will bring the ideas to the larger class discussion. Drawing the students into an intellectual, sensitive discussion of tolerance is relevant to their own lives.

They will be emotional, totally quiet, or somewhere in between. I will lecture on tolerance issues specific to the African culture, skillfully using the time allotted to move the conversation carefully, as we learn together. At the end of this lesson, students will write reflections in their binders. The Albuquerque Museum's African Arts Teachers' Institute occurred this summer, ; it provided expert teacher training from professors of various universities and was highly competitive. I have been in close contact with the curator, who promises to send one of the trained teachers from the northern New Mexico region to visit my students during the introductory part of the unit.

This should fit in well with tolerance issues, as middle school students tend to giggle when embarrassed. They will have an opportunity to view amazing works of African art from various countries and hear a learned lecture.