Mapping Africa has been designed to serve two major purposes. First, the unit teaches students about the basic physical and political geography of Africa. Second, it introduces or reviews fundamental geographical concepts and vocabulary in an African context.
In a world so shrunken in time and distance that we can communicate almost instantly with any other city on any continent and fly to even more corners of the world in a matter of hours, a knowledge of different places can no longer be considered a luxury. Instead, it has become a necessity. Our interdependence is now so complete that actions- be they economic, political, social or environmental- in one world region can have immediate repercussions in another world region.
The continent of Africa is often in the news, though the coverage of political upheaval, famines, and droughts rarely conveys much understanding of the continent's complex geography and environment. The unfamiliarity of the names of African countries and cities, the recent period of colonial governance and the images that have been conveyed through films and television make it all the more important to provide students with a basic grounding in information about this region. This unit will offer a geographic introduction to the map of Africa, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa in terms of its examples and information.
- to teach students key geographical terms that are important for communicating geographical ideas
- to introduce and reinforce students' knowledge of the physical and political geography of Africa
- to teach students the interaction of climate, landform, and natural vegetation
- to improve students' understanding of location
- to develop and practice chart and map reading skills
- to provide opportunities for group work
Mapping Africa meets the guidelines for teaching geography that were adopted by the California State Board of Education in its Model Curriculum Standards for World History, Culture, and Geography.