africa: a storied landscape

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Africa: A Storied Landscape. Africa : A Storied Landscape Lesson prepared by Amy Perkins Lakeshore Public Schools Lesson prepared for Michigan Geographic Alliance. Lesson Overview. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Africa: A Storied Landscape

Africa: A Storied Landscape

Lesson prepared byAmy PerkinsLakeshore Public

Lesson prepared forMichigan Geographic Alliance

Lesson OverviewThroughout this lesson students will examine the diverse climates and landscapes of Africa, carefully considering how the continents natural diversity shapes human-environment interaction.

Africa: A Storied LandscapeCompliance with State Standards

K-8 Content Expectations G1.2.3 Use data to create thematic maps and graphs showing patterns of population, physical terrain, rainfall, and vegetation, analyze the patterns and then propose two generalizations about the location and density of the population.

6 G1.2.4 Use observations from air photos, photographs (print and CD), films (VCR and DVD) as thebasis for answering geographic questions about the human and physical characteristics of placesand regions.

6 G1.3.1 Use the fundamental themes of geography (location, place, human environment interaction,movement, region) to describe regions or places on earth.

6 G2.1.1 Describe the landform features and the climate of the region (within the Western or EasternHemispheres) under study.

6 G4.4.1 Identify factors that contribute to conflict and cooperation between and among cultural groups(control/use of natural resources, power, wealth, and cultural diversity).

6 G5.1.1 Describe the environmental effects of human action on the atmosphere (air), biosphere (people,animals, and plants), lithosphere (soil), and hydrosphere (water)

7 G1.1.1 Explain and use a variety of maps, globes, and web based geography technology to study theworld, including global, interregional, regional, and local scales.

GoalsTo enhance students understanding of Africas diverse landscapes and climates

To improve students ability to read and interpret maps

To challenge students to identify various forms of human-environment interaction in Africa

To empower students to think critically, employing their skills to reach conclusions about the dynamic relationship between humans and their environment

Africa: A Storied LandscapeObjectives: Students will be able to

Identify different geographic regions and major physical features located in Africa

Describe how various climates, the availability of natural resources, and topography affect human experience

Detail both positive and negative consequences of human-environment interactionLets begin

Africa: An Introduction to the Storied LandscapeStudy each of the following images and attempt to answer these questions:

What is it?Where is it?How does the image testify to human-environment interaction in Africa?A wealthy neighborhood in Casablanca, Morocco

A village in Mali

Fishing traps made out of mangroves in the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands area in South Africa

Coal Mines in South Africa

Salt pans in northwestern Niger. Aerial photograph of man-made salt pans in the western Sahara desert. These shallow pools are filled with salt water from underground springs. The water is left to evaporate leaving a crust of salt that is then mixed with soil. The soil contains minerals and bacteria that enrich the salt and produce the various colors seen here. The mixture is then left to dry to allow the salt to crystallize. This enrichment process may be repeated several times. The final product is sold as an animal feed supplement.

Ennedi region in Chad

Africa at Night


Lets take a closer look at Africas diverse landscapes and climates and consider the following questions:

How does this diversity shape the economies, cultures, and politics of various regions?What are the positive and negative consequences of human-environment interaction in Africa?

Africa: A Storied LandscapeUnfold your map of Africa and study the side entitled, Africa: A Storied Landscape.

Within your small groups, briefly study the map and identify the following-important physical features of Africa-major climate regions of Africa

Locate the key detailing Africas climates (along the right margin of the map) and carefully cut this key from the map. Be sure to include all of the descriptive text boxes.

Align the key along the center of the African continent from north to south.

Observations:What are the relative locations of Africas major climate regions?Locate the crowded spaces in Africa. Why are these places more densely populated than other regions of Africa?

Predictions:What are some environmental challenges/benefits people might face in various regions of Africa?How will Africas natural diversity impact regional economies, political stability, and cultural traditions?

A Closer Look

Human Environment Interaction in AfricaHumans have a dynamic relationship with their natural environment.

Identify some ways in which humans depend on the environment for their basic needs of food, shelter, and clothingadapt to survive the environments climate, topography, and natural hazardsmodify the environment to meet their changing needs using technology

Human-Environment Interactionin AfricaUse both sides of your map to complete the charts of Human-Environment Interaction in Africa.

The people of the Atlas Mtns depend on springs for water.The people adapt to the land by having towns tap the springs for pure water.The people modify their land by diverting springs for irrigation for their farms.The people depend on the Nile River for water.The people adapt to the land by living on farms.The people of Ethiopia modify the land by clearing the land through controlled fires.The people of the West Zambezi Floodplain depend on their land for food.The people adapt by moving livestock during floods.The people modify their land by building their villages on high mounds.North Africans use their land for farming.North Africans depend on narrow fertile strip of land near Mediterranean and Nile River for farming.In Egypt, the government pumps water west to create new lakes and irrigate farmland in desert.

The people of West Africa depend on trees for their homes and food.The people adapt to their land by producing firebreaks during the savanna fires.The people modify their land by planting oil palms and mangoes.The people of Ethiopia depend on the land for food.The people adapt to the land by living on farmsThe people modify the land by clearing the land through fires.People in the Congo Basin depend on the forests for food, water, shelter, & fuel.The loggers and miners adapt to the forests by moving their operations deeper into the forest.The loggers & miners modify the Congo Basin by building roads for hunters and farmers to use

People of Rwanda depend on their land for big harvest of food.People adapt to their land by planting crops on steep slopes.People modify their land by building terraces on hills for their crops.The people of Nigeria depend on the land for their food.The people of Nigeria adapt to the land by feeding their livestock weeds and using manure for fertilizer.The people of Nigeria modify their land by using ox-drawn plows to turn soil.Malawi farmers depend on corn for food source.Corn is sensitive to drought, sometimes leading to food shortagesScientists are developing drought-resistant corn species.People depend on fertile soil to provide food.Ethiopians live in the highlands, a region known for its fertile soil and an area with fewer cases of malaria due to elevation.Ethiopians are over-farming, depleting fragile soil of its nutrients at an unsustainable rate. Farm yields are falling despite rapid population increase. Questions to ConsiderAre there any general patterns you notice as you review your charts?

What are some possible long-term consequences for human-environment interaction in Africa?

How might the natural environment affect the economies and political stability of the continents various regions? Extensions: Geography and Recent EventsSudan (Darfur)Rwanda (1994 Genocide)Somalia (global relief effort)South Africa (apartheid)Other ideas?

Online Resources: AfricaNGS site for Africa: A Storied Landscape

PBS site for lessons on Africa

BBC Story of Africa

Interactive map of Africa (craft your own one page map)

Africas struggle with AIDS (lesson online)

Human Impact on Africa as seen from plane (lesson online)

Ancient Africa: migration patters and spread of Islam (lesson online)

Human Impact on Ancient Rainforests: What we can do



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