Featured: African History Resources

February 2, 2016

 Photograph of mosque at TimbuktuAt time of writing, there are 10 National Resource Centers focused on the study of Africa, some of which provide outreach in consortia with other regional centers on their campuses. They offer a diverse set of resources for educators.

Take a look at this small sample of their offerings.

Starting from Scratch

If you're just beginning to teach African history or are trying to introduce the subject to your school, a good first stop is the Exploring Africa course and website, created by the African Studies Center and Matrix (the Center for Digital Humanities and Social Studies) at Michigan State University. This site provides a full course of 60+ lessons introducing African history, cultures, and contemporary issues! Lesson materials are all accessible online, and are mapped to Michigan state educational standards. The website also includes country studies, a news feed, and a very thorough current events page.

Add to an Existing Course or Unit

Each year, the teachers' summer institute at University of Florida's Center for African Studies publishes Irohin, a collection of lecture summaries, reflections, and lessons. Essays cover a wide variety of interesting topics, readily adaptable to everything from long-term projects to mini-lectures.

The outreach arm of the African Studies Center at Boston University houses a wealth of resources for teachers by grade level and topic. One item of interest for elementary and middle school teachers is this set of games and activities jointly created by the Boston Children's Museum and the Center. Also, keep an eye on their materials addressing current events and popular misconceptions about the continent.

Read Africa

Africa Access is not an NRC, but it is referenced by most Centers as the go-to source for Africa-related Children's and YA literature. In addition to a yearly award, this organization provides invaluable scholarly reviews of Children's and YA books on Africa.

For More

See the National Resource Center page for links to all the centers and their resources. 

photo credit: Mosque views - the famous Djenne mosque from the side via photopin (license)


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