This Is Tanzania
Teaching SuggestionsPrint this Page
- Subject(s): Social Studies & Geography, Cross-Cultural Understanding, Science
- Region / Country: Africa / United Republic of Tanzania
- Grade Level(s): 3–5, 6–8
Students will come away with an introductory knowledge of the volcanic history and wildlife of Tanzania, and of the subsistence agricultural economy with which most Tanzanians live.
After reading the letter and participating in class activities students will be able
- To identify two volcanoes in Tanzania, and the impact they have on the physical environment.
- To identify some of the effects of lowland deforestation.
- To describe the animals in Ngorongoro Crater.
- To list at least six positive qualities of Tanzanians described by the writer.
- This Is Tanzania by Richard Lupinsky Jr.
- Biography of Richard Lupinsky
- Reference materials on volcanoes and calderas
- A picture or model of a volcano
- A physical map of Tanzania (optional)
- Ask the students to try to imagine what their lives would be like at home if they had no electricity and no running water. How would their lives be different? Could they watch television? Could they read easily at night? If so, how? Where would they obtain water? (Many issues about obtaining water in Africa are covered in Water in Africa.)
- Ask the students what they know about volcanoes. Explain that volcanoes have played an important role in the geography and economy of Tanzania.
- On a world map, show students the location of Tanzania, and use a map of Tanzania to point out the locations of Mount Kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro Crater. Explain that both of these prominent Tanzanian landmarks were formed by volcanic activity.
- Show a model or picture of a volcano to reinforce the concept of the cone shape of a volcanic peak. Explain that only one of the Tanzanian landmarks still has a cone shape today? Mount Kilimanjaro, which is a dormant volcano. (Two of the three craters that make up the mountain are extinct, or no longer active. The third is dormant, or long inactive but potentially explosive.) Explain to the students what dormant means, and tell them Mount Kilimanjaro has not erupted for thousands of years. Show them in a drawing or model how a collapsed and eroded volcanic cone can produce a caldera such as Ngorongoro Crater. (The students could create their own models.)
- Distribute Richard Lupinsky's letter to the students. Read the first two paragraphs with them. Ask what opinion they think Richard has of Tanzania and its people. What is their evidence? Have the students start a list to record favorable qualities of Tanzanians that Richard lists in the letter.
- Read the third paragraph together and ask the students to identify the second and third qualities for their list (generous and friendly people, in addition to the beautiful land).
- Read the fourth paragraph with the students and help them understand the connection between lifestyles and economic resources.
- Read the next two paragraphs with the students. When the students come to the Kiswahili words in the passage, have them identify which animals Richard refers to by using the clues in the passage.
- Read the next two paragraphs with the students (starting with "Another famous sight ..."). Ask students if they can explain why the snow is melting so fast on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Help them understand how decreased cloud cover?a consequence of deforestation?has the dual effect of producing less precipitation (to renew the snow mass) and of shielding the existing snow and glaciers less. Make the connection between deforestation (a human decision) and climate change in the far off mountaintop.
- Ask the students to read the rest of the letter. Tell them to focus on Richard's vivid imagery in these paragraphs, since they will be doing an assignment to try to capture this imagery in pictures. When the students complete the reading, have them finish the list of characteristics they started at the beginning of the reading. [They might identify proud, generous, curious, peaceful, loving.] In a class discussion, go over the traits students have listed for the people and the land, and reinforce Richard's positive view of Tanzanians despite their economic circumstances. Ask the class if they can interpret how these qualities affect Richard as he lives and works with the Tanzanian people.
- Review the imagery in the wedding paragraph. Ask the students to draw a picture of a scene from this paragraph. Before the students begin, discuss which descriptions would make especially interesting pictures. Create a class montage of these pictures for a display on Tanzania.
- Try eating Tanzanian style. Roast some mahindi, or corn, over charcoal and eat it off the cob, or use cornmeal and bake ugali. (Recipes are readily available by searching the Web for "ugali recipe.") Combine it with vegetables, beans, and meat. Roll ugali into tiny balls and dip them in the beans or juices of the meat.
- Ask students to research Mount Kilimanjaro and report their findings to the class, complete with illustrations they find—or illustrations of their own making. Some students can report on the animal life in the different biotic zones of the mountain. Others can look into the history of volcanic activity for the mountain. Still others can look into the issue of deforestation and glacial melting.
- Have the class make a diorama showing animal life in Ngorongoro Crater. Be sure they include all the animals Richard mentions in his letter, as well as some they find from their own research.
- Have the class watch the film The Lion King and compare their display to the animal population in the film.
- Ask students to research the issue of deforestation elsewhere in the world. It is an issue on most continents. For what purposes do people cut down trees? What are some of the effects of deforestation other than glacial melting? What are global organizations trying to do about it? Students can report their findings to the class and discuss how they might help or become involved.
Framework and Standards
- Volcanic forces can shape the landscape.
- People's use of natural resources affects the environment.
- What uses of land can help the natural environment? What uses of land can damage the environment?
- How does access to economic resources affect one's lifestyle?
- How do the volcanic features in Tanzania benefit the country?
National Science Education Standards
Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives