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This lesson is for studying Kenya


Social Studies  




   All About Kenya
by Rachel Kehoe
Second Grade


The purpose of this lesson is to teach students about Kenya. The students will learn about the physical attributes of Kenya and will compare these attributes to Africa. To learn about Kenya the students will learn about the language, clothing, location, and food.


Number 1: Knows and understands how to use maps, globes and other graphical tools to acquire, process and report information.

Number 4: Knows and understands the physical and human characteristics of places.

Number 5: Knows and understands that people define regions and use them to interpret the world’s changing complexity.

Number 14: Knows and understands how the earth’s physical and human systems are connected and interact.


The student uses simple geographic tools such as maps, globes, and photographs.

The student understands the locations and characteristics of places and regions.

Identify major landforms and bodies of water, including continents and oceans, on maps and globes.

Explain how people depend on the physical environment and its natural resources to meet basic needs.

Students will demonstrate their ability:
1. To locate items on a map.
2. To identify physical attributes of Africa and Kenya.
3. To learn about the people of Kenya.
4. To find information and analyze an Internet site.


This project is to make students aware of the world. The students will be able to learn about maps and be able to use them to locate items. The students will learn about Kenya and where its location is. They will learn about the clothing, people, language, and the music of this land. They will learn about the physical attributes of Kenya and Africa. Overall this project allows children to visit a country that they may never be able to see for themselves.


1. Sponge Activity: In the student’s journal have them write about all the facts they know or think they might know about Africa. (Three minutes)

2. Opening: Explain it the students that passports are used to allow people to travel across the world. Tell students that they must apply for a passport and they will need a picture. Let the students know that they will need the passport to travel to Africa these next two weeks. (Ten minutes)

3. Guided Practice: Show students a map of the world and ask them to locate Africa. Then show the students Africa by tracing it with a pointer to be clear of its boundaries. Next give students’ facts about the physical attributes of Africa.

   These are the facts:
-Africa is the second largest continent
-The equator runs through the middle of Africa
-Africa is surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
-Africa has deserts, rain forest, and grassy savannas
-It has the largest desert and the longest river in the world
-There are over fifty countries on this continent

Allow the students to find Africa on the map provided, and color it and write Africa across the top of it. (Twenty-five minutes)

   4.Independent Practice:
Allow students to work on the passports.
-give students a piece of paper
-have them put their names, address, and phone number
-also have them put the county and country
-have them draw a picture of themselves

5. Evaluation:

A grade can be given for the completion of a passport and on the completion of the map.

6. Closure:

Stamp the students’ passports with a stamp of Africa.

The map of AFRICA (copyright 1992 by Evan-Moor Corp.)
Construction Paper


Let the students look at the globe and try to alphabetize all the different regions of Africa. (This can be used every day as an extension)


1.Sponge Activity:

Have the students try to draw free handed the map of Africa. ( Two minutes)

2. Opening:

Review with the students the physical attributes of Africa from day one. (Ten min.)

3. Independent Practice:

Give the students a physical map of Africa. Ask them to mark certain areas on the map. A physical map and worksheet of Africa are found by the Evan-Moor Corp. These worksheets ask students to use a map, globe, or atlas to identify oceans, gulfs, rivers, mountains, deserts, and other physical attributes of Africa. Hang the maps up in the classroom for the children to see. (Ten min.)

4. Guided Practice:

Read the handout provided in the Africa Geography Unit. It would be useful to print this page out for all the students. Then read the handout loud, allowing the students to take turns reading. Next handout is The People of Africa. This will review more of what was read in the handout. Then the students will choose an African person. Then they will research the answers using books, encyclopedias, or the Internet. They can look at


Worksheets- A History of Africa, A Physical Map of Africa, Let’s Look At Africa, The People of Africa


Sponge Activity:

Have the students write about a vacation they have taken. (Two min.)


Ask the students to take out their passports and get ready to travel to Kenya. Have the students come up to you and stamp their passports with a stamp of Kenya. Write Kenya on the board and allow them to copy it in their passports. Remind the students that a passport is needed to travel to other countries. (Ten min.)

Guided Practice:

Read the book A Country Far Away by Nigel Gray. This will allow the child to get a feel for Kenya. You can even use this as a plane ride to Kenya to get the students interested. (Ten min.)

Independent Practice:

Using the large map provided show the students where Kenya is. Show the students the Great Rift Valley, Mt. Kenya, and other features. Supply each student with a map of Kenya. Then allow them to use a globe, maps, or books to locate the capitol, Great Rift Valley, Mt. Kenya. Then color in Kenya. Then add these maps to the map of Africa. Discuss that Africa has a coast, bush, highlands, and rift valley. (Twenty-five min.)

A Country Far Away by Nigel Gray Colors
A physical map of Africa (from day two)


Sponge Activity:

Have the students make 2 columns. One column will read: What we know about Kenya, and the other column will read : What we learned about Kenya. Fill in the columns. (Five min.)


Students will learn many facts about Kenya on the Internet. (Ten min.)

Guided Practice:

Internet Day! Have the students look on the Internet. Have them complete a worksheet about using the Internet and finding web sites. Have the students use

Internet worksheet
computer lab

Internet Worksheet
Site name:
Who wrote the web site?
What is the web site about?
Is the web site about today or the past?
Is the web site useful to what you are studying now?
Give the web site a grade, 1 being the best and 5 being the worst.


Sponge Activity:

Have the students write 5 new things the learned from the Internet about Kenya. (Two min.)


Have the students go on a Safari. Let the students know that Safari means journey. Let them know that they are to look for animals and their names. Hold up cards of each animal and ask for the name. Allow the students to look up the names in their Swahili book. (Ten min.)

Guided Practice:

Read the Whistling Thorn by Helen Cowcher. This is a just so story about the acacia bush getting thorns. Have the students make up their own stories. Give each student a precut map of Kenya with lines on it. At the top it will have the words: My Just So Story. The next words will be written on the lines provided. The lines should read: Plant or Animal, Feature, Setting, How it got this feature, End, Ridiculous Words used in the story. Display these stories in the classroom. (Thirty min.)

Independent Practice:

Give each child a sheet with the animal cards on it. Have the students color the pictures and then write the names on the back. (Eight min.)

Whistling Thorn by Helen Crowcher
Animal worksheet (World Neighbor Series-Kenya)
paper with lines


Sponge Activity:

Have the students write a list of animals found in Kenya. (Two min.)


Discuss with the class the types of clothing people wear in Kenya. Let your students know that in the cities they wear casual clothing, but in villages they wear traditional clothing. (Five min.)

Guided Practice: (Fifteen min.)

Explain each piece of clothing with a picture or bring the real thing. Some of these are:

   Kanya: long piece of cloth wrapped around the body.
Toga: short cloth worn wrapped around waist.
Kitenge: shirt
Kanzu: long, white gown.
Skafu: scarf

Independent Practice:

Create a Kanya with your students. Some ethnic groups dress in a rectangle of cloth wrapped around the body, under both arms and around the waist or under one arm that ties over the opposite shoulder. Have your students create a colorful Kenyan design on the material. (Twenty min.)

1 ½ yards of solid color cloth
	each piece should be 36 to 45 inches.
Fabric crayons


Sponge Activity:

Describe the Kenyan dress. Write sentences about what people from Kenya wear. (Two min.)


Explain to the students that Kenyans eat the same foods as we do only prepare differently. Some of these foods are: bread, sweet fried bread, water, milk, coffee, tea, rice, chicken, fish, goat, bananas, rice cakes, hick corn cereals, meat kabobs, and eggs. Be sure to tell students those out in the villages there are no fast food restaurants. Finding pictures or bring some of these foods would help the students to see what is eaten. (Ten min.)

Guided Practice:

Cooking in the classroom can be fun for your class. Fried bananas or Ndizi Kaanga. You will need to cut and quarter the bananas. Let the students dip one piece into the lemon juice. You will place it into a buttered pan and brown. Take out the bananas and drain them on a paper towel. Let each student sprinkle on sugar and nutmeg. (Thirty-eight min.)

electric frying pan
small bowl
1 firm banana per 4 students
lemon juice


Sponge Activity:

Write about the fried bananas eaten on day seven. (Two min.)


Explain to your students about traditional African music. The beats of the drums, strings, wind and shaker instruments are all played at different rhythms. Natural objects and the body are used to make music and entertaining people. Hand clapping, feet stomping, and voices are also used. Let them listen to Jambo and other African music. (Ten min.)

Guided Practice:

Many people utilize recycled materials as well as natural objects. Supply your students with materials and allow them to make their own musical instruments. Break the class into groups of 5 and have them make their own songs. (Forty min.)

Plastic cups
bottle caps
oatmeal boxes
coffee cans
tissue boxes
rubber bands


Sponge Activity:

What kind of instrument did you make? How did you make it? (Two min.)


Have the students use their knowledge of Africa and Kenya.

Guided Practice:

Go to the computer lab and use

Have the students look at the maps. Discuss the maps and how to read the maps. (Twenty-five min.)

Independent Practice:

Give the students African crossword puzzle with the word bank, the Kenya Facts at my fingertips with the missing parts for the students to fill in. (Twenty-three min.)


Grade the worksheets for knowledge learned.


African Crossword Puzzle worksheet (African Geography Unit)


Sponge Activity:

Write as much as you can about everything you have learned about Africa and Kenya. (Two min.)

Guided Practice:

Let the students invite parents to show off their hard work. Display all the work that has been done in the past two weeks. Allow the students to set up their artwork on the floor just like the market place. Have students “African” food. Also have them play a song for the parents with instruments they have made while wearing the clothes the also made. (Forty min.)


Review with the students the location of Africa and Kenya. Discuss the physical attributes of Africa and Kenya. Review the Kenyan language, clothing, and foods. Make sure and stamp their passports with the United States stamp because they are now returning home from Kenya!


1. Bauer, Karen. Kenya. Creative Teaching Press, Inc., Cypress, CA. 90630, 1994.

2. Excite, Inc. “Kenya Maps.” MapQuest. 1996-1997.

3. Global Service Corps. “Kenya Rural Self-Help Project Page.” Aug. 25,1997.

4. Graham, Leland. Another Trip Around The World. Carson- Dellosa Publishing Company, 1996.

5. Klepper, Nancy. Our Global Village. Milliken Publishing Co. St. Louis, Missouri, 1990.

6. Ortleb, Edward. Human Populations and Resources. Milliken Publishing Co. St. Louis, Missouri, 1991.

7. Travelite Kenya. “Travelite Kenya.” 1997.

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