Lesson Plans

Technology & Learning, January 2000 | Go to article overview

Lesson Plans


Rich resources on the contributions of the peoples of Africa in Encarta Africana 2000 can be powerful centerpieces for lessons during Black History Month. The words, pictures, videos and virtual tours give in-depth information in 3,600 entries. The Library of Black America provides more than 400 original documents, many not easy to find elsewhere. Over 800 article Web links access online sources from the Library of Congress, the New York City Public Library, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and many universities. Here are 10 ways to use Encarta Africana 2000.

1 Read aloud part of a first-person narrative of slave life from the Library of Black America. Ask students to read additional narratives independently, and then write their own from a slave's viewpoint. They could describe being captured in Africa, escaping through the Underground Railroad, being separated from their parents, or enduring other hardships.

2 What appeals to students more than music? Using the Music Timeline, play some of the sounds of the times from the late 19th century to the present. Students can hear different types of music and see short videos of various performers. Then ask them to brainstorm what music or musicians of the 1990s should be included.

3 Use the Civil Rights Chronology from 1950-68 to show how Martin Luther King, Jr., was involved in this movement and what Nobel Peace Prize-winning strategies he employed. Ask students which of his strategies are most needed in today's society. Go to "Topic Treks" and choose Events to read from the 81 articles about the Civil Rights Movement.

4 Did freed slaves serve in the U.S. Army in the Revolutionary War? In the Civil War? Listen to Gen. Colin Powell talk about African Americans in the U.S. military in "Africana on Camera." Students can follow up by reading about the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Revolutionary War. An in-depth article, "Blacks in the American Military," contains three historic documents in its sidebar.

5 What is "race"? Listen to Whoopi Goldberg talk about the concept in "Africana on Camera." Then read the articles about Race in Latin America and Racial Stereotyping. How has race been considered in other times and places? How have black people and other groups been stereotyped?

6 To help students develop a sense of significance about African sites, show the videos in "Historic Sites in Africa "on a large screen monitor or computer projection system.

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