Africa – project based learning

This Africa Project is designed as a project/problem based learning unit.

Project Details

Title: Africa
Collaborators: Larissa Elson & Lisa Healow
Grade level: high school (9-12)
Recommended Time Frame: 2 – 3 weeks (10-20 contact hours)
Content areas:

  • ethics
  • geography
  • history
  • humanities
  • language arts
  • literature
  • reading


african africa uganda army kony

Web Resources
Invisible Children – background on conflict
Issues with the organization, Invisible Children
Invisible Children responds to criticism
Invisible Children responds to criticism about ‘Stop Kony’ campaign
Charles Taylor in Liberia
World news about the Central African Republic, including breaking news and archival articles published in The New York Times.
A list of resources from around the Web about Uganda as selected by researchers and editors of The New York Times.
Congo article collection – New York Times Topics
War Crimes, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity
BBC Profile: Joseph Kony
Guest post: Joseph Kony is not in Uganda (and other complicated things)
KONY 2012

A Long Way Gone
African Literature section of textbook

Begin with the End in Mind:

Students will:
Communicate Effectively and Persuasively, Manage Projects Effectively, Think Critically

Craft the Driving Question:

How can the examination of the past inform us about our present lives and what our responsibility is toward one another?
Are you your brothers’/sisters’ keeper?
How can we effect change in the world without giving money?

Research Question:

here is a site that may be of help as you write your research question
(After viewing and reading some background information, determine what you want to learn more about. Like in past projects, let your product answer your research question and the two driving questions above.)

STUDENTS create question here

Plan the Assessment:

Infographic, Prezi, or other choice with corresponding narrative paper and annotated bibliography
that shows students can do the following:

  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
    • Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.
    • Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).


  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.
  • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
  • Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Map the Project:

Major product: infographic or Prezi (or something similar as suggested by students) with corresponding narrative paper and annotated bibliography

  • watch – Invisible Children viral video
  • read – articles about Kony, crimes of humanity, and others listed above
  • read – A Long Way Gone
  • read – African Lit section of the textbook
  • research – submit analysis or each article and image to create an annotated bibliography
  • create – infographic or Prezi
  • present – the answers to your questions and the choices you made when creating your product


Manage the Process:

Write and submit your research question
Learning contract filled out
Daily work form completed
How to: annotated bibliography (due with project)


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