Masks, Music, More!
Where to start? African arts include masks, music, symbols and their meanings, stories and fables, proverbs, paper weaving, sand paper, and more. Here are some free lesson plans and classroom activities to get you started:
African Arts - Ideas for the Classroom
The Incredible Art Department - African Masks, lesson plans
African Mask Folktale - Lesson Plan, create a mask, then create a folktale or a happening about the mask you created
African Songs, Chants, and Games
Smithsonian Folkways - Teaching About African Music, free lesson plans (several)
African Craft Ideas for Kids (wartgames)
Many free resources and downloads for teaching African art
Free Printable Art Worksheet Lesson Plans
See: African Arts
African Masks for kids - Masks were the face of the beliefs, rituals, and customs of the tribes of Africa. Learn more about African masks and play a free online interactive Africa mask game!
Sounds of Africa - Besides singing, chanting, yodeling, pounding feet and hands clapping, the sounds of Africa include many musical instruments. Africa animals also made music of their own with their distinctive sounds. Click on the Sounds of Africa link to hear the Sounds!
African Symbols & Their Meanings - The Adinkra is a group of African symbols used by the people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Their meanings are linked to ancient fables and stories and famous proverbs, and are used to teach and to remind people of wisdom and knowledge. They are used in pottery, fabrics, beads, tattoos, carvings, jewelry, logos, and all kinds of art including paper art and sand art, and other crafts. Many tell a story of their own. As powerful and as popular are the Adinkra symbols, there are other symbols of Africa. There are many countries in Africa and each has its own national flag, bird, flower, animal, and seal, just like many other countries around the world. Click on the African Symbols link to learn more and to play a free interactive African Symbols game.
African Stories and Fables - In ancient Africa, after a hard day of work, the villagers relaxed over a warm dinner in their homes, quite often cooked in a pot. After dinner, villagers might hear the sound of a drum or a rattle announcing a story was soon to be told. The villagers hurried to gather around a central fire. They settled down to listen to the village storyteller. Click on the African Stories and Fables link to read and hear some ancient African stories.
African Proverbs - You have heard the old saying that it takes a whole village to raise a child. But did you know that old saying is an ancient African proverb? African proverbs are very wise, but they are not always very clear. You have to think about it to figure some of them out. Here are a couple more: There is no medicine to cure hatred. The frog does not jump in the daytime without reason. One goat cannot carry another goat's tail. Click on African Proverbs to find more.
African Paper Weaving, Sand Paper, and Other African Arts (how to, for kids)