Mansa Musa, the Muslim King of Mali Lesson Plan - The Mali Reporter Illustration

Mansa Musa
Lesson Plan - The Mali Reporter

Lesson Plan, Mansa Musa, The Mali Reporter


  • Handouts, Mansa Musa, one per student

  • Angles: One angle per piece of folder paper

  • Hat: To hold the angles


  • Editorial: Story that expresses an opinion

  • Feature: Story with human interest, "soft news"

  • Hard news: A story that just reports the facts

  • Entertainment: Reviews, advice column

  • Sports

  • Obituary: Who died? (plant, animal)

The Lesson: 

Class Activity: Handout and read aloud Mansa Musa.

Brief Class Discussion:

  • Why did Mansa Musa wish to visit the holy city of Mecca?

  • What did Mansa Musa freely distribute on his trip?

  • Why did Mansa Musa bring so many powerful people with him on this trip?

  • What happened when he returned home?

Say: As you can see, his people were amazed that their king, the great Mansa Musa, was willing to make such a long trip, with so many dangers. It was not a quick trip. He had been gone a whole year. His people were very curious. They wanted to know what had happened. Some people wanted to know if their beloved king was honored with the respect he deserved in these faraway places? Others wanted to know what life was like far away - what did they wear? What did they eat? Some people had been worried about the camels. How did they handle such a long trip? Others were curious how so many people had kept themselves entertained on the trip. You could hardly have a story circle with so many people, so what did they do? What wonders had they seen? What games had they played? What new things had they learned? Had they run into bandits? Basically, the people wanted to know everything that had happened just as if they had been along for the ride. There was no way to possibly all their questions. But, The Mali Reporter decided to do a special report on King Mansa Musa's incredible trip, and try to answer some of them.

Small Group Activity: Divide your class into six groups. Have each group draw one folded angle from the hat. That angle is their job. Or, assign the following angles at random by the teacher. 

Tell your class: Working together, write your article on one piece of paper. You'll probably need to rewrite. If you need more paper, let me know. Don't forget to write a headline for your article, but remember, when writing your news articles, beware of libel (damaging someone's reputation by what you print.)

Give them some time. Have each small group write their article.


  • Thank your reporters. Collect articles from each group. End Class. After class is over, post their articles on the wall to read aloud the following day.

  • Or, have each group read their article aloud.

  • Either way, make a fuss over each article. As Mansa Musa would say, "How incredibly talented you are!"