You are part of regional team from Africare, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in rural Africa. Your four goals in this organization are to : (1) grow more food; (2) develop water resources; (3) improve health services; and (4) protect the environment.

The United Nations has grant money to give towards developing Africa. Since it only has a limited amount of money to give; your organization has divided Africa into five regions. Your team is assigned a region for which to develop a ten year plan that will help the people to meet our four goals and not economically hurt the countries of your region. In class you have been studying the gold/salt trade of the Middle Kingdoms. This task will help you to see the trade routes and products in Africa today.

The Task

You and your team must gather data and create a ten year economic development plan that meets the goals of Africare. To do this you will look at present day economic information and then look for what is missing from your goals in this region.

Once you've gathered your data, your team will create a ten year plan for your region. Your team will present to a group from the Economic Council of the United Nations. Be prepared to back up your ten year plan with facts.

The Process

To establish your ten year plan you need to look at these characteristics and other economic indicators for your region.

After you have your data, develop a presentation that includes everyone in your regional group. Use the best qualities from each member.

Make a presentation no longer than 15 minutes. After all presentations, the U.N. committee will pick the region with the best ten year plan to fund.


These resources are a good starting place for finding out economic information and
characteristics of countries in your region.

The World Fact Book 1995
Africa Web Links: an Annotated Resource List ©
Country-Specific Pages for Africa
Country-Specific Information

The following other sites contain more specific information.

Climate Prediction Center - African Desk
Issues on African Economy and Telematics

Examples of Other Resources

The World Almanac - any recent edition or CD Rom Version
Goode's World Atlas
Newspaper or magazines with recent information of events in Africa

Learning Advice

To do a good job on your presentation to the economic council of the U.N. you really need to
believe in your ten year plan. Make it something that could work and would improve the quality
of life for the Africans living in your region. Try to look at your plan from many points of view:
i.e. - an environmentalist, an economist, a politician, a wealthy farmer, a poor farmer, an
industrialist, the media, a taxpayer, etc. It's hard to satisfy everyone, but work to compromise
and develop arguments for what you believe in.

Since this is a team activity, divide the tasks and responsibilities among all members. Remember
that everyone has a talent that makes them valuable to the group. Find everyone's strengths and
take advantage of them.

There are different styles of learning. In your presentation try to meet the needs of all members
of the committee. Don't just talk - use visual aids, hands on demonstrations, etc. to catch their
attention and convince them your plan is the best.


This project is evaluated through the thoroughness of your research, your group's presentation to the council, and your individual reflection sheet. As a class we will develop a rubric to help your team focus their presentation.


Thinking back to what you learned about the gold/salt trade during the Middle Ages in Africa, do you feel this much thinking went into developing the economies of the past? What has caused the changes , if any?

How can we help Third World countries to develop more on their own without putting American values into their cultures?


Looking back over your regional group's research and presentation answer the following questions to yourself. Pick one to write out an answer to turn in for part of your evaluation.

1. What part of the task was the hardest for you as an individual to complete? Why?
2. Who in your group helped you the most? the least? why/how?
3. What were the strategies you used to gather your information?
4. Is your plan good enough to really work? Would you be willing to send it to Africare?

Teacher Notes

Lesson Purpose: To have the students relate the economic lessons learned from studying the Middle Kingdoms of Africa to today's economic situation in Africa.

Goals: The student will:

Information Literacy Skills:

History Social-Science Content Standards

7.4 (follow-up only) Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the sub-Saharan civilizations of Ghana and Mali in Medieval Africa.

10.10 Students analyze instances of nation-building in the contemporary world in two of the following regions or countries: The Middle East, Africa, Mexico and other parts of Latin America, or China in terms of challenges in the region, including its geopolitical , cultural, military, and economic significance and the international relationships in which it is involved.

History and Social-Sciences Analysis Skills

Chronological or Spatial Thinking

Students use a variety of maps and documents to interpret human movement, including major patterns of domestic and international migration; changing environmental preferences and settlement patterns' the frictions that develop between population groups; and the diffusion of ideas, technological innovations, and goods.

Historical Research, Evidence, and Point of View

Students evaluate major debates among historians concerning alternative interpretations of the past, including an analysis of authors' use of evidence and the distinctions between sound generalizations and misleading oversimplifications.

Historical Interpretation

Students analyze human modifications of landscapes, and examine the resulting environmental policy issues..

Language Arts Standards

1.0 Listening and Speaking Strategies: Students formulate adroit judgments about oral communication. They deliver focused and coherent presentations of their own that convey clear and distinct perspectives and solid reasoning. They incorporate gestures, tone, and vocabulary tailored to audience and purpose.

2.0 Speaking Applications: Students deliver polished formal and extemporaneous presentations that combine traditional rhetorical strategies of narration, exposition, persuasion and description. Student speaking demonstrates a command of standard American English and the organization and delivery strategies outlined in Listening and Speaking Standard 1.0.

Length of Lesson: Five 45-60 minute periods

Resources or materials needed:

*Amnesty International publishes a CD Rom (only $10) that has good information on African countries.

*A good book that I enjoyed reading, and learning more about Africa is called Soul to Soul by John Ballard.

Managing the Lesson:

Lesson sequence:

Students are put in five regional teams each seeking out information for a presentation to Africare. The best solutions for a ten year economic development plan will be funded.

Some Supporting Questions:

Students Product:

Student groups make a presentation (up to 15 minutes) to a fake panel (consisting of adults or students from another class) of their region's ten year economic plan. Visual aids and creativity of presentation are regarded highly if they add to your plan.

Adaptations for Special Needs Students:

Set the groups up to reflect the diversity of your class. Every group needs a high reader and a creative child. Using Howard Gardner's ideas your groups should have students with various strengths.

Interdisciplinary Connections:

Math- Statistics and graphing

Language Arts- Economic Vocab world and their definitions, writing reflections of experience

Science- Looking at climate and ecological issues

Name: Leanne Westphal
School/Dist.: Central Valley Intermediate - Gateway Unified