Activity 1: An example of a daily activity that can be accomplished as group work.
Examine maps, pictures, and paintings and draw conclusions about the French colonization of Africa. Determine the ideology France used to dominate Africa and write the history of Afrique Noire. (Black Africa)
In this activity, students will explore various historic maps of Africa and precisely French-speaking countries. First, students will determine characteristics of different maps – what they represent and from whose point of view they are written. Then, students will interpret the maps and explain how they relate to the colonization of Africa.
Academic language: Students should know (In French and English) the keywords that evolve around the unit, such as colonizing, imperialism, assimilation, rule, republic, etc
The teacher introduces the importance of the activity and explains why the activity is meaningful to student learning. The focus should always remain on historical rather than a territorial mapping of Africa. From the maps that students will examine – they will focus on features that depict the natural wealth and abundance of Africa and its people and ask why the maps are labeled "Colonies Françaises" - meaning under the French rule. The teacher will connect this activity to previous lessons and built on knowledge.
After introducing the activity, the teacher divides the class into groups of four and passes out two or three maps per group with questions about the maps.34
What do you observe in map #1 #2 and #3?
How is this__________ map different from other maps?
Describe in your own words particularities of the French colonization of Africa and show evidence from the maps.
Students present and share with other groups their findings.
Activity 2: An example of a performance task or a summative assessment
- Define the term assimilation – as France's ruling ideology carried out in the newly colonized regions such as the four communes of Senegal.
- Develop a conceptual understanding of stages of colonization and various level of assimilation.
The teacher must have a clear rubric and instruction for this research activity. Students will examine various sources to create an idea of what are some of the ways to assimilate into a different language of culture:
Ideas to be explored before students start the research.
The teacher must use resources such as videos, power points, songs, and documentaries.
- Assimilation through the language or the vernacular – How were French Africans assimilated linguistically. Examine various documents and documentaries that support the narrative above. "Les originaires" in the four communes had to learn French to advance.
- Assimilation through culture – Examine various documents that show whether French Speaking African people adapted their own culture to make it more a francophone culture. (Example – listen to various French- African songs)
- Institutional assimilation – France implemented institutions modeled after their form of government or governance and employed African intellectuals. Examine through documentaries and documents the institutional assimilation of African countries under French rule. Use as an example of the four communes being represented in the General Assembly in France instead of having a government in their land.
Assessment ideas: Create a poster, write an expository essay, create a PowerPoint presentation, or an infographic.
After spending a few lessons exploring the colonial rule in Africa, students should have enough background knowledge to go ahead and explore on their own about the topic.
Activity 3: An example of an art lesson
Define through art the ideology of the oppressed.
- Explore the motives French African intellectuals, writers, and artists diverted from the idea of the overarching culture and civilization to form a culture that is indigenous to Africa, yet modern and contemporary.
The focus of this lesson is the Senegalese artist Papa Ibra Tall, but it can be an artist, author, writer or poet.
The teacher introduces the topic and reassures that students are aware that today's activity will be about art. Then, through PowerPoint presentations, slide shows, or videos, teachers must build background knowledge about Papa Ibra Tall. Among others, the teacher must introduce his life, work, and activities. Then the teacher explains how Papa Ibra Tall is part of a greater movement – and that of L'Ecole de Dakar. The teacher also must explain the importance of the Dakar School of Art in encouraging authenticity in African Art.
The teacher will print in color a few paintings of Papa Ibra Tall and display them in class. I chose to frame and post it will create a tradition of diversity in the French class.
The teacher invites students to the board and looks at the prints. Then, students divide in groups of three or four and pick a painting to work on.
The teacher should have straightforward questions and expectations such as:
- What genre is most likely the work of Papa Ibra Tall? (e.g., impressionism, classicism, modernism, etc.) Explain your answer.
- What is the overall mood of this painting? How does that make you feel? Explain why.
- Colors, figures, and shapes. What are the dominant colors of the painting? What are the dominant shapes of the painting? How can we relate them to today's African culture, folk art, tradition?
- What can you make of Papa Ibra Tall's painting? Describe your thoughts.