UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
(DEPENDING ON THE TEACHER AND/OR GUEST SPEAKER - AND THE STORIES THAT ARE USED - THIS LESSON PLAN COULD PROBABLY BE ADAPTED FOR USE IN ALMOST ANY GRADE: K-12)
I. ORAL TRADITIONS IN THE PAST A. THE STORYTELLER 1.Background/training/experience 2. Age/gender 3. Social role and status B. THE STORY 1. Give an example (or several) of African folktales to the class. This can be done orally or by using an audio- visual method since many films and filmstrips are commercially available./ 2. Characteristics of the story: a. Characters, plot, symbolism involved, ironies, allegories, etc. b. Deal with the purpose of the story (especially what values or moral lessons are being conveyed) C. THE SETTING 1. The time and place for storytelling 2. The age and make-up of the audience
II. ASPECTS OF MODERNIZATION A. THE LEGACY OF COLONIALISM 1. Affects on languages, borders, desires for independence, etc. 2. Affects on story themes, etc. B. SINCE INDEPENDENCE 1. Affects of modernization: ie. urbanization, industrialization, "new" religions, "formal" education, etc. 2. Impact of new ideas: ie. "Revolution of Rising Expectations", "Global Village", etc.
III. ORAL TRADITIONS IN CONTEMPORARY AFRICA A. THE STORYTELLER 1. Refer back to I.A. - What things have changed, if any, and why? B. THE STORY 2 Refer back to I.B. - What things have changed, if any, and why? C. THE SETTING 1. Refer back to I.C. - What things have changed, if any, and why?
IV. CLASS REACTIONS AND DISCUSSION
A. SOME QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. Why hasn't the ancient art of storytelling disappeared
2. Of what value are oral traditions today?
3. In general, in what areas has modernization had its
greatest impact on African oral traditions?
4. What parallels are there between African oral traditions
and anything comparable in the United States?
5. As even more modern forms of technology spread
throughout Africa, what might their effect be on oral
B. A POSSIBLE ACTIVITY
1. Have the students choose several animals and several
morals (ie. being truthful, respectful or loyal) and
have them work in sets of items.
2. Have the student s present their stories to the class.
3. Make comparisons (if known) to any African oral
Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D.
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