SUBJECT: Geography
TOPIC: Kenya
CREATORS: Kimberly Stevens, Jennifer Roberts, Diane Brown, Todd Wingard, LaMonica Kendrick


Day 1
  • Introduction to Kenya, Africa 
  • Passport Activity 
  • Informational Movie on Kenya
Day 2
  • Location and Climate 
  • Animals - Interactive Bulletin Board 
  • Introduce Pamphlet Project 
Day 3
  • Culture and Languages 
  • Listening Tapes of the Different Languages 
  • Flash Cards 
Day 4
  • Art of Kenya 
  • Statues 
  • Mask Making 
Day 5
  • Music 
  • Comparison and Contrast Activity 
Day 6
  • Field Trip to the African-American Museum 
Day 7
  • Field Trip Follow-up 
  • Writing Assignment 
  • Make Invitation for Parents 
  • Work on Pamphlets 
Day 8
  • Story telling 
  • Myths 
Day 9
  • Final Touches on Pamphlet Project 
Day 10
  • Make Traditional African Dress 
  • Prepare for Festival 
Day 11
  • Traditional African Festival 
  • Games 
  • Making Ice Cream 
  • Pamphlets and Passports Displayed 


Unit Goals

  1. To create a culturally diverse classroom.
  2. To appreciate the art and music represented by Kenya.
  3. To be able to respond to certain characteristics of the animals of Kenya
  4. To be able to identify the geographical location of Kenya.
  5. To be familiar with the items necessary to make a trip to Kenya.
  6. To identify the main language of Kenya and say one or two key phrases or words.
  7. Provide visual stimulation and to be able to associate artifacts with Kenya.


Skills that we will assume the children have

Skills that will need to be taught to the students

Michigan Social Studies Framework Strands and Benchmarks
2.1 People, Places and Cultures
2.2 Human/Environment Interaction
5.1 Information Processing
2.1.3 Locate and describe diverse kinds of communities and explain the reasons for their characteristics and locations 
2.1.5 Explain basic ecosystem concepts and processes
2.2.5  Describe the major physical patterns, ecosystems, resources, and land uses of the state, region, and country , and explain the processes that created them
2.2.7 Locate information using people, books, audio/video recordings, photos, simple maps, graphs, and tables
5.1.5 Interpret social science information about local, state and national communities from maps, graphs, and charts.


Lesson Plan Day 1:Introduction to Kenya

Objective Rationale

This is the introductory lesson on Kenya and it is important that students know where Kenya is located and the importance of certain items (visa, passport, money) when taking a trip. This will help build background information for students.


Kenya is located in the continent of Africa. The people of Kenya are called Kenyans. The capital of Kenya is Nairobi. Kenya achieved its independence from Britain in 1963. Give a brief overview of the topography so that students will know what types of items they need.



When students are given their pamphlets to make, each student will include the things learned.
Click here for Travel Pamphlet Rubric


  1. OpenerKaribuni Tene Shuleni (ca[r] eeboony tayna shulyni)

  2. "Welcome all of you to school" Dress in African clothing if possible.
  3. Have a passport made for each student waiting on their desk in the morning.
  4. Explain to students that you just spoke in Swahili. Ask if any students know what country speaks Swahili. Lead the discussion to African then Kenya.
  5. Show student son the map where Africa is and then find Kenya. Explain that Kenya is a country in the continent of Africa.
  6. Do a chart on items that you need for taking a trip to Africa. Activate students prior knowledge: Think about when your family takes a trip, what types of things do you take? Brainstorm ideas from students. Include type of clothing, type of money, passport, visa, plane tickets, travelers checks, credit cards, suitcase, camera, medical insurance, sunscreen, anti-malarial drugs. Leave chart up so that throughout the unit students can check their answers.
  7. Pass out plane tickets and stamp passports with date. give short explanation about what a passport is.
  8. show students pictures of the capital of Kenya and the low plateaus and plains of Kenya. Have students contrast and compare the two very different areas. Explain that Kenya was ruled by Britain until 1963.

Wrap up
Pass out small packages of peanuts. Show students 15 minutes of the movie Really Wild Animals Swinging Safari produced by the National Geographic Society.


Tomorrow we will continue our journey in Kenya. The people that we are going to meet are called Kenyans. At home tonight, I want you to see if your family has any travel brochures. If they do, bring them in tomorrow.


Lesson Plan Day 2: Interactive Bulletin Board - Who Am I?


Fourth and fifth grade students will identify the appropriate animal of Africa using the clues provided and the bulletin board with 80 percent accuracy.

Anticipatory Set Read the big book Animals of the African Savannah.


  1. Bulletin Board
  2. Construction Paper
  3. Scissors
  4. Animal Pictures
  5. 3 x 5 Cards


  1. Read the big book to the children.
  2. Discuss the different characteristics of the animals.
  3. On the bulletin board, place pictures of the animals with a piece of black construction paper over the top.
  4. Underneath the covered pictures place an envelope.
  5. Inside the envelope on 3 x 5 cards, write clues using the animal's characteristics.
  6. The children will choose the clues and try to guess the animal.
  7. They are able to find the answer by lifting up the piece of construction paper.


If the students are able to identify the animals using the clues provided, they will have achieved the goals of this lesson.


Lesson Plan Day 3: Languages & Culture

  1. Fourth and fifth grade students will be able to identify a different language auditorily, so that when given various common phrases in Swahili, the students will translate them into English.
  2. Fourth and fifth grade students will be able to describe an aspect of the culture in Kenya, so that when writing a passage, the students will compare and contrast their own culture to the culture of the people of Kenya.

Students will learn about different aspects of Kenya, which will enhance their multicultural knowledge and provide them with the basic understanding that there are many different cultures in our world that are not like that of their own.


  1. Small packets on Kenya culture
  2. Kenya attire for teacher to wear
  3. Swahili language sheet for students and teacher
  4. Swahili language tapes for students to practice with and listen to.

Anticipatory Set

The teacher will begin the opener by walking into the classroom dressed in African attire, while at the same time speaking Swahili.



  1. The teacher will speak Swahili to the students.
  2. The teacher will introduce some Swahili phrases to the students both auditorily and visually.
  3. The teacher will explain the directions to the students and check for understanding.
  4. The teacher will allow the children to practice their Swahili.
  1. The teacher will pass out a small packet about children in Kenya going to school.
  2. The teacher will explain the directions and check for understanding.
  3. The teacher will read the packet with the children.
  4. The teacher will ask students to describe some differences between the American culture and the culture of Kenya.
  5. The teacher will write them on the board and discuss them with the class.
  6. The students will be told to remember these differences.


The teacher will close the lesson by discussing the field trip and the exciting festival.


The student evaluation will come when the students turn in their language worksheets and write a small passage comparing and contrasting the differences between American and African cultures.

Lesson Plan Day 4: Art of Kenya


For fourth and fifth grade students to increase their understanding and awareness of African art so when presented with several artifacts students will be able to identify specific characteristics of African art.


In an effort to create more culturally informed students, this lesson will describe, compare, and explain characteristics of Kenyan art.


African art has an aesthetic sensibility in that it is not only beautiful to view, but purposeful as well. Students will also enhance their skills in comparison and contrast and information processing.


The teacher will begin this lesson with several slides of various forms of African art. After the slides are presented, the students will be asked to comment regarding the art shown. The teacher will note the use of colors, natural materials, and multiple functions of the art work.


  1. Pictures of various American art work
  2. Pictures of various Kenyan art work
  3. African masks, ceramic art work, wood art work, hand woven cloth


  1. Show students various pictures of American art.
  2. Ask students to describe the pictures.
  3. Show students various pictures of African art.
  4. Ask students to describe the pictures.
  5. Display all pictures for the students to view
  6. Ask students to compare and contrast the pictures.
  7. Show students masks, wooden art, hand woven fabrics.
  8. Ask students if there are common characteristics in the African art pieces.


Students should be familiar with the characteristics of African art and the aesthetic sensibility embedded in its beauty.


Students will be asked to design and make their own masks based on the characteristics of African art using a variety of materials.


After students have completed making masks of various textures, they will display their masks using bodily movements and traditional Kenyan music.

Lesson Plan Abstract Day 6: Field Trip


Fourth and fifth grade students will enhance their knowledge of African American culture by viewing the many different types of exhibits. Students will make connections between knowledge gained from studies of Kenya and exhibits at the museum.


Students will experience the black culture through historic, artistic, scientific, and social themes that are presented at the museum. Learning will be enhanced through the five senses as students explore the museum.

Lesson Plan Day 7: Field Trip Follow-up


Fourth and fifth grade students will gain a better understanding of the African American Culture from their field trip to the museum. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the culture in a descriptive, one page summary of a favorite exhibit.


It is important for students to reflect through the writing process some of the components of the African American culture as expressed through an exhibit.


  1. Paper
  2. Note cards - references from previous day
  3. Pamphlets


  1. Mini-lesson on descriptive writing
  2. Discussion pertaining to the requirements of the paper
  3. Use an example - verbally describe an exhibit in the classroom
  4. Students can work with a partner


Students will create a descriptive piece of writing. Each writing will be unique to each student as well as to the exhibit that was chosen.

Lesson Plan Day 11: Traditional African Festival


For fourth and fifth grade students to be able to experience a traditional African Festival and for them to display their knowledge and understanding of Kenya to parents and other visitors.

Anticipatory Set

A week before, send home a handmade invitation to parents inviting them to the festival.


  1. African games
  2. African costumes
  3. African foods - Mango Ice Cream
  4. Parent volunteers
  5. Tableware
  6. Beverages
  7. African music
  8. Listening tapes
  9. Pamphlets and passports


  1. Have the students, a week prior, make an invitation to the parents to come to the festival.
  2. Secure some parent volunteers to help run the festival.
  3. Open the festival by welcoming parents and inviting them to take a look at Kenya, Africa through the children's work.
  4. Have small groups of students present each area or focus of Kenya.


Evaluation would come when the festival is over and the students have proven, through activities, games, and songs that they have learned about Kenya. 

        Student Rubric For Travel Pamphlet

        Excellent Pamphlet
  1. Your pamphlet must have a colorful cover which contains a picture of something having to do with Kenya and a title.
  2. Your pamphlet must contain the following categories with a paragraph about the topic
    1. Topography
    2. Natural features
    3. Attractions
    4. Language
    5. Safari
  3. Neat writing and drawing
  4. Correct spelling
  5. Turned in on time
      1. Good Pamphlet
  6. A good paper will have almost all of the above items. It will have 1 or 2 items missing or incorrect.
      1. OK Pamphlet
  7. An OK pamphlet will be missing more than two items of the above list and less than 4 items.
      1. Poor Pamphlet
  8. A poor pamphlet will contain between 4 and 5 missing items.
      1. Unacceptable Pamphlet
  9. An unacceptable pamphlet will contain more than 5 missing items.
Return to Day 2 Lesson Plan



Carpenter, Frances. (1963) African Wonder Tales. New York: Doubleday.

Fodor, Eugene. (1987) Fodor's Kenya. New York: Fodor's Travel Publications.

Hamilton, Virginia. (1995) Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales and True Stories. New York: Scholastic.

Kimmel, Eric. (1988) Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock. New York: Holiday House.

Kimmel, Eric. (1994) Anansi and the Talking Melon. New York: Holiday House.

Klyce, Katherine. (1989) Kenya, Jambo! New York: Redbird Press.

Maddern, Eric. (1993) The Fire Children. New York:Dial Books.

Mattiessen, Peter. (1972) The Tree Where Man Was Born. New York: Dutton.

Williams, Allen. (1978) Africa. New York: Fideler.

Free information you can send or call for:
Department of Tourism: New York Kenya Tourist Office
424 Madison Avenue
Suite 1401
New York, NY 10017
(212) 486-1300
Web Site Link to

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