Monday, October 10, 2016

Introducing Africa and the Anansi Tales

Welcome to Chapter 11 in Story of the World!  I was so looking forward to our introduction to Ancient Africa and the Anansi Tales, so in preparation, I went to the library.

The Anansi Tales sometimes portray the lead character as a spider and sometimes as a man.  He is sometimes mentioned as an Africa god and sometimes as a trickster who is played by the gods.

So, with this half man/half spider persona, I came up with this little craft on the day we began reading about Anansi:

Yes, that is my daughter's photo used as the spider head.  Here's what else we used:  Glue, black pepper, a pom pom and a small photo.

There are many ways to create a little spider on this African image, but this was what we did: glue is drawn for legs and pepper is sprinkled over.

Then we glued a black pompom in the center of the legs and added the photo to the top of that!  So quick, so easy, so fun. 

It was a fun intro to the Anansi Tales, and this craft, along with another Anansi story is available in our Anansi Tales Reading Literacy Packet in our store. 

If you'd like additional African tales that branch out from Anansi, let me recommend the author, Verna Aardema.

Almost every picture book she has written is a beautiful tale of Africa.  Some of my favorites are Koi and the Kola Nuts, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears and Anansi Finds a Fool.  

Another item included in our packet is a map of Africa in both color and black and white.
Now, I wanted to do a project involving the African continent and I had seen this beautiful piece of art online:

If I could figure out who created it, I would give credit, but I could only find this image.  Still, it was so inspiring I thought I'd like to try to recreate something like it.

So we sketched a map of Africa on cardstock and laid out some broken crayons along the edge with tape.  We got out the blow dryer and tried blowing outward from the map.

We went on, all the way around and then removed all the crayons.  There were splotches of melted crayon in the center, too.  We cut out the center Africa shape.  The wax parts cut easily, too.

Then we glued the whole thing to a new piece of cardstock so we could see the beautiful shape of Africa very clearly.  

A fun craft and even if a little time-consuming, it definitely gave us a satisfying completed project and I think this will help my son remember the shape of Africa!  Keep following us to stay posted on our packet that will include all of this fun stuff! 

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