Monday, July 22, 2013

Around the World in 180 Days-- Geography Unit: Africa week 1-3

We started leaning about Africa this week!!

We learned about the oceans, rivers and lakes in Africa.

We learned about a number of the continents major resources.

We learned and saw pictures about 12 of the "need to see" spots in Africa!

We learned and mapped a number of countries.

We learned a lot about Morocco and tried

Moroccan Tea


  • 1 tablespoon loose Chinese gunpowder green tea
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • 1 large bunch fresh mint (1 ounce)

  • Special equipment : a 1- to 1 1/2-quart teapot


Put tea in teapot and pour in 1 cup boiling water, then swirl gently to warm pot and rinse tea. Strain out and discard water, reserving tea leaves in pot.
Add remaining 4 cups boiling water to tea and let steep 2 minutes. Stir in sugar (to taste) and mint sprigs and steep 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve in small heatproof glasses.

These were the closest to a "shot glass" type glass.  

We also tried Fried Bananas
  • 2 firm peeled bananas
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Medium shallow bowl
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • Large nonstick skillet
  • Spatula
  • Serving platter
Cut two peeled bananas in half across the center, then cut each half lengthwise.  Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully put the banana slices in the skillet with the cut side down.  Cover with brown sugar Saute the banana slices on one side for approximately 30 to 45 seconds or until the cooked sides are golden brown. Turn over and again coat with brown sugar.
Do not let burn.

And lastly we tried apricot and pine nut couscous.


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, about 1 1/2 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup plain couscous


  • Cook nuts in oil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate.
  • Cook onion in oil remaining in pan over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes, then add apricots and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, then bring to a boil and stir in couscous. Cover pan, then remove from heat and let stand, undisturbed, 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and stir in nuts and salt and pepper to taste

It was ALL very tasty!!!

We learned about David Livingstone and watched a short YouTube on his life.

Each of the kids learned about one tribe.. and reported on it to the group.  Their religion, culture, jobs, dress.. etc.

**** tidbit of information learned. The Yoruba tribe have the HIGHEST number of twin births in the world!) and it is because of something they eat!****

We also learned about slavery and talked about civil wars and colonization.  

We made a wheel of a lot of the different flags from countries all around Africa.

We learned that Liberia is a country that was founded for freed slaves to come home to...

We also learned about different climates, animals and cultures about different tribes.

We designed our own Africa neck adornments!

and we ended with eating at an extremely authentic African restaurant!!

to his right is a silver bowl-- everyone had to cleanse their writing hand (the one they would use...)

the white stuff closet to Kaitlin is FUFU.  it is a "bread like substance" that tastes similar to instant mash potatoes but is made from Yam Powder.  You tear off a piece and roll it into a ball, then you use your thumb to press an indention into the ball making basically a "scoop".  All of this is done one handed.  It takes talent!  After you have made your scoop you dip it into what Kate is eating.. it is a three dish plate.. spinach, a curry like orange thing and a vegetable soup that is all pureed.  It was actually ALL very good!

this is a rice dish (which our waiter who was Nigerian and has been here less than a year and a half) said would be a normal everyday meal.

beside it are fried plantains.  YUM. :0)

This is tilapia (another main food) and as you can see it is whole-- eye and all.  The actual fish "meat" itself was fine.  YUCK on the eye/ bones thing!

there were more fried plantains and beans that were pretty much the same as re fried beans.

After we ate and asked a TON of questions which the waiter and hostess (possible owner) answered so nicely and patiently! We went around the corner to this African Farmers Market.  Um. it was interesting.  Lots of yams, powdered and whole.  fish, goat, meat pies (yum), imported spices, household items and health and beauty items.  It was neat to see... :0)

We finished up Africa and are headed to Asia next!!!


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