My 6th class really engaged with the theme of Africa! There's so much scope for it, and I found it great for challenging some of their preconceived ideas. Even at 6th class age, many needed to be reminded that Africa was a continent rather than a country and that the countries are as diverse from one another as European countries are.
Virtual field trip: Use Google Maps to visit key geographical features/regions in Africa. E.g, Sahara Desert, The Sahel, Rainforests, Congo River, Niger River, River Nile, Great Rift Valley, Mt. Kilimanjaro. Present place to class using powerpoint slide(s) (I used these slides), then 'visit' the place on Google Maps and play short 1/2 minute YouTube video. When I did this I also had a cloze comprehension activity for the children to fill in, using the information on the PowerPoint. Can then have children make mini fact-files on one of the places 'visited' - I cut A4 sheets in half for this.
Research projects on African country: Write the lesser known countries on pieces of paper, have the children pull out a name from a jar. Give them example topics (language, religions, food, culture, politics etc.) and have them use laptops to research their country. Children create an A4 information poster about the country.
The Maasai people: Present to children using PowerPoint, show short YouTube clip. Have children create 'spider-wheel' of all the information they learned about the Maasai.
Myths & Legends: We made comic strips to retell the story of 'Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters'. Another well known story is 'Anansi and the Turtle', which could really be done with any age group.
Classifying animals: Looking at vertebrates and invertebrates, using a key to to classify/identify them. Focus on animals found in Africa.
Collage of African animals: Use variety of fabric & fibre (tin foil, baking paper, crepe paper etc.)
African tribal masks: Use clay, could paint the next day
Ndebele art: Construct house, make out of play or paint picture in art style
Maasai collar necklace: Create using fibre & fibre, or paint
African masks: Could use paint, pencil, print, fabric fibre etc. Endless possibilities!
Listen & respond to African music: Draw a picture of what they visualise when listening to the music.
Polyrhythm: Listen to YouTube video, then give children worksheets to try out their own polyrhythm in groups, then compose their own polyrhythm
Make Africa instruments
Narrative mime: Story set in Africa - journeying through the rainforest, down the River Nile etc.
Group drama: Give children scenario cards to work off of, could continue the story from the narrative mime or work on scenarios based off of their writing in English.
Diary entries: Based on children living in Africa
Travel guide to an African country: Based on researched country in Geography