Sunday, January 16, 2011

More Africa

This week we continued our study of Africa. In science, we studied the animals of the grassland and the physical characteristics that help them to survive there.

In geography, we played Mancala, a two-player African stone game that is played in almost every African country. We have a Mancala game board, but the game could easily be played with an empty egg carton and a small bowl at each end of the carton. You will also need a bag of dried beans.
1. Place the egg carton between you and your partner so that the 6 holes face each of you. Place a small bowl at either end of the board for "home" for each player.
2. Before beginning, place 4 beans in each of the twelve egg carton holes. Each player has the 6 holes in front of him as well as the "home" bowl on his right. The goal of the game is to gather the most beans in your home.
3. The youngest player goes first. He picks up all the beans out of one of his holes and "sows" them by placing one bean in the next hole to the right and continuing counter-clockwise, dropping one bean in each hole. (He is not allowed to move the beans in a hole to count them before beginning.) If he reaches his home, he drops a bean in there and continues, but skips his opponent's home.
4. When the last bean you sow falls in your home, you earn another turn and play again.
5. When the last bean you sow falls in an empty hole on YOUR side of the board, you win all of your opponent's beans from the hole opposite yours. Place these beans in your home. Then your opponent takes his turn, picking up and sowing beans from one of his holes.
6. The game ends when one player has no beans left in his 6 holes. The winner is the person with the most beans in his home.


We also made African bead necklaces out of clay. Day 1, we shaped the clay.


The Boy etched his name into one of his beads.
 
After shaping the beads and poking holes through them, we let them dry and harden overnight. Day 2, we painted the beads.



Day 3, we strung the beads onto wire and proudly wore our necklaces.








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