Final project for COETAIL Course 1: Comparative Images of Africa

Last week I spoke with one of the MS Humanities teachers at UNIS about their upcoming unit on Africa.  Back in the US, I taught two semester-long courses on Africa, one on East Africa and one on West Africa, so it’s a subject that I know a bit about and is also dear to my heart.  I’ve been working on lots of map-based lesson ideas recently, so I spoke to him about possibly using a website that I’ve been working on,  The idea for the site is to give students, teachers, travelers, and others a place to put various types of Google Maps that they have created; some of the maps there are collaborative, while others are not.  My vision for it is to create a ‘Wikipedia of Maps’ where people can contribute to different types of maps about all sorts of subjects.

Initially, I had just thought that I could help enhance a map-based activity that the class was already doing.  Instead, the teacher offered to let me come in and teach a class on map-based activities related to Africa, either this coming Friday or early the following week. I decided to use this class as an opportunity to flesh out my final project for Course 1 of COETAIL, and this is what I came up with:

To begin, I will show students images from in the slideshow below. We will discuss the themes that the images depict, and assumptions about what life in Africa is like.

Next, we will look  at a few images from  We’ll find images that students can connect to, that remind them of things that they have seen before. Then, I’ll show them the map from called Comparative Images of Africa, seen below.  As a class, we’ll locate one of the images chosen and insert it into the map of Africa, and also provide an attribution for the image.

I’ll ask the students to look for similar, familiar images at or similar, Creative Commons, image archives.  When they find an image is found, they will insert it at the same point on the map of Africa and give it a similar attribution.

Finally, we’ll talk about some of the connections that we have made between the different images. We’ll compare the images that we chose with the images that we began with.

To see the Google Doc of the lesson plan, click here.