Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Africa Speaks Project - Mural Making & Storytelling

In collaborative teams of approximately eight to a team, students used their creativity to research a geographic region of Africa (Sahara Desert, savannas, rain forests, and Mediterranean coast) and depict that region's geography, climate, natural resources, and animals in a decorative mural.  Then, in the same, teams students wrote personified poems or narratives as the land and its parts telling its own story.  Both murals and narratives/poems were presented to the class, while classmates continued their notes on each geographic region of Africa.  Enjoy the artistic work below!
Research and note-taking using a tech tool (Thinglink, Coggle, etc.):


African Geography Team Murals & Presentations:

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Example Team Personified Narratives/Poems:
We are the Sahara Desert
We are wild and big
We make up 25% of Africa
We are full of sand to dig


We have a lot of salt mines
Spread across our land
Which give you your yummy bacon
And your pickles in a can


{Grace’s Part - Salt, Iron Ore, and Minerals}
I am the Sahara Desert,
I produce many things.
I can give the lifeless Earth life,
And bring kindness to a world in need.
The crunchy salt that flavors your food,
The sparkling, rocky minerals that become your jewelry,
And the delicate, spiky iron that creates your steel.
These are just some of the many things,
I give to young kids like you.
I am the Sahara.


{Ethan’s Part - Camels}
I, the camel, am scattered throughout the Sahara Desert,
ridden by travelers, merchants, and more.
I am used for carrying traded goods
across the hot sand.
With two lumps on my back,
each the size of bowling balls,
I am able to survive in the harsh conditions of the desert,
and travel across the tan sand.


{Bronwyn’s Part - Sand}
I am the sand,
full of tans and browns.
Blowing through the sky,
along the wind.
Trampled again and again,
by humans and animals alike.
My dunes tower over everything,
including the palm trees in the Oasis.


{Bronwyn’s 2nd Part - Oasis}
Speaking of me,
I bring vegetation, resources,
to the otherwise barren desert.
Plants and water to starved animals.
To help them survive.
I am the Oasis.


(Raquel’s Part - Dunes and Entire Area)
I am the the essence of the Sahara Desert,
raging towers of sand, my dunes are
constantly whipped around by the angry wind.
Always a dry, desolate wasteland,
No water to quench the thirst of the camels that trample
me constantly,
other than the lonely oasis
I am the great beast of the northwest


(Kayli’s Part - Wind)
I am the wind
I blow around sand dunes
and blow sand into your eyes
I make new dunes
so I destroy the old
When I get angry
I just blow and blow


(Kayli’s Part- Clouds)
I am clouds
I get pushed by the wind
I am white and puffy
At the desert I am white
but I can be gray
Driven away by the fierce wind.


{Dafne’s Part}
I am the Sun
I beat down and brighten the world
I make the desert hot and dry
I make it  get up to 120 degrees during the day


{Quinn’s Part - Oil}
I am Oil,
People use me for fuel.
You could find me anywhere,
Even under the dunes.
I get shipped all over the world
People make a lot of money
I get shipped out from oil rigs
To get to you in a couple of jigs
Sometimes I flow by the rocks, deep under the sand.
They say hi, and I wave back with my slimy hands


{Chris’s Part - Hamadas}
I am the hamadas
I am produced by the wind
I am a hard, rocky plateau, with very little sand because my sand been removed by deflation.
I am almost throughout the whole entire desert
I mostly have small hard rocks on me but sometimes i will have huge ones
I get walked on occasionally.


{Andres Part- Quicksand}
I am here, but you don’t see me.
Hidden by the tan colors of the sand,
I pull my prey into the depths of the dunes.
While I sweep them away
Letting them take their last breath
You guessed it I am the quickest of them all
I am quicksand that is all


I am the sparkling salt, iron, and minerals,
I am the giant camels,
I am the many grains of sand,
And the many drops of water of the oasis,
I am the dunes that cover the land,
I am the wind that blows far and wide,
I am the puffy clouds that rarely appear in the sky,
I am the sun, that beats down and brightens the world,
I am the oil that flows beneath the dunes,
I am the Hamadas, I am the rocks that are produced through the wind that make you stumble and second-guess,
I am the quicksand. The quicksand that sucks people into my liquidy lure.


We are the Sahara Desert.
I am the grasslands
The beautiful dry yellow grasslands of the african Savanna
My grass blows in the breeze
Like hair on a doll
My hills roll in the distance
Like sand dunes in the close Sahara
Trees poke up in the distance
Like three pronged forks
When the sun sets
I turn into silhouettes
When the sun rises
I am as bright as a sunflower
Some people call me a tropical rainforest
But I prefer to be called the African Savanna

I am the baobab tree
From my branches, baobab fruits
Dangle, teasing nearby animals who cannot reach
A giraffe approaches me
The wind blows through my leaves gently
But strong enough to cause a fruit to drop
As the giraffe stretches to eat a hanging fruit
A zebra approaches the fallen fruit
And grabs it with its teeth, galloping away
Before a lucky mongoose steals it
The mongoose intently watches the giraffe
Stretching towards the sky to the fruit
The giraffe peeks down at the mongoose with pity
But not enough pity to offer it a fruit
I watch the savanna with care
And offer my fruits to the animals below me

I am the giraffe
I stand tall with my spotted brown neck
I eat the top of the acacia tree
Stretching my neck strong and tall
I can be the tallest of all
I am the one who is always on top
My yellowish brown skin
And I race across the tall dry grass.
I am the lion
I am the king of the savannas
I hunt for food every day
My mane flows in the wind when I run
No other animal goes near me because they are scared
I catch a zebra and bring it to my family
My family eats away
As I protect them from our predators

I am the Niger River
I flow across the African Savannas
I am the largest river in Africa
My blue green water flowing      
Specks of gold get picked up by people
My water is murky green while fish flow around me

I am gold
I sit waiting in the Nile and Niger river
People pick me up and use me to create jewelry
I make the rivers sparkle as the sun shines
I am valuable
I am beautiful
I am gold

I am the weather
When I am happy
the sun shines bright in the sky
When I am sad
I shed my tears across the land
If I get angry
I express my rage with thunder
Striking all around
When the animals need rest
I give them the great clouds to keep them cool

(Color coding here shows parts, not who wrote it)
Together, we are one
One savanna
We cover most of Africa
Our different abilities all help
This environment to survive

The grasslands
Provide food for herbivores
The baobab tree
Shades animals and carries food
The giraffe
Taking long strides through the grass
The lion
Keeping the food chain in check
The Niger River
Providing water for all animals around
Gold
A valuable resource even today
The weather
Maintaining the beautiful savanna we all recognize

We are one savanna.

I am the Rainforest.
Spread through my continent.
All of the trees live with me.
I keep things warm and humid.
My canopies keep me sheltered and out of the rain.
I give home to animals and bugs of all kind.
Dense foliage and mud keeps me strong.

I am a black leopard
I slink through the cold, black night
the wind rustling my fur
My fur shines in the white moonlight
and my eyes glow like fire
I am determined
my legs don’t stop
I hear them behind me
and without a thought
I pounce, I growl, I stand on my feet
in front of the hunters who followed me
I know it’s my end but I am calm
I will teach them the lesson
that they are wrong
They don’t own the Rainforest
as they may think
As I make my decision
I hear a clink
But before they can harm me
something falls
in between us
forming a wall
of course it’s the forest protecting me
because the hunters
showed no mercy
they learned a lesson on this cold, black night
they learned not to control and fight
the earth that protects them
and keeps them safe
watching over them
choosing their fate
it’s mother nature
but they choose to hate
and now they’ll have to accept their fate.

I am the trees
Every day my brothers and sister are chopped down by the human race for lumber
Without us both the humans and rainforest would die
I connect the land to the sky
A roof to the ground
But I am dying, slowly, the humans are killing themselves by removing me, by removing us, they they make their next generation pay the ultimate price
I chose to be the protector of animals
I was forced to be the protector of humans

I am Lumber from a pinus tree.
Everyday I get carried away in pieces
Everyday I leave my home broken, carted away by large trucks
Leaving my brethren day after day just to be reborn into the unnatural things they call a building only to be burned and destroyed over and over again
Burning to the ground I am forced to accept my fate

I am the rain forest floor
African grey parrots soar high above
They are free but I am not
it’s dark, it’s scary
The mahogany trees are a part of me
day to day I wish I wasn’t on this planet
I can’t control anything
they control me
but I control everything
over 11,000 plants grow in me
you could also say that I conquer
I am the ruler of the rain forest.
I am the African rainforest floor.

I am the streams running  through the African rain forest.
Always active, always flowing.
Running water to cool everything down in the humid heat.
I give life to the animals, refreshing their parched throats.
Slowly spreading through the ground rising with the rain retreating with the drought.
I am the thing that everyone, everything needs.
I am the streams of the African Rain Forest.

I am the rain.  
The tears of the rain forest.
Cascading  down.
Creating a symphony
Curing the Rain forest’s pain with growth.
I cool, I bring hope.
Everyday something new dies,
but I find it inside myself to regrow what is lost.
And am rewarded as I see thousands and thousands
of vines dancing across

I am an okapi
I feed on leaves and grasses and ferns,
I’m like a combo of a giraffe and a zebra, which makes me easy to spot.
I walk through the forests in the day,
But you won’t see me at night a lot.
I’m like  a combo of a giraffe and a zebra.

I am the heat and humidity
I don't go over 90 degrees but the humidity is over 70%
I cover the forest like a blanket and make the air more humid as I rest
I evaporate the lakes and streams like brewing tea
and turn them into water vapour
they become clouds
and then the rain
comes crashing down.

My African name is Ramphastos Toco
My feathers are black and yellow and my eyes are the color of the sky and  my beak has the colors of a rainbow
I am Hunted for my Feathers and meat
I fly in the air and have a long beak
I am A Toucan

I am the Rainforest (Everyone)
Very wild and very free(Vishav)
Sheltered by the canopy (Rory)
Although I have many parts (Milo or Eric)
We flow as one and don’t come apart.

Emmoni:  Swoosh.  Blows the wind trying to cool me down, but it is no match for the powerful sun.  The clouds are too scared to rain until winter, for they know if they do the sun will get angry and dry them all up. With her short temper she causes heat waves all the time. Swoosh, the wind finally break the clouds and they start to rain on me.  I am now free tuning in to mud and moving slowly down to the water. Sorry sun you're no match for me!


Jet (Ocean/Mediterranean Sea): As I flow toward the harsh desert sand, my waves beat down upon the arid, barren surface. I am intertwined with the rich history and culture of the mysterious land, crashing blindly against the shore. The beating of my waves and the rays of the sun are upon me.  Blistering heat, blinding vision, I push forward, making high tide. The bright white sands are no longer visible. Looking across to the coast from afar, the majestic Atlas Mountains of the Mahgreb, tower over the glaring, vast, stony desert.  
As I stare below, a range of colorful, vivid sea creatures dwell within my waters, such as the basking shark, white spotted octopus, trumpet and parrot fish, providing an abundance of food for the locals.
Harsh void deserts form North Africa from Morocco, across Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, as far as Egypt. People, for thousands of years, including the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans have traveled across my waters for trading from Africa to Europe and beyond.
Billy:  I am a fisherman one day while fighting for a meal at my favorite spot on the rock in the ocean I felt a huge bite on the end of my line. I held the fishing rod slightly so the fish would not escape, suddenly a strong force pulled on my line and I almost fell into the ocean.  i knew I couldn't lose that fish because I haven't caught a fish yet this day so I pulled the fish towards me.  As I saw the shadow of this great fish I saw that it was a large shark.  I pulled the whole shark up  and I saw that it was large enough for lunch and dinner for my whole family.  I cut  the shark until it would stop moving so I could gut it. as I put my knife threw the shark's body blood splat over my shirt and the dirt in the back of my house.  once I was done with gutting the shark I put the meat onto a fire where I cooked it then prepared it to eat.

Atticus:  Slowly I raise my head, another day of running through the underbrush, ya I wish, crud. Slowly I crawl outside of my small hole. He’s right above me. I’m scared, instinct has taken over and I can barely move. Slowly I crawl backwards maybe I can hide away for long enough. This is kinda how things go around here, the bigger eats the smaller and so on. But c’mon an entire five days, I meen seriously don't these Spanish Imperial Eagles got something better to do than to chase around a helpless little Ibiza wall lizard. You're probably wondering who I am, a description would probably be a better example, I grow to a maximum snout-to-vent length of 7 cm (3 in) but adults are usually a little smaller than this. My tail is about twice as long as the body. It is robust with a short-head and rounded body with relatively coarse, slightly keeled scales. My dorsal surface is usually green but can be grey or brownish. There is usually a well-defined pale dorso-lateral stripe and there may be a row of dark spots or a dark line running along the spine. The underside of my stomach is white, cream, grey, orange or pink and the throat and occasionally the belly may be blotched with darker colour. I really like it hear, the humid climate make a perfect home, and there's plenty of ants too, yumm. Slowly I poke my head out again. “Yeah, oh yeah, in your face eagle. ” A huge cloud is drifting over my hole. It is sagging with rain. A eagle can’t fly in that. “Oh yeah.” I walked over and watched ant climb up a rock, and then I ate it, yeah I know cruelty to ants, but hey I am hungry, slowly I chomped on the ant, life is good when you got an ant to eat.    
 
Thea - I AM A CLOUD: It’s almost December I thought, feeling droopy with the weight of the all of the water I was holding. This was almost the worst time of the year for me, second only to July, where I almost non-existent in the dry heat. In the middle months, I am the perfect weight. Free to float around wherever I want to go without carrying much weight. Now, however, I am weighed down, barely able to move, grunting with the effort. Suddenly, the weight becomes too much. As I release my heavy load, water comes rushing down from me, splattering on the ocean water, and running like small rivers on the rocky cliffs. I smile because I am free to float around for a short time, just until the next day, when I will slowly gather my heavy load, and release it again.

Brooke: I fly high above everyone else, soaring through the crisp morning air. It’s getting cold, dark clouds hovering over the Mediterranean Coast. Some animals look up at me, those awake, some don’t even notice i’m there. It doesn’t matter, I don’t expect them to. I am but an eagle, plain and simple, like all the others. I don’t have any special colors like some, I don’t make a special call, my feathers are ruffled and plain, there is nothing special. I do have a special beak. Its bright like no others. I guess that makes me special, but it’s nothing compared to all the other eagles. Wait, is that a Ibiza wall lizard? I think I see a lizard down below, the one i’ve seen before poking its head out of its hole. I’m feeling a bit peckish, i’ll be right back.

Lizbeth (P.O.V is Sun): It’s that time of the year where it starts to rain and I’m still here. I see the clouds beginning to turn gray and get filled with water. I beam down at the sand, making it hotter. Sometimes, when I’m angry, I create heat waves, but even when I’m calm, I still seem to get stronger. I am the sun and I am powerful, no matter what you do I will always shine down on you.