Africa is such an enormous and varied continent.  Here are just a few ideas to start you off.

There are so many ways of using puppets to teach about Africa and inspire interest in younger learners. And there are lots of other activities too.  Students often really like ‘fun facts’ (or factoids, as Sheldon off the Big Bang calls them!).

Some ideas on using puppets

When building up your puppets’ back-stories, why not make one of your puppets African?  There are so many animals that come from Africa, you’re bound to have at least one!  And did you know that there are at least ten English-speaking countries on the African continent?  So your puppet could be an English-speaker from Zimbabwe, Uganda, Zambia, Botswana. Namibia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Africa, or Nigeria!


If you use the puppets, one of them could have a mask in his/her bag (instead of just using a flashcard) and then the students can make one themselves.  Seeing puppets in masks is always fun, like a show within a show!

Mask-making workshop for teachers


One of the puppets brings in an African-style drum, plays it, and then the students can make one too. Here’s the link for WikiHow

Stories based in Africa

There is a fantastic free resource called the African Storybook Initiative at . They allow you to copy, download and adapt the story and the illustrations too, as long as you attribute them (which you should get in the habit of doing, anyway). You could print out the stories and cut out some of the characters, then tell the story as a shoe-box puppet theatre, or do Kamishibai-style storytelling.

Elmer the Elephant and Monkey Puzzle (see Monkey Puzzle Lesson plan) are other stories that come to mind for using puppets to teach about Africa. You could look at the animals’ natural habitat, what they eat, what their babies look like, etc.


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