Grade Levels: 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Trans-Saharan Trade, and supports the standard of examining the influence of transregional trade networks on economic and cultural developments. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display an image like this one:

Ask students: 

  • What do you notice?
  • Why might someone travel like this? 
  • What challenges might someone face traveling in an environment like this?

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

Step 3: APPLY
Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a commercial describing why camels are the best animals for navigating trans-Saharan trade routes.
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying the impact of trans-Saharan trade routes on the economies and cultures of the societies involved. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a museum with artifacts representing different elements of trans-Saharan trade. 

Step 4: REFLECT & ASSESS 

Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about trans-Saharan trade. Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • How did trans-Saharan trade routes influence the spread of Islam? 
  • How did camels and special saddles enable traders to embark on longer trans-Saharan routes?
  • What are some long-term effects of trans-Saharan trade?  

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Trans-Saharan Trade Quiz

 

 

 

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