Eighth Grade African Geography

The Eighth Grade ended our study of African geography with a feast! Our table was laden with delicious African dishes prepared by the students, and our room was filled with the sound of drums and songs. Our block was busy; each student researched a different African country. What truly made this a cultural experience, though, was the people we came into contact with. Oscar Mokeme, former owner of the African Museum of Art in Portland, brought a large collection of west African masks to our classroom and told of their significance. Michael Wingfield, well-versed in Nigerian songs and drum patterns, came for a half-day drumming workshop with the Eighth Grade. A true highlight of the block was our trip to Portland Adult Education, where each Eighth Grader interviewed a new Mainer (origins were Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Somalia, Burundi, Angola, Djibouti, South Sudan and Syria), and each pair collaborated to write poems together.