As I shared in an earlier post, I’ve been devoting more time to tutoring Math for students of all ages. This has been an exciting experience – helping children to increase their interest in Mathematics and improve their performance. It’s very rewarding to witness the growth of their critical thinking skills.
However, I recognize that many of our youth still think that other ethnicities are naturally more gifted in Math than them. This is partially due to a lack of knowledge about the history of Math. Take time this semester to share the African history of Mathematics with your children. Here is a great article to assist:
Have a discussion after reading the list of facts. Here are some sample discussion questions and activities that you can utilize:
- What are some of the math games that were created in Ancient Africa? (i.e. Mancala; You can use technology to find the answer.)
- Are there any math tools that you know of today that are similar to the Lebombo bone?
- Why would sheep herders need to recognize their herd by face?
- Why would trackers hunting animals need to know if the animal was hungry or not?
- What are cowrie shells? Can you find a picture of them online?
- Can you find ten examples of symmetry in African patterns online?
- Can you list the skills one would need to design and build their own house?
- Look up edible plants in your area together and then go on a nature walk to identify some.
- Build a replica of African Stonehenge using cardboard and rocks and test it in the sunlight to see how the shadows are cast at certain points throughout the day.
- Search images of different types of African cloth (i.e. Kente) and create a game matching cloths to their countries.
- Create a Mancala game from an egg carton (http://www.sinasohn.com/crafts/mancala.htm).
Do you have other ideas for discussion questions or activities? Please share! Thank you for reading and enjoy your week.