Exploring Kenyan culture – Sampson Independent

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Butler Avenue School third grade teachers Sharnee White and Crystal Wells helped gather resource material from the African Studies Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Butler Avenue third-grade students will have the opportunity to travel across the world while sitting in the comfort of their classrooms.

Teachers have rented materials from the African Studies Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that will allow the students a chance to dig deep into the culture and lifestyle of the Kenyan people. The project is part of Carolina Navigators, an organization that provides resources for educators to integrate global education into all areas of the curriculum.

The kits are a free resource for teachers to use in the classroom.

“All third grade students will be exposed to the information, texts and items located in the kits,” Sharnee White, third grade teacher, explained.

Included in the kits are books that explain everyday life of those living in Africa, as well as a Kenya Culture Kit that includes the clothes, currency, toys and other items used in the country.

“Teachers will use these kits to expose the students to a culture that is not like their own,” White said. “Students will then discuss the similarities and difference, experience the toys and games, and some will create their own toys like those found in the kits.”

In White’s classroom, students were given the opportunity to compare a broom from Kenya to one like they use at home.

“There was even a head ring, used in Kenyan culture by women to carry large baskets on their heads,” White shared. “Students tried to balance small classroom baskets using this head ring as they walked around the room.”

According to White, her students were very excited about the opportunity to learn about a different culture and compare the way of life in Africa to the way of life in America.

“Students were very excited to learn that there were so many similarities between them and children of Kenya,” the third grade teacher said. “They were able to see a notebook full of math content written by Kenyan students. They were able to find addition facts, place value and hand drawn clock that showed time.”

Many of the students, White explained, were surprised to discover that many of the things Kenyan children use daily are made from recycled materials. The notebook covers were made from old calendar pages and there was a checkerboard drawn and colored on a piece of cardboard with bottle cap checker pieces.

During Butler Avenue’s annual field day, students will have the opportunity to play some of the traditional African games. Teachers are working to collect plastic bags to create balls to use during the field day activities. For anyone who would like to contribute bags or string, White said to contact fellow third grade teacher Crystal Wells.

Butler Avenue School third grade teachers Sharnee White and Crystal Wells helped gather resource material from the African Studies Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.

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