African FolktalesAfrican Folktales would be a great site to use for literacy resources when learning about Africa in geography, or as a history project.

In the African folktales, the stories reflect the culture where diverse types of animals abound. The animals and birds are often accorded human attributes, so it is not uncommon to find animals talking, singing, or demonstrating other human characteristics such as greed, jealousy, honesty, etc. The setting in many of the stories exposes the reader to the land form and climate within that region of Africa. References are often made to different seasons such as the ‘dry’ or ‘rainy’ season and their various effects on the surrounding vegetation and animal life.”  (African Folktales)

The stories offer a unique picture of life in Africa. I like the fact that you get things to think about. For example, ‘Woe or Happiness’ starts with the introduction: “The story that follows will tell us about the lives of two men, a lion and a snake. It teaches us how we can show our gratitude to those who help us in difficult times.”

Following the story, the reader is asked: “Why did the man that the hunter had helped not acknowledge his help? Why did he not try to warn the hunter to let the princess go back to her father lest he be arrested or under the penalty of being sentenced to death? From this story we learn that we should be grateful to those who help is, like the lion and the snake that recognised that they should be grateful to the hunter who helped them though a very difficult time.”

The Anike Foundation is the group that collected the stories but quite apart form the stories, there are several lovely pictures of schools in Africa on their opening website page. Children would be fascinated to see other children building a wall – it may possibly be building their own school!

African folktales