Grade: Elementary

#2551. Africa's Climatic Regions

Social Studies, level: Elementary
Posted Sat Apr 6 10:13:00 PST 2002 by Juliana Galiyas (
Indiana University Of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA


The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the students to the different climate and vegetation of Africa. Some of the same climatic regions can be found in the United States as well as throughout the world.

The students learned about the different physical features of Africa yesterday.


TLW listen to an African folktale. (OU # 1, 6, & 7, cognitive)

PI: The students will label the African climates on a map [Individual assessment]


• Graphic Organizer
• Pencil

Bernstein, V. (1998). World Geography and You. Austin, Texas; Steck-Vaughn Company.

Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Information Organizer. ADAPT: A Developmental Activity Program for Teachers.

Miller, M. & Lee, M. (2000). The Big Book of Ready to Go Writing Lessons. New York; Scholastic Professional Books.

Young, R. & Young, J. (1993). African-American Folktales. Little Rock, Arkansas; August House Publishers, Inc, 19-22.


Africans told pourquoies to help them explain phenomena in nature.

Each of the 5 climatic regions of Africa has different vegetation.


A. Introduction and Motivation

An African Pourqoui
Did you ever wonder where lily pads came from? Listen to this story called Beautiful Brown Eyes and it will explain everything.
Read the story Beautiful Brown Eyes. This story came from the book African-American Folktales.

This story is an ancient African pourquoi. A pourquoi is a French word that means why. This story is a way ancient Africans tried to explain something that happened in nature. Why would they create stories to explain nature? Because they didn't have science.
This explanation came from The Big Book of Ready to Go Writing Lessons.

B. Body

Africa's Climatic Regions

Distribute blank map. Africa has five different climatic regions. Today we are going to learn more about them. Look at our map of Africa on page 382 in your Social studies book. Africa is in the tropics. What special line of latitude runs through it? The equator. What would you predict Africa's climate is like? Hot. Each region has different vegetation. What is vegetation? The types of plants that grow there.

The students will fill out there graphic organizers. I created a graphic organizer using the ADAPT model.

• The first region is closest to and on the equator. It is called the tropical rain forest. The tropical rain forest has a very wet climate. It rains everyday. The teacher will show a picture of the tropical rain forest.

The golden rule: The further north or south that you move away from the equator, the less rain that there is.

• The second region is called the savannas. The savannas are located directly north and south of the tropical rain forests. The climate of a savannah is very hot with both rainy and dry seasons. Savannas have long thick grass and short trees. Many wild animals live on the savannah. Show a picture of the savannah.

• The third region has a climate called Sahel. It is a semi-arid. It is hot but drier than the savannah. It may only rain 10 inches per year. In Pittsburgh, the average participation is 38 inches per year. That means that the Sahel has droughts which are long periods of time without rain. There are short grass and few trees on the Sahel.

I found that information about Pittsburgh's weather at

• The fourth region is the desert. The Sahara is north of the equator and smaller deserts are below the equator. The desert has few plants that need little water. The Sahara desert is the world's largest desert and it is the size of the United States.

• The fifth region is the Mediterranean climate. In this climate the summers are hot and dry and the winters are short and rainy. This climate is found at northern Africa and at the tip of Africa. At this climate, they can grow grapes, olives and oranges. Can you think of a state that has a climate similar to this? Florida.

C. Closure

The students will be given page 199 in their social studies book, Skill Builder: Reading a Vegetation Map for homework.


A. Student Assessment

1. Assessment Plan

The teacher will informally evaluate the students through teacher observation during the discussion, the note taking, and the homework.

2. Reflection on Assessment of Student Performance



B. Self-Evaluation






DIRECTIONS: Find the description of the region in the word bank. Write the description of the region next to the name of the region.

Tropical Rain Forest




Mediterranean climate

Word Bank

• Summers hot and dry, and winters short and rainy. Grapes, olives, and oranges are found here.
• The climate is semi-arid. Hotter than the Savannah, but drier. Short grass and few trees.
• Hot, wet tropical climate. Tropical plants and trees grow here.
• Very hot, with both rainy and dry seasons. Long thick grass and short trees grow here.
• Desert climate. Few plants that can survive with little water.