A Fulani Adventure through West Africa

The Pulaku Documentary Project takes students on a trip across West Africa, allowing them to experience different aspects a culture threatened by desertification and development.

Introduction

The Fulani people are spread out across several countries in West Africa. It is a culture not many people know much about, but should because of how deep and complex its roots are. Peace Corps serves in many countries in West Africa, like Mali and Burkina Faso, where the Fulani people reside.

With the help of the Pulaku Documentary Project, students will gain insight on the Fulani people as well as learn about some of the differences between the many cultures throughout West Africa.

Objectives

  • Students will learn about the Fulani culture in a number of countries in West Africa.
  • Students will develop research skills by designing an interview to demonstrate what they've learned. 

Procedure

  1. Read the Pulaku Project as a class or individually to introduce the Pulaku Documentary Project to the class.
  2. Organize the class into small groups of 2-3 students.
  3. Have each group pick a topic to research. Students can select one from the list below, or come up with something else. They should use the Pulaku Documentary Project website or the provided articles (see materials section) to conduct their research.
  4. Encourage students to develop their own research questions, but you can prompt them by asking things like: What have you learned? What have you found particularly interesting? What questions do you have?
  5. Students will present what they learned to the class, making sure to include pictures related to their topic. Sample topics include:
  • Motorcycles:  We’ve Got Wheels, Hitting the Pulaku Trail, Adventures on the Pulaku Trail
  • Women: Toucouleur Portraits, Tchoodi Facial Tattoos in Mali, Wedding Ritual
  • Music:  Fulani Rap, Griot
  • Education: Madrasa in Guinea, Guida as Muslim at a Catholic School
  • EcoTourism in Guinea
  • Fulani Artisans in Burkina Faso, Spinning Cotton, Wagashi cheese
  • Ceremonies in Benin:  Goro-Gah Gojo Ceremony, Quesse Goja Ceremony
  • Environment:  Bokolo One Well Village, Baaba Maal on climate change (BBC)
  • Urbanized Fulani in Dakar

Assessment

  • Ask each student to go back to the project website and choose five pictures that illustrate what they have learned on their own topic and at least two other topics and to write accompanying text.
  • Ask each student to construct questions for an interview with one of the Fulani people, such as Guida, Baaba Maal, the griot, the eco-tourism guy.  The person should be in a different topic than the one the student participated in for the small group assignment.

Extensions

Perhaps the Pulaku Project could inspire closer to home community documentary projects.

Framework and Standards

Enduring understandings

  • Although Fulani people throughout West Africa all have roots in the same soil, the differences in cultures across a number of countries are quite observable.
  • Using a variety of media types (photos, videos, music, written, etc.) is far more effective in regards to providing information about a topic than simply utilizing one.

Essential questions

  • What do the Fulani people in West Africa have in common?
  • What are some of the distinct differences between the Fulani  across West Africa?
  • What are some of the more effective techniques of presenting new information and why are they effective?

Standards

  • NL-ENG.K-12.4
  • NL-ENG.K-12.5
  • NL-ENG.K-12.6
  • NL-ENG.K-12.7
  • NL-ENG.K-12.8
  • NL-ENG.K-12.9
  • NL-ENG.K-12.12
  • NL-FL.K-12.2
  • NA-VA.9-12.4
  • NA-VA.9-12.6
  • NA.M.9-12.9
  • NSS-G.K-12.2
  • NSS-G.K-12.4

Contributed by the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA). Author: Angene Wilson

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