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		for the book Carl Allenworth's Complete Play Production Handbook page
Resources for the study of
Black History

Select a topic: Thematic Curriculum (as tied into our play scripts)
Thematic curriculum suggests that one can teach everything in the curriculum by connecting it to the stories (or other subjects) being used in class. It is a powerful, effective way of teaching because students have their curriculum reinforced at every turn, and they learn to make connections between one subject and another.

Following are many suggested curriculum connections. Where the resources can also be accessed here, you will also find an active link.

To see our thematic curriculum suggestions for a specific play in "Plays for the Study of Black History" click the link below, or scroll down:
Anansi stories:
Subjects in these plays which lend them selves to curriculum connnection, include:

The Anansi tales offer a rich study of both Africa and the wildlife of its various habitats:
Language Arts Social Studies:
Use the study of Africa to research these mathematical applications: Visual Arts:
These art activities will enhance the visual intelligence in your study of Africa: Music:
Music gives a flavor to any ethnic or cultural group. Dance:
Story Themes:
The Anansi stories offer good fodder for discussion of several important themes: Why the Hare Runs Away:
Subjects in this play which lend themselves to curriculum connnection, include:

Language Arts:
  • Read folktales from other lands
  • Compare "Why the Hare Runs Away" with "Bre'r Rabbit and the Tar Baby" and "Anansi and the Sky God's Stories (especially the capture of the Fairy). How are they similar?

    Social Studies:
  • How does drought affect animal populations in Central Africa (or anywhere)?
  • How is the balance of nature affected?
  • study a map of Africa; what can you discover?

  • Study wildlife and water conservation strategies in Africa, and worldwide.
  • How much of the human body is actually water?

    Example of word problem:
  • Using an African map and its legend, estimate the numbers of miles herds of animals may have to travel to find water during a drought in Africa.

  • Study the different styles of African tribal masks, choose one and replicate it.

  • Compose or select a song to be inserted into the story.

  • Choreograph and/or learn an African challenge dance.

    The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa
    Discuss the Kwanzaa principles, what they mean and how they apply to us. In each of the seven stories in the play, identify the principle being illustrated and discuss the topics suggested by the story:
    The following are curriculum suggestions and activities for the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa in different subject areas:

    Language Arts: Social Studies: Science: Mathematics: Art: Music: Dance: Computers: Madam C. J. Walker:

    Subjects in this play which lend themselves to curriculum connnection, include:

    Language Arts: Social Studies:
    Study African American history during the Reconstruction Era immediately following the Civil War up through the end of World War I as a basis for understanding the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Science:
    Study the chemical/biological make up of hair and hair products. Mathematics:
    Madam C.J. Walker started her business with nothing but a dream and her own creativity. Art:
    Subjects for thematic study in the visual arts, for the various periods indicated in the script, include: Imagine that Madam C.J. Walker is selling her products today.
  • Make a poster for her products for today’s consumers.

  • Choreograph and/or learn dances popular in the periods indicated in the script.
  • Take any scene in the play and create a dance that represents the feelings or mood of the story.

    Products for the Study of Black History

    CDs and Music DVDs Art Products