Pamela Shembo, Fifth Grade, Waddell Language Academy
This unit is designed for fifth graders in a French immersion setting; however, it can be adapted in any fifth grade class. It analyzes two African folktales written in French using close reading strategies. The first one is Le Salaire, written by the famous Senegalese poet, Birago Diop, in his collection Les Contes d’Amadou Koumba. The second one is Le Lièvre et Le Baobab, a folktale that comes from the oral literature of the Sahel region. The content objectives of these lessons not only teach key fifth grade reading skills such as summary, comparison of characters and inferences, but also expose children to the rich oral and written African literature in order to lead them to discover an important dimension of African culture: storytelling.