Countries of Africa
Deadline: Monday, October 22, 2012 by 08:00

It's time to start decorating our classroom map of Africa! Each one of you has a country that I have picked out for you below. Follow the steps carefully to know what you need to do for this blog post AND for the Africa map in the classroom.

= Blog post assignment
STEPS IN PURPLE = African map assignment in classroom

STEP ONE: Each of you has three clues that connect to a country in Africa. Read the clues and do a Google search to see if you can find the name of your country. Define each of the three words in your blog post.

STEP TWO: Once you have found the name of your African nation, you will need to fill in the blanks below on the essential information of your country for the blog:

1. Name of African Country:__________________
2. Capital: __________________
3. Population: __________________
4. Official Languages: __________________
5. Currency: __________________

STEP THREE: Can you locate your country on a world map? Find your country on the classroom African map drawn by 8th grader Piotr and trace the outline of it on a blank piece of paper. Decorate the country by drawing and coloring the official flag inside the outline (See below for two examples).

STEP FOUR: Cut out your map and write the name of the country on the opposite side. Tape a corner of the country on the large African map in the classroom so others can lift up the map to see the country's name on the opposite side. 

STEP FIVE: Find out what and where the capital of your African country is. Neatly write the capital name and a star with a circle around it (⍟) under your country map flap on the classroom African map.


BEKKHAN: Tadrart Acacus / Bazeen / Muammar Gaddafi

Carthage / Zine El Abidine Ben Ali / Arab Spring

"blue jerboa" / Pied-Noir / fennec fox

Great Sphinx / Hosni Mubarak / felucca

pastilla / Hassan II Mosque / dahir

Polisario Front / Sahrawi / Moroccan Wall

Sunni vs. Shi'a
Deadline: Monday, October 15, 2012 by 08:00

This week you are studying about the differences in the Muslim commutiy between the Sunni and Shi'a.  Look at the map  and the political cartoons below and answer the questions on the blog post.

Map questions

1. What part of the world is this map located?

2. Which country has the highest population of Sunni Muslims? of Shi'a Muslims?

3. Which country has the closest percentage of Sunni and Shi'a Muslims living there?

Political Cartoon #1

Political Cartoon #2

1. Political cartoon #1: What is the Muslim place of worship shown in the background?

2. Political cartoon #1: Who are the two groups of people praying in the picture and why are they facing in different directions?

Political cartoon #1: Why do you think there is is a big divide between the two groups praying?

Political cartoon #2: What does the expression mean, "To fight like cats and dogs"? How does this expression connect to the cartoon?

5. Political cartoon #2: Who is the man in the cartoon and which country does he represent? (Hint: Look at the flag on his jacket)

6. Political cartoon #2: Why is the man trying to keep the Sunnis and the Shi'a Muslims from fighting each other?

7. Political cartoon #2: Which country in the Middle East could be depicted in the cartoon that has conflict among Sunnis, Shi'a and a well-known superpower? (Hint: The Middle Eastern country has a 32-37% population of Sunni Muslims and a 60-65% of Shi'a Muslims)

Deadline: Monday, October 8, 2012 by 08:00

Sufism is a branch of Islam. It is a religion based on mystical communion with an ultimate reality. A follower of this tradition is generally known as a Sufi. Sufis believe they are practicing Ihsan, or perfection of worship, which was revealed to the archangel Gabriel to Muhammad.

Sufism gained followers among a number of Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate (661-750 AD). Today there are approximately 10 million Sufi adherents in Turkey alone.

The Sufis have been using carefully constructed stories for teaching purposes for thousands of years. Read the story below and answer the questions that follow for the blog.

Trust in God, but tie up your camel.

There was once a man who was on his way back home from market with his camel and, as he had had a good day, he decided to stop at a mosque along the road and offer his thanks to God.

He left his camel outside and went in with his prayer mat and spent several hours offering thanks to Allah, praying and promising that he’d be a good Muslim in the future, help the poor and be an upstanding pillar of his community.

When he emerged it was already dark and lo and behold – his camel was gone!

He immediately flew into a violent temper and shook his fist at the sky, yelling: “You traitor, Allah! How could you do this to me? I put all my trust in you and then you go and stab me in the back like this!”

A passing Sufi dervish heard the man yelling and chuckled to himself.

“Listen,” he said, “Trust God but, you know, tie up your camel.”

Answer the following questions:

  • 1. What do you think is the meaning behind this Sufi story?
  • 2. Define the following boldfaced words in your own words for your post:
                prayer mat:
            upstanding pillar:

            Sufi dervish:


    The rules are simple:

    1. Check this blog every Monday. Blog writing is part of your homework grade.

    2. Write a comment of 2-3 sentences or more on the weekly blog post or on another student's response.

    3. Use correct capitalization and punctuation when writing.

    4. Go back and read your comment again OUT LOUD. (This can be to your computer screen or to your dog, if you have one). Edit your mistakes.

    5. Make sure your commentary is clean and respectful.


    November 2012
    October 2012
    September 2012