Library Digital Content Access

Ghana Artifacts

Created By: Michael Marassa, Edison Middle School (Champaign, IL)
Grade Level: 7th-8th
Content Area: Language Arts/Social Studies
Database Integration: Students will analyze two Ghana Artifacts and discuss how these help us to understand their civilization.

Illinois Learning Standards Achieved

Standard Achieved

Activity that Meets this Standard

1.c.3a: Use information to form, explain, and support questions and predictions. Students responses to predictions and discussion responses to questions.



  1. Read Chapter 2 of African-American Experience, detailing the history of early African empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai.
  2. Discuss characteristics of each empire, making Venn diagrams of common characteristics and differences.
  3. Share Chief Chair artifact and have students create questions individually about what they would want to know about this object.
  4. List Student questions on the board and have students begin to make informal predictions as answers to these questions, as well as which questions they might not be able to answer.
  5. Follow same procedural steps 3 & 4 for Fertility Figure artifact.
  6. Share description information for Chief Chair. Discuss how this information may answer some of our questions and does it match any of our predictions. What else does the description reveal about the artifact.
  7. Follow same procedure for Fertility Figure.
  8. Collect student questions.


Students will be informally assessed by their written questions about the two artifacts and for their participation in the class discussion. Teacher should use probing questions to assess student ability to create questions and make predictions.