On our quick tour of Africa, we introduced children to Swahili, the most widely spoken language of sub-Saharan Africa. We read tales from Kenya and Tanzania, learned to count to ten and listened to a song in Swahili. Here are some of our favorite resources:
We All Went on Safari: A Counting Journey Through Tanzania by Lori Krebs
Follow Massai children on a journey through the grasslands, count animals along the way and learn interesting facs about Tanzania and the Massai people.
Mama Panya's Pancakes: A Village Tale From Kenya by Mary and Richard Chamberlin
Join a Adika and his mother as they visit a rural Kenyan market. An eager Adika invites everyone along the way for pancakes while Mama Panya worries how she will feed so many people. Beautiful illustrations by Julia Cairns bring this tale of giving and frienship to life. Learn fun facts about Kenya and enjoy and easy recipe for Mama Panya's pancakes!
For You Are a Kenyan Child by Kelly Cunnane
Imagine yourself a young boy in Kenya - "What's it like to live in a place where monkeys scurry past and a tasty snack is a bug plucked from the sky?"
Ana Juan's (Frida) whimsical and inviting illustrations bring this lively tale to life.
Jambo Means Hello: Swahili Alphabet Book by Muriel Feelings
Moja Means One: Swahili Counting Book by Muriel Feelings
Putamayo Kids Presents African Playground
You will not be able to get these African songs out of your head! Here's the song, Jambo Bwana, which we used to see if the kids could recognize some Swahili. You and your students may also recognize "hakuna matata" from The Lion King which means "no worries." This song is by Them Mushrooms, a popular group from Kenya.