Compare the maps on pages 24/25 and present-day Africa, page 3.

What made Sundiata and Mansa Musa great leaders? Examples:

After reading the article on pages 12/13, ask students to each come up with a custom or tradition (either past of present) that is specific to a royal court, an ethnic or religious group, or a country. Have them share their findings with the class (examples: at the court of Louis XIV, his getting up and getting dressed ("lever") was public; in Japan one slurps tea or noodle soups; in some Arab countries, it is polite to burp after a good meal to express appreciation; one takes off one's shoes before entering a mosque; the ancient Romans believed that when entering a new home, it should be right foot first since that foot was considered lucky, etc.).

Research projects:
Have students research a real or mystical hero/heroine from their country of origin and share with the class. Include time period, geographic location, accomplishments, reason why the person was chosen.

How far can you trace your roots, or the roots of someone you know in your community? Students can use interviews, photos, news clippings, maps, drawings, etc. to put together a poster to be shared with the class.

Where is gold mined in the world today? Working in groups, each researching a region of the world for current mining operations. This could be as simple as locating then on a world atlas to doing a report on various mining companies, economic statistics, political climate. Ask students to chart the price of gold over the past 5 years.

Similar research could be done with salt.

Muslims try to make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in their lifetime. Ask students to think of other locations that have become sacred places to people of various (religious) beliefs. Perhaps someone in your community has been on such a pilgrimage and could talk to students about it. A project could be for students to do a travel brochure to a holy site.