Books in Africa Workshop


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Books in Africa Workshop

  1. 1. Workshop: Books in Africa Workshop Goals Introduce students to life at rural libraries in Sub-Saharan Africa and the types of books that might be appropriate for children there. This workshop gives students the opportunity to use what they learn to illustrate and publish an African folktale. Target age group: Students grades 4th through 8th or any group of kids! Preparing for the Workshop Find an African folktale you would like kids to illustrate and publish (More info on finding a story in FAQs below). Propose the idea to a school or local kids in your neighborhood. Plan on a day for the workshop and block out around one hour and thirty minutes. Below is a description on how a workshop might work. Feel free to elaborate or combine this activity with an African Party, fundraising event, or whatever you think might enhance the day. You can read about a successful workshop that FAVL representatives hosted on the FAVL blog here: How a Books in Africa Workshop Works
  2. 2. 1. Slideshow: The workshop should kick off with a presentation, about 20 minutes long, about Friends of African Village Libraries, village libraries and life in a rural village in Sub-Saharan Africa. The presentation will feature photos of village life and a village library, including photos of village children and their everyday activities. It always makes things more interesting to continuously ask the children questions about the photos, “What do you notice about the photo?” Try to get students as involved as possible. When you flip through the photos of the village libraries, get students to identify the differences between their experiences at a library and the experiences one might have at a village library. There is a slideshow for your use in the Materials section below. 2. What books are appropriate and why? After the presentation, pass around children’s books that you might have at home. You should bring books that would not be of relevance to a rural village library in Africa, for example books that include stories about snow, etc. Ask the children to look at the books and think about why the books might not be fit for a village library. Start a brief discussion. 3. The Young Boy was Running The next activity is to pass around handouts of an illustrated story that would be fit in a village library. FAVL has an example story print out that can be used. Have students read the story individually and as a class discuss why this particular story might be more popular in a village library than the books passed around earlier. 4. Read African story and assign page numbers: Once the discussion is complete, explain to the students that they will be given the opportunity to illustrate an African story that will be published. Tell the students to use what they have learned and the story print out as guidelines to illustrating the story. The story needs to be broken up by page number, and an example story is provided in the toolkit. You will need to find an African story that the children will illustrate. The story should be read out loud with each student assigned to a line. The line that is read by the student will be the page that they are to illustrate. Make sure students remember their number!
  3. 3. 5. Illustrate: Once the story is read aloud, pass out white drawing paper. Before drawing is started, each student should write his or her name and the page number on the back of the sheet. In addition to the print out of the example story, print outs of drawings from village libraries can be handed out to provide students more guidance on how to draw an appropriate drawing that matches the setting the story is to take place. Materials Provided by Friends of African Village Libraries in the workshop toolkit: • FAVL “Books in Africa” Slideshow o Download here: workshop-presentation • An example story suitable for an African library – The Young Boy Was Running o Download here: running • African folktale example and layout for page assignments– The White Rabbit o Download here: rabbit-4592499 Materials needed: • Books not suitable for an African library • Paper and crayons (amount depending on workshop size) • Printouts of example African story • Printouts of African folktale that the students will be illustrating, broken up by page number
  4. 4. After the Workshop After the workshop is complete, scan each photo drawn by the children. Make sure to designate each photo by page number. Send a list of the story text as well as a list of the illustrators by name and page to FAVL. In addition, send FAVL the pictures in jpg format. FAVL will upload the book onto a web-based publishing service called FastPencil. You can purchase the book created in your workshop on the FAVL marketplace on FastPencil after FAVL is finished uploading the book. You can either sell this book or give to family and friends. For every ten books purchased, one copy will be donated to a FAVL managed village library! Email photos and text to FAVL/FastPencil marketplace: Frequently Asked Questions: Q: Do you have any examples of children’s books that might be “relevant” for a village library in Africa? A: Here are two lists of books: 1. Children =cm_pdp_lm_title_2 2. Juvenile (Grade 5th through 8th) =cm_lm_pthnk_view?ie=UTF8&lm_bb= Q: Where can I find an African story? A: A simple Google search of “African folktales” will provide some quick suggestions of stories. Also, you can visit your local library. If you find yourself stumped or are wary about your choice, email a FAVL representative at