Countries of Africa

Student’s Notes & Lesson Plans

Cameroon
St Aiden’s Homeschool
South Africa
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Cameroon
Cameroon is a country in Africa that is where the French Cameroon
and part of the British Cameroon used to be in 1961. The country
has not had much fighting compared to some African countries.
There has been lots of work done to improving farms, roads and
railways. The petroleum industry makes a lot of money for the
country.

Map of Cameroon

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Surface Area:
Cameroon is 475,440 square km in size.
Population:
There are about 16,000,000 people living in
Cameroon.
Located in:
Cameroon is located in Western Africa.
Capital City:
The capital city of Cameroon is Yaounde.
Head of State:
Paul BIYA is the President of Cameroon.
Prime Minister:
Peter Mafany MUSONGE is the Prime Minister of
Cameroon.
Independent since:
Cameroon has been independent since 1 January
1960.
Currency:
The Franc is the currency used in Cameroon.
Flag (image):

Coat of Arms:

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Location in Africa

Cameroon's coast stretches over close to 400km from Rio
del Rey on the western border with Nigeria to Campo near
the border with Gabon and Equatorial Guinea and is
inhabited by such peoples as the Dualas, Bakweris, Bakokos
and Batangas all of whom belong to the coastal Sawa
Culture.
The history and traditions of the Sawa people are portrayed
through masks, photographs and works of art found in the
museums and art galleries in Douala, Buea or Limbe.

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Once every year during the dry season, Douala plays host
to the Ngondo festival, a great rendezvous of the Sawa
people with their history and traditions. Find out about the
Ngondo Festival, when it is held and what it is about. Why is
it held in Douala?

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The Republic of Cameroon is a hub of central and western
Africa. It borders Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast;
the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial
Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the
south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the Bight of Bonny, part
of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. The country is
called "Africa in miniature".
Natural features include
beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas. The
highest point is Mount Cameroon in the southwest, and the
largest cities are Douala, Yaoundé, and Garoua.
Label Douala, Yaoundé, Garoua & Mount Cameroon on this
map.

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Cameroon is divided into 10 provinces or districts.

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Arts & Crafts
Traditional arts and crafts can be found for religious and
traditional purposes. Woodcarvings and sculptures are
especially common. The high-quality clay of the western
highlands is perfect for pottery and ceramics. Other crafts
include basket weaving, beadworking, brass and bronze
working, calabash carving and painting, embroidery, and
leather working.
Try and find out what other crafts are made by the people of
Cameroon. Are they made to sell to tourists? Are they
made to use? Are they made for traditional purposes?
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Masks

are very important in the culture of the people of
Cameroon and carry different messages.

Bamoun dance mask, adorned with
lizards and spiders, representing Tikari
wisdom and kindness, 1900

Animal hide covered wooden mask,
utilized for worship ceremonies, Essimbi,
North-West

Wooden dance mask, symbolizing joy
and happiness, topped by three
characters, 1948 Nord-West

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- 10 Go on a webquest and find out about other traditional masks and their
meanings. Try and get pictures to paste into the blocks provided.

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Statues can be found in Cameroon depicting important
people.

Conventionalized
representing divinity

wooden

statue

Oku royal statue, symbolising generosity,
1918, Oku, Nso, North-West

Fineto, statue of the grandfather of Fon
of Babungo, 1970, North-West

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- 12 Go on a webquest and find out about other traditional statues and
their importance. Try and get pictures to paste into the blocks
provided.

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Mount Cameroon is an active
volcano in Cameroon near the Gulf
of Guinea. Mount Cameroon is also
known as Cameroon Mountain or
Fako (the name of the higher of its
two peaks) or by its native name
Mongo ma Ndemi ("Mountain of
Greatness").

The volcano is 4040 metres high. The mountain is part of the
area of volcanic activity known as the Cameroon Volcanic
Line, which also includes Lake Nyos, the site of the 1986 Lake
Nyos tragedy. The most recent eruptions occurred on March
28, 1999 and May 28, 2000.
Mount Cameroon is one of Africa's largest volcanoes, rising
to 4,040 metres (13,255 ft) above the coast of west
Cameroon. It rises from the coast through tropical rainforest
to a bare summit which is cold, windy, and occasionally
brushed with snow.

English
explorer
Mary
Kingsley, one of the first
Europeans to scale the
mountain,
recounts
her
expedition
in
her
1897
memoir Travels in West Africa.

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The Cameroon line is a rift zone along the border region of
eastern Nigeria and western Cameroon, from Mount
Cameroon on the Gulf of Guinea north and east towards
Lake Chad. It is characterized by a chain of mountain ranges
and volcanoes known as the Cameroon Range or
Cameroon Highlands. It was formed around 80 million years
ago. . Nine of the volcanoes along the line are active, with
the last eruption in 2000 at Mount Cameroon. Other
mountains in the chain include the Bamboutos Mountains,
Mount Etinde, and Mount Manengouba.

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The people of Cameroon
Languages spoken :
English, French: Official languages;
240 other local languages, corresponding to 240 tribes.

The Baka Nation:
The Baka, also known as Bebayaka, Bebayaga, Bibaya, or
Babinga, are an ethnic group living in the southeastern rain
forests of Cameroon, northern Congo (Brazzaville), northern
Gabon, and southwestern Central African Republic. They are
sometimes mistakenly called a subgroup of the Twa, but the
two peoples are not closely related. The name "Baka" is
sometimes mistakenly applied to other area peoples who,
like the Baka and Twa, have been historically called pygmies
(the term is no longer considered respectful).
The Baka of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan
are
not
related.

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The Twa, also known as Batwa, are a pygmy people who
were the oldest recorded inhabitants of the Great Lakes
region of central Africa. Current populations are found in the
nations of Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and the eastern
portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2000, they
numbered approximately 80,000 people, making them
significant minority groups in these countries.
There are also a number of southern "Twa" populations in
Angola, Namibia, Zambia, and Botswana living in swamps
and deserts far from the forest.

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Women

with

traditional

pottery.

Traditional dance of the Batwa

Use the internet or other resources to find out about Mutwa. Who was
Mutwa?
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The Sao Civilisation
The Sao or So were an African civilisation that flourished from
ca. the 6th century to as late as the 15th century. The Sao
lived by the Chari River south of Lake Chad in territory that
would later be part of Cameroon and Chad. They are the
earliest people to have left clear traces of their presence in
the territory of modern Cameroon. Little is known about the
Sao's history, society, or culture. They may have originated in
the Nile valley, the Bilma oasis, or near Lake Chad. Sometime
around the 10th century, invading peoples conquered or
absorbed the Sao. Today, several ethnic groups of northern
Cameroon and southern Chad claim descent from the
civilisation.
The Wodaabe (or Bororo) are a subgroup of the Fulani
(sometimes Fula, Fulbe, or Peul) ethnic group. The Wodaabe
are traditionally nomadic cattle-herders and traders, with
migrations stretching from southern Niger, through northern
Nigeria, northeastern Cameroon, and the western region of
the Central African Republic. They are known for their
beauty (both men and women), elaborate attire and rich
cultural ceremonies.
Name some other tribes of people that live in and around
Cameroon.

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Cameroon Cuisine & Crops

In the Centre and South provinces, tuber crops and plantains
are grown and consumed.
Plantain is considered as the staple food of the populations.
The leaves of various plants also form part of daily meals. The
great variety of leaves are either cultivated or grow quite
naturally and tended around huts. Others undomesticated
species are gathered from the wild.
Maize is the cereal that is most cherished by the indigenes,
while rice consumption is low.

The different tribes of the Centre and South are of the larger
"Béti" family comprising the Ewondos, Fangs, Bulus Yebekolos,
Ntoumous, Ngoues, etc. We also have the Bassas, Bafias,
Yambassas, Sanangas, Ngoumous, Batangas.
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Each of these tribes has one or more culinary specialties
which are characteristic to them. For the Bulus: pounded
plantains "Ntouba ekon" eaten with eggplant soup "Mendim
me Zong" ; for the Bafias : corn fufu called "kepen" ; for the
Bassas, palm oil with cocoyams ; for the Ngoumbas, wild
mango soup "Mbuëli-doa" ; for the Batangas, cassava in
baton form called "Miondo" or fufu with fish.
In addition to these specificities, the Centre and South region
is particularly characterized by certain dishes.
Kwem : young cassava leaves with the juice from palm nuts,
Nnam ngon : Marrow paste cooked tied in plantain leaves ;
Nnam owondo : Peanut paste cooked tied in plantain leaves
of the Centre ; Sanga fon : "Zom" leaves with maize; Ebobolo
: cassava baton, Ndomba tsit : meat cooked tied in plantain
leaves.

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Wildlife

is particularly rich with 409 different mammalian
species, 143 reptile species, 849 bird species and 190
amphibian species. In 1997, protected areas covered a
land area of 4,551,990 hectares, with 7 nature reserves, 27
hunting grounds, 1 sanctuary and 3 zoological gardens.
Cameroon has 7 national parks, with Waza being the most
famous and more extensively developed. These parks are
rich in animal species representative of the wildlife that is
found in Africa. It has elephants, buffaloes, antelopes,
hippopotamuses, gorillas etc. Hunting is forbidden in these
national parks.
Name some of the mammal species found in Cameroon:
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Name some of the National Parks in Cameroon
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Discuss some of the different amphibian species found in
Cameroon:
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Facts about Rainforests
Do you know how many tropical rainforest plants
have been identified as having anti-cancer
properties? Or how many continents around the
world contain rainforests? And just how quickly are
the world's rainforests disappearing?
Find out the answers to these questions and more as
you check out these interesting rainforest facts! And
when you think that you know all there is to know
about the rainforest, test your knowledge with our
rainforest quiz.
Facts about the Global Coverage of Rainforests:

Fact: Covering less than 2 percent of the Earth's
total surface area, the world's rainforests are
home to 50 percent of the Earth's plants and
animals.
Fact: Rainforests can be found all over the world
from as far north as Alaska and Canada to Latin
America, Asia and Africa.
Fact: Rainforests are found on every continent
across the Earth, except Antarctica.
Fact: There are two major types of rainforest:
temperate rainforests and tropical rainforests.
Fact: The largest temperate rainforests are found
on North America's Pacific Coast and stretch
from Northern California up into Canada.

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Fact: Temperate rainforests used to exist on
almost every continent in the world, but today
only 50 percent – 75 million acres – of these
forests remain worldwide.

Facts about the Rainforest as Part of our Global
Environment and Well-being:

Fact: Rainforests act as the world's thermostat by
regulating temperatures and weather patterns.
Fact: One-fifth of the world’s fresh water is found
in the Amazon Basin.
Fact: Rainforests are critical in maintaining the
Earth's limited supply of drinking and fresh water.

Facts about the Abundant Life and Important
Resources that Rainforests Share with Us:

Fact: A typical four square mile patch of
rainforest contains as many as 1,500 flowering
plants, 750 species of trees, 400 species of birds
and 150 species of butterflies.
Fact: Rainforests provide many important
products for people: timber, coffee, cocoa and
many medicinal products, including those used
in the treatment of cancer.
Fact: Seventy percent of the plants identified by
the U.S. National Cancer Institute as useful in the
treatment of cancer are found only in rainforests.

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Fact: More than 2,000 tropical forest plants have
been identified by scientists as having anticancer properties.
Fact: Less than one percent of the tropical
rainforest species have been analyzed for their
medicinal value.

Facts about the Threats to Rainforests, Indigenous
People and Species:

Fact: Rainforests are threatened by
unsustainable agricultural, ranching, mining and
logging practices.
Fact: Before 1500 A.D., there were
approximately 6 million indigenous people living
in the Brazilian Amazon. But as the forests
disappeared, so too did the people. In the early
1900s, there were less than 250,000 indigenous
people living in the Amazon.
Fact: Originally, 6 million square miles of tropical
rainforest existed worldwide. But as a result of
deforestation, only 2.6 million square miles
remain.
Fact: At the current rate of tropical forest loss, 510 percent of tropical rainforest species will be
lost per decade.
Fact: Nearly 90 percent of the 1.2 billion people
living in extreme poverty worldwide depend on
forests for their livelihoods.

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Fact: Fifty-seven percent of the world’s forests,
including most tropical forests, are located in
developing countries.
Fact: Every second, a slice of rainforest the size
of a football field is mowed down. That's 86,400
football fields of rainforest per day, or over 31
million football fields of rainforest each year.
Fact: More than 56,000 square miles of natural
forest are lost each year.

Want to Test Your Rainforest Knowledge?
Now that you've learned all about the rainforest, see
if you can answer the questions in our rainforest quiz.

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Rainforest Quiz: Test Your Knowledge!
Test your knowledge of the world’s rainforests with our
rainforest quiz! Can you answer all of the following questions
and get a perfect score? Good luck!

1.

Rainforests cover what percentage of the Earth’s total surface?
Less than one percent

a.

2 percent

b.

10 percent

c.

45 percent

2.

Rainforests provide which of the following products?

a.

Chewing gum

b.

Medicines

c.

Coffee

d.

All of the above

3.

Rainforests are only found in warm regions close to the equator.

a.

True

b.

False

4.

What is a major threat to rainforest ecosystems?

a.

Illegal logging

b.

Volcanoes

c.

Very large populations of vampire bats

d.

Desertification

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5.

The largest temperate rainforests left on Earth can be found
along the western coast of South America.

a.

True

b.

False

6.

Rainforests can be found in the U.S.

a.

True

b.

False

7.

What percentage of the Earth’s plant and animal species live in
rainforests?

a.

10 percent

b.

25 percent

c.

50 percent

d.

75 percent

8.

More than 2,000 tropical forest plants have been identified by
scientists as having anti-cancer properties.

a.

True

b.

False

9.

How many major types of rainforests are there?

a.

5 types

b.

4 types

c.

More than 30 types

d.

2 types
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10.

Rainforests play a significant role in maintaining which of the
following?

a.

Weather patterns

b.

The Earth's limited supply of drinking and fresh water

c.
more species of plants and animals than any other
ecosystem on Earth
d.

All of the above

Rainforest Quiz Scoring Guide

0-2 correct: Tropical novice

3-5 correct: Temperate apprentice – freshen up on your rainforest
facts

6-8 correct: Tropical trooper – Very good!.

9-10 correct: Rainforest Ranger – you're a real rainforest pro!

Source of quiz: http://www.nature.org/rainforests/explore/facts.html

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- 30 Where is the West/Central African rain forest situated in Africa? What
can we expect to find in the rain forest?

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ANIMALS OF THE RAINFOREST
The rainforest is home to more than half of the world's animals.
Colourful and unusual animals dwell in all four layers of the forest.
All types of creatures are represented, from tiny insects to large
mammals.

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Macaws are the largest of all parrots.
There are 16 different species of macaws
and they range in size from a little over
three feet to one foot. They have
beautiful, graceful, tails that are as long
or longer than their bodies. They also
have long, pointed wings that enable
them to fly swiftly.

Macaws have sharp, hooked bills which are perfect for
eating nuts, fruits, and seeds. The beak is strong and is used
to break open nut pods. Their feet have a very strong grip
which allow them to grasp easily. Two of their toes point
forward and two point backward. They can use their foot to
grasp food and bring it to their mouth. Macaws are very
social and intelligent animals. They can be found in Central
and South America in the canopy and emergent layers of
the rainforest. They like to nest in holes in trees. Macaws are
on the endangered species list because their numbers are
declining due to rainforest destruction and people capturing
them for pets.
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Spider monkeys are large in size. Adult
monkeys grow to be almost two feet
tall excluding the tail. They have a
powerful tail that they use as an extra
limb. Spider monkeys like to hang
upside-down with all four limbs and
the tail holding on to branches which
makes them look like a spider and thus
their name. They also have the ability
to swing from branch to branch at a
high speed. Their fur colour can be
black, brown, golden, red, or tan.

Spider monkeys spend most of their time high up in the
canopy where they can find fruits and seeds to eat. They
also eat plants. They are unusual monkeys in that they have
only four fingers and no thumb. Spider monkeys are heavily
hunted and are in danger of becoming extinct.
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There are about 40 different kinds of
toucans. They vary in size from about 7
inches to a little over two feet. They
have short and thick necks. Toucans
are distinguished by large, colourful,
yet lightweight bills. The colour of the
bill may be black, blue, brown, green,
red, white, yellow or a combination of
colours. The bright colours on his bill
help to attract a mate. Toucans also
have a narrow, feather-like tongue.
They can be noisy birds with their calls
sounding harsh and raspy.

A toucan's bill is sharp and has saw-like edges. The bill is used
to squash the many kinds of fruit and berries he eats. He may
also use the saw-like edges to tear off parts of larger fruits.
Also included in their diet are small birds and lizards. Toucans
make their homes in holes in trees. They usually live in pairs or
small flocks. White, glossy eggs are laid once a year and
when they hatch, the new chick Toucans have no down
covering them.
They are found in South and Central
America in the canopy layer of the rainforest. When they
sleep, they turn their heads around and tuck their bills under
their wings and tail. The toucan is very important to the
rainforest because they help to disperse seeds from the fruits
and berries they eat.

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Gorillas

Gorillas live in the rainforests in Africa. They are found mainly
in coastal West Africa, Congo and Cameroon but also in
Zaire, Rwanda and Uganda.
Gorillas mainly eat fruit, leaves, stems and other plant matter.
They
sometimes
eat
meat,
insects
and
eggs.
They live in social groups, which are led by a dominant male.
The male in charge is called the silverback due to the grey
fur on his back. The group includes several females and
young.
There are three sub-species of gorilla:
The mountain gorilla
The western lowland gorilla
The eastern lowland gorilla

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- 36 Youngsters tumble, climb, and run playing follow the leader. Another
group plays a rowdy game of king of the mountain. Several adults
watch the action, relaxing nearby. Is this a playground scene at
school? No, guess again. It’s a lush mountain forest high in the Virunga
mountains of Africa, and the playmates are young mountain gorillas
under the watchful eyes of their mothers.
For a long time the image most people had of a gorilla encounter
included chest pounding, roaring, charging, and big, bared teeth. But
researchers studying gorillas reveal a very different picture of mountain
gorillas. The animals are peaceful, gentle, social, and mainly
vegetarian creatures. The occasional ferocious-looking, impressive
displays are generally from a male gorilla protecting his family group
from a threat.
A typical group is led by the biggest and strongest mature male
gorilla—often the guy doing any chest pounding or charging. He’s
called a silverback because the hair on a male’s back turns from black
to silvery grey as he matures. This happens when he is between 11 and
13 years old. A silverback’s group normally includes a sub-adult male or
two and a few females and their young.
Mountain gorillas wander around a home range of up to 15 square
miles (39 square kilometres). They spend much of their time eating. Their
food includes a variety of plants, along with a few insects and worms.
At night the animals make a nest to sleep in. Many lightweight gorillas
nest in trees, making beds of bent branches. The heavier individuals
may nest in grasses on the ground. Babies snuggle with their mothers for
the
night.
Life for mountain gorillas isn’t all peaceful. They are endangered,
threatened by civil war in a small area of Africa where they live.
Hunters kill them for food or trophies. Their forests are chopped down
for farmland, fuel, and housing. But many dedicated scientists, park
rangers, and other concerned people are working hard to protect
mountain gorillas, their forests, and their way of life in the mountains.
Text by Catherine D. Hughes

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FUN FACTS
Mountain gorillas are endangered. Less than 650 remain in
the wild.
Female mountain gorillas leave the group they were born in
to join a new gorilla group when they’re about eight years
old.
The life span of a mountain gorilla is, in the wild, about 40
years; in captivity, up to 50 years.
Mountain gorillas are mainly vegetarian, eating leaves,
shoots, fruit, bulbs, bark, vines, and nettles.
A female mountain gorilla gives birth to her first baby at
about ten years of age. She has one baby at a time, every
three to four years.
After leaving the group they were born into, males usually
live alone until they’re 15 or older, when they can win
females and begin a group of their own.
Humans and gorillas are 98% genetically identical.
Male silverback gorillas can weigh 50-100 pounds more - and
are about 10 times stronger - than the biggest American
football players.
When the group is attacked by humans, leopards, or other
gorillas, the silverback will protect them even at the cost of
his own life.

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Plants

Rainforests are home to an enormous variety of plants.
They grow well because it is hot and wet, just like a greenhouse.
Some of the tallest trees in the world, up to 45 metres, grow in
tropical rainforests.
Temperatures are the same all year round so the forests
always have leaves, flowers and fruit. This means that there is
a constant supply of food for a wide variety of animals. Many
animals are specially adapted to only get their food from
one
kind of plant eg hummingbirds. In turn some plants depend
on particular animals to carry their pollen or to spread their
seeds.

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People

People live in tropical rainforests, often in groups called
tribes. There are many different tribes that live in the
rainforests of the world.
Some places where rainforest tribes live are shown below on
the map.

The Congo Basin, which runs through six Central African countries,
contains the second largest contiguous rainforest in the world after that
of the Amazon. Cameroon’s forests contain some of the Congo Basin’s
most biologically diverse and most threatened forests.

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- 40 Baka pygmies – Indigenous
people of the African Rainforest

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Teaching Notes, Study Guides & Lesson Plans
The notebooking pages in this unit are for the student to undertake research and
record the information they obtain

.

Where is it?
How big is it?
How long are the boundaries?
What is the climate like?
What is the land like?
What natural resources are there?
How is the land used?
What dangerous things are there?
Describe the people.
What languages are spoken?
What wildlife is there?
What is the national flower or plant?
What is the national animal?
Are there endangered animals?
Name the biggest city.
What is the capital city?
Can you label the towns on the blank map?
Where does the seat of government sit?
Famous people from this country.
Are there well known tourist attractions?
Are there any World Heritage Sites?
What arts and crafts are unique to this country?
Create your own African craft.
Are there any famous African myths, legends or fables that
originate from this country?
Write your own short African story.

Terms of Use
St Aiden’s Homeschool © 2007
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This mini-unit study/lesson plan is the property of D E Davis
and/or www.staidenshomeschool.com and may not be
altered or amended in any manner. Please feel free to use
this document in your classrooms, at home or you may
upload it to your own website in its entirety*. This document
may be freely distributed* but may not be sold for profit by
any person/s or organisations. Thank you for respecting
International Copyright Laws.
*this document may be freely distributed and utilised without
alteration, amendment or addition i.e. in this original format.
D E Davis,
St Aiden’s Homeschool
Republic of South Africa
Date of Publication: 03 September 2007

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