Word, symbol and song: reading the image

Lesson rationale

There is a vast range of inventive combinations of word, symbol and song across peoples and cultures in West Africa. This interweaving of art, communication forms, languages and writing systems lends itself beautifully to cross-curricular learning. Indeed, the cross-curricular approach enhances students’ ability to understand and learn from West African cultures. For this reason, most of the activities combine, for example Art, History, Geography, RE, English Literature and English Language in different ways

Key questions in this lesson:

  • What questions do we need to ask of the image to find out its strength as evidence about the historic role of word, symbol and song to West African peoples?
  • What does the image not tell you? What other sources can you find that provide supporting evidence? Are they someone’s opinion?