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Ministry of Education.

Learning task 3

Learning centre activities

  1. Find and map David Livingstone's birth place, Blantyre, Glasgow, Scotland.
  2. Research cotton mills in Scotland in the 1770 and 1800s. Who worked in these mills? Where did the cotton come from?
  3. Map places of interest in Africa that David Livingstone visited during his travels.
  4. With a friend write and dramatise the events leading up to the meeting of David Livingstone and H.M. Stanley.
  5. Write a cartoon story of the meeting between David Livingstone and H.M. Stanley. Use speech bubbles or Kid Pix.
  6. Research the "dreaded malaria" that was prevalent during the 1700s and 1800s. What were the causes? What where the symptoms? What medication was used? What did scientists do to try to eradicate the disease?
  7. Research the slave trade. Who was involved? When was it abolished?
  8. As a group evaluate all sources by checking the resource_evaluation (RTF 15KB)  Comment on which sources scored high and which scored low on the Resource Evaluation Checklist, along with any generalisations they are able to make about the sources of information.

Thinking critically about research

mini_inquiry (RTF 11KB)

The class brainstorms the names of explorers that could be researched, recording the names as they discuss them. During this phase the teacher acts as an arbiter to ensure that the suggestions serve the purpose of the unit. The final list will be no more than five or six names. The students decide on the explorer they want to research.
The focus will be:

  • How and why people find out about places and environments and the challenges they face.

Groups then decide upon three or four key questions they want answered, based on the explorer, the expedition, and the challenges faced. The students will conference with the teacher to ensure that the questions are not so specific or closed that the research process is invalidated, or so broad as to be unmanageable.
Once research questions are in place, the class is introduced, through modelling (RTF 7KB) , to the methods of research each group must use to find answers to their questions.
In each group of three:

  • one member must use a book, article, video or an email or fax to an expert/institution
  • one member must use the internet
  • one member is responsible for collating and organising the presentation to the class


The group will be exposed to both methods; each group member will take responsibility for one question and use both methods for that question. Students conduct their research individually in their own time and in class. (Teachers may wish to bookmark the selected explorers to save time in searching the internet).
Back in groups, with teacher modelling and support, students compare their answers to their question(s).
Students then report back to the class: 

  • explaining their research topic and questions.
  • presenting a brief summary of their answers to their questions in a presentation using a timeline, flow chart, or fact file.

Published on: 01 Jun 2009