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Social sciences: history

Grade 6

Exploration in africa

Module 9

Why do people travel into unknown territories

At the risk of their lives

Activity 1:

To differentiate between different historical periods

[lo 2.3]

We often read stories about famous explorers who discovered places and countries. Of course they did not really discover whatever object or country they claimed to have seen first. The local inhabitants were there before them and naturally knew their countries and the particular places very well. The famous explorers therefore are not the true discoverers, but merely the people who introduced those regions to the rest of the world.

There are also people who discovered areas or countries that had not been seen or heard of by any other person. Discovery therefore is a way of gathering information about places and things to present the knowledge of such things and places to the world. Africa is a good example of a continent on which there were people who did not have the technology to make themselves known to the rest of the world. Because of this, we can be grateful to those who were the first explorers of this continent.

a) Give your own explanation of what an explorer is.

b) Could we view the early primitive people as the first explorers? Explain your point of view.

c) You are a member of a group of primitive explorers who have to explore an unknown area. What would you bring back from this area when you return from the expedition to persuade other people that you (like true discoverers) have discovered something new? Discoverers (explorers) only started to draw maps , keep diaries and write books about their experiences much later.

d) Study the following excerpt from a diary. Do you know what the illness is described? (Do you regard it as a good description?)

  • Do you regard it as a good description?
  • How is this illness treated nowadays?

e) Try to determine what it is that urges people to investigate unknown regions.

Group work!

f) Let's see whether your group can determine why the following people wanted to come to Africa. The different possibilities are contained in the column on the right.

Person Reason for coming Reasons
D.E.I.C. (2)
Mungo Park
René Caillié
Burton en Speke
Livingstone (2)

g) Why did the early travellers prefer to travel overland rather than use a sea-route?

ocnea rucrents romsts weesenid ?
O________c______ S________________ S______w_______

The unknown and unsolved mysteries of Africa enticed increasing numbers of adventurers!

Diogenes, a Greek seafarer and philosopher, wrote about two white inland mountains in Africa and suggested that they were the source of the Nile. (Was he right?)



LO 2
HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING The learner will be able to demonstrate historical knowledge and understanding.
We know this when the learner:
2.1 chronology and time:
  • places events, people and changes on a timeline which includes terms such as ‘BC’, ‘AD’ and ‘BCE’;
2.2 cause and effect:
  • gives reasons for and explains the results of key events and changes in more than one context;
2.3 change and continuity:
  • identifies some aspects of society which have changed and some which have stayed the same over time in more than one context.



(a) Explorers: People who introduce unknown/new products or places to the world.

(b) Yes. Also introduced fire.

(d) Malaria transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito to people. Symptoms: fever, lack of energy, sleepiness, vomiting, loose defecation, headaches, convulsions. The only way to determine whether a person has malaria, is to analyse a blood sample. Tablets, repellents as creams or in intravenous form, and mosquito nets help to prevent malaria. Treatment must take place immediately.


DEIC Refreshment station, route to the east
ParkBurton/Speke Source of River NigerSource of River Nile CaillieStanley MoneyBrings an end to slave trade
Livingstone Missionary work, Brings an end to slave trade

(g) Ocean currents, storms, sea winds, superstitions

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Source:  OpenStax, History grade 6. OpenStax CNX. Sep 08, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11011/1.1
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