McDougal Littell WebQuest

History and Geography

WebQuest Image

  • With a partner, research the history of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai.
  • Research the geography (climate and landscape) of West Africa.
  • Note images you would like to collect or draw to include on your annotated maps.
  • Print a blank map of Africa to take notes on and share with the whole team.
  • Print and complete the worksheet. Use the worksheet to help you create your annotated map.

Print Worksheet

Remember, you are looking for information that you can bring to the team and include on annotated maps. Explore the history of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai and the geography of the areas these empires occupied. Note the locations of important events and geographical regions so you can include them on your map. Use the resources below for your research.

World History: Medieval and Early Modern Times (McDougal Littell)
Chapter 5, "West Africa"
Daily Life: Producing Salt (162–163)
Unit 3 Illustration (pages 144–145)

Blank Map of Africa
Use this blank map of Africa to make your annotated maps.

Collapse—Why Do Civilizations Fall? Mali and Songhai: The Annenberg Foundation exhibits/ collapse/ mali.html
Explore this site about trade in Songhai and Mali, the importance of Timbuktu, and how these two empires came to an end.

Africa, Explore the Regions: PBS wnet/ africa/ explore
Explore different regions of Africa on this site. Click on the Sahel and Sahara to learn about the climate and geography of these regions.

The Story of Africa, West African Kingdoms: BBC worldservice/ africa/ features/ storyofafrica/ index_section4.shtml
At this site you can read brief articles about ancient Ghana, Mali, and Songhai including the role of gold in the empires.

Timbuktu, Mali: The History Channel classroom/ unesco/ timbuktu.html
Explore this site and read about the history of Timbuktu, its development into a center for trade, and the role of Mansa Musa in building trade.

West African Trade Routes and Empires, A.D. 1000-1500: McDougal Littell
Explore this interactive map showing West African trade routes between A.D. 1000 and 1500.

Samples of Annotated Maps
Use these examples of annotated maps to help you create your maps.

"Archaeological Sites of the World"
World History: Medieval and Early Modern Times (pages 4-5)