Africa, A Participatory Game

contributed by: Wendy Baker
Ontario, Canada

This participation story is a very abbreviated and incomplete version of what has really happened in Africa over many centuries. Nevertheless, it gives a dramatic example of the effect of man, industrialization and weather changes on an indigenous animal kingdom.

Africa - drums (on ground)
Drought - tongues flapping
Fire - wave hands above heads for flames
Rain - swoosh, swoosh

Individuals or Small Groups
Lions - roar
Elephants - trumpet
Birds, bugs and little animals - squeak, zzzzz, whistle
Fish - fins swimming, silent mouthing
Vultures - caw, caw (shrill)
Hunters - bang, bang (gun)
Woodmen - axes chopping

Organize the groups or individuals who will do the sounds. Have everyone practise. Then practise the sounds for "all players". Explain that you will be reading a story, and when you mention their special word, you will pause and they come in with their sound.

Once upon a time, in Africa, the lion was king of the jungle, and the elephant was king of the grassland. The lion and his family (called a pride) roamed all over the jungle, and the elephants with their enormous herds, roamed all over the grassland. The native people, who lived in Africa, in their mud or grass huts, respected king lion and king elephant. In fact, they were a little bit afraid of them! In the jungles of Africa there were millions of birds, bugs and little animals. In the waterholes all over Africa were many fish. Vultures flew overhead always looking for dead creatures to feed on. Then men came from Europe and they looked for jewels and minerals to make them rich. Hunters came and killed lions because they were ferocious, and elephants because their tusks were valuable as ivory. The vultures feasted on the dead bodies of the elephants and lions. Woodmen came and cut down the trees in the jungles, because the wood made valuable furniture for rich European homes. Then the birds, bugs and little animals had nowhere to live. Then came the drought, and the waterholes dried up and the fish died. The vultures were kept very busy eating all the dead bodies. The native people were starving. Careless hunters and woodmen dropped matches and the dry jungles and dry grasslands were destroyed by fire. Where could the lions, elephants, fish, birds, bugs and little animals live? It was decided to set aside special wildlife parks where all of the endangered animals could live and be protected. Soon the rains came and the land was beautiful again.
But, don't you think is sad that wonderful, wild animals such as the lion, elephant, fish, birds, bugs and little animals have to be protected in their own country?