Sixth Graders Celebrate Expedition to the Beat of African Drums

On Friday, March 15th, 6th graders celebrated the conclusion of their World Geography and Culture expedition with a drumbeat-a drumbeat from West Africa. Master drummer and educator, Lauren Caso, visited the classroom with a diverse collection of beautiful West African drums and other percussion instruments. The morning began with students learning to play the infectious West African welcome song “Funga Alafia” and performing for 3rd graders, who joined in singing the Yoruba words which mean “I welcome you with my mind, my voice, my heart and I come in peace.” Lauren then led all in a joyous West African circle dance. African Dance Following the dancing, 6th graders gave a presentation about the influence of African rhythms on Argentina’s tango and Brazil’s samba, capoeira, and hip-hop, concluding that “music unites us” across continents and cultures. The morning ended with 6th graders sharing in small literature circles their final product-literature guides to African novels created for Boston University’s African Studies Center library.