Educator Resources

Class Discussion

Establish Prior Knowledge

Explain the Africa’s Sahel region is on the southern fringe of the Sahara desert. Because of long periods of drought, Lake Faguibine, once the largest lake in the region, has begun to dry out. Have students locate Lake Fabuibine on this Google map: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl 
Tell students that in the Snapshot they are about to see, they will learn about how the region is changing. 

Exploration
Have students view the Snapshot and read the synopsis. Then, have students work in small groups to investigate the following questions.

  • What are the causes of desertification and what can be done to remedy the problem?

http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/deserts/desertification/

  • What are the causes of deforestation in Mali and what is being done to remedy the problem?

http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?id=9418

  • How has drought affected Lake Faguibine and the people of Mali?

http://unepatlas.blogspot.com/2008/06/lake-faguibine.html
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11608264

Wrap-up

Have groups present their findings. Discuss with students how a combination of ecological problems can worsen a situation.