Africa Safari Third Grade Lesson Plans

By Donna Cosmato

In this classroom lesson plan, children go on an imaginary African safari vacation. They identify travel and lodging options as well as supply necessities.

Africa Lesson Plan Overview

This lesson plan helps students plan the best African safari for learning and fun. Children learn about African wildlife and safari travel while planning their vacation.

Africa Safari Third Grade lesson Plans 

The educational objectives for this lesson plan are:

  • Learning to plan for trips and other life events
  • Identifying and classifying types of African wild animals
  • Following oral directions
  • Encouraging observation skills
  • Fostering teamwork and cooperative learning

This wildlife safari tour takes two days to plan and teach, and can be used as a stand-alone session or combined with other African-themed units. The first day is spent planning the safari, and the next day is a fun day with students pretending to be on safari with sight-seeing and African wildlife viewing.

African Safari Vacation Day One

The teacher and class identify core components of planning and implementing the best African safari. Once the key elements are decided, the teacher uses guided discussion questions to help the students' brainstorm ideas. The class is divided into groups; each group researches and plans their portion of the Africa safari, and then presents their ideas to the class.

Here are suggestions for key planning elements; these are only recommendations and can be expanded as necessary depending on time and classroom constraints:

  • Travel – this would include how to get there, necessary travel documents, and transportation while in Africa
  • Lodging – where to sleep, bathe, and relax
  • Food – types of foods, times of meals, where to get supplies, who will prepare
  • Types of animals – what kinds of animals will be seen, what are safety issues, will they hunt the African animals or simply watch them?

The teacher moves from group to group, offering suggestions and guiding the kids as they plan their trips.

Best African Safari Discussion Questions

These open-ended discussion questions cover some of the basic questions about traveling to Africa and going on an African safari vacation. Teachers and students use these ideas as springboards for their own imaginations and creativity. Suggested answers are given for teachers to use as prompts for generating conversation.

  • What kind of clothing do we need to go on safari? (Walking shoes, hats, jungle vests, long-sleeved shirts, shorts, rain coat, swim suits)
  • How will we carry supplies? (Backpack, jeeps, native guides)
  • What kind of supplies do we need? (Water, food, sunscreen, insect repellent, first aid kit, sunglasses, binoculars, mosquito netting, camera, passports, airline tickets, maps)
  • What kinds of animals will we see? (Zebra, leopard, tiger, gorilla, giraffe, hyena, buffalo, black rhino, chimpanzees, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, monkeys, lions)
  • How will we get to Africa? (Airplane)
  • How long will the trip take? (This answer will vary depending on geographic location.)
  • Where will we sleep? (Tents)

This section of the lesson provides many lesson extension opportunities and can be modified or expanded to fit individualized classes or groups. If time permits, the classroom lesson plan can be extended for longer periods to accommodate other lessons about Africa and African wildlife.

Best African Safari Day Two

.The big day is here, and the class is ready to go on safari. The following supplies are needed:

  • Africa jungle themed room decorations
  • One banana for each child
  • The children’s book Slowly, Slowly, Slowly Said the Sloth

The teacher and children dress as if going on safari – sunglasses, bandannas or hats, short pants if school dress codes permit. Let the children use the African wildlife pictures made the prior day or stuffed jungle animals to decorate the room and prepare for the safari. Other jungle themed decorations add to the theme - cut-outs of palms trees, straw huts, and so forth. Teachers act as safari travel guides, leading the children on a safari tour, and providing interesting facts about the animals.

To conclude the lesson, the teacher guides the class back to camp and gives each child a banana for a snack. The children sit and listen to Slowly, Slowly, Slowly Said the Sloth by Eric Carle, then take turns discussing their favorite part of the Africa safari third grade lesson plans.

Image Credits

Public Domain Pictures/Richard Spencer