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Dividing the Cake

By: Bailey Moran and Mary Liming
Type: Metaphorical Expression
Subject: Social Studies TAG World Studies
Description: The student will study the scramble for Africa, in which seven
European countries divided the continent of Africa with an eye
towards Imperialism and national gain but disregarding the
needs and requirements of the African people.
Duration: Two 50-minute periods
Instructional Unit Content: Africa History, Late 19th and early 20th century
Standard(s)/Element(s) Content Area Standard
The student will analyze continuity and change in Africa leading to the 21 st
(a) Explain how European partitioning across Africa contributed to conflict,
civil war, and artificial political boundaries.

TAG Standard
Creative Thinking & Creative Problem Solving Skills
7. The student uses analogies, metaphors, and/or models to explain complex


The focus of the lesson will be to utilize metaphorical comparisons to allow

students to gain new and creative insights and be better able to internalize
the degree of disruptive change that resulted from the partitioning of the
African continent.

Enduring Understanding(s)

By the end of this lesson, the student will understand the impact which
partitioning had upon the continent, much like the impact partitioning had in
the Middle East which was studied during fall semester.

Essential Question:

How can a few take control of many?


Phase 1: Hook

Scramble Activity

Groups of students will be given maps of African natural

resources and location of native language groups. They will be
assigned 1 of 7 European countries and be given a description of
what that country was interested in finding as well as a number
of countries they will be allowed to colonize. As a group, they will
discuss options and decide where they would like to colonize.
Groups will then be called in order to declare where they are
colonizing (in the order in which these countries began colonizing
Africa chronologically): Portugal (5 countries), England (16
countries), France (14), Belgium (3), Germany (8), Spain (4), and
Italy (4).

Phase 2: Examine the Content

The class will work through the PowerPoint and graphic organizer learning
about how and why partitioning took place and its impacts.

Phase 3: The Analogies

Direct Analogy:
After the PPT is viewed and the content organizer is complete, students will
respond to this direct analogy: How is the Scramble for Africa like a cake?
Students will share their response(s) with their table group.
Teacher will display a political cartoon referencing King Leopolds cake
analogy quotation at the Berlin Conference.
If time allows, students will view the following video relating the cake
metaphor to modern-day issues with African partitioning:

Personal Analogy:
Students will read different assigned sections of Different Viewpoints of
Imperialism and answer the corresponding questions. They will then share
out to other groups what different nationalities perceived their role in Africa
to be. Finally, they will either write a letter home from the perspective of a
European in Africa or compose a song/poem of the same topic.
Compressed Conflict:
List 5 words to describe imperialism.
List 5 words that are antonyms of those words.
Review your original list and its antonyms. Do any of the pairs of words seem
to fight each other but still describe imperialism? Create three Compressed

Phase 4: Synthesis Activity

Students will compose a Two-Voice Poem from the perspectives of a European

colonist and an African. They may work with a partner or alone to complete this
assignment and will be assessed with the attached rubric as a formative grade.
Extension: Students present their poems to the class and receive constructive
feedback from peers.

Summarizing Activity

Students will create their own direct analogy using the following prompt:
Imperialism is like ____________, because _______________________. These will be
submitted using a Microsoft Form that can be reviewed and informally assessed.

Differentiation for Gifted Learners:

Students will compare and contrast partitioning in Africa with Southwest


Students may write poem or song about Imperialism in Africa.

Students may research the after-effects of Imperialism in an individual

African country or region.

Student may write a piece describing an alternative to colonizing Africa and

what the effects of that might have been.

Design a poster from the African viewpoint describing Imperialism.

Students may read and annotate the other viewpoints in Different

Viewpoints of Imperialism


Portugal- You are the first to explore Africa. You wouldnt want to explore too far
inland due to diseases you have no medicines to combat. This does not bother you
much, since you primarily want good ports to help with your trade in the Far East.
So locate you ports where they will do the most good for the Far East trade. You
may pick five countries to colonize.

England- Youve got it made! You are powerful nation with the greatest navy in the
world, so go for minerals, ports, anything. Because you are interested, however,
not only in getting rich, but also in founding permanent colonies for your
expanding population, aim for good farming or grazing areas. You may pick
sixteen countries to colonize.

France- You want areas that are close to Europe and France so that you can
administer them easily. You may pick fourteen countries to colonize.

Belgium- You are interested in claiming territory that is abundant in a variety of

natural resources, so consider the tropical rainforest region. You may pick three
countries to colonize.

Germany- You came into the scene late because you were not unified as a country
until 1871, but once you are ready, you will really go. The problem is that despite
all of your eagerness and new power, there isnt much left for you. Do your best!
You may pick eight countries to colonize.

Spain- You have come to Africa later than most other major colonizers because you
have spent most of your effort in Central and Southern America. Look for
something close to home. You may pick four countries to colonize.

Italy- Due to your late unification, you have also come into the race late and are
not terribly powerful. You may pick four countries to colonize.

Examine the Content:

Direct Analogy
How is the Scramble for Africa like a cake?

How are they not alike?

Scramble for Africa Cake
King Leopold Cartoon and quote:

I do not want to miss a good chance of getting

us a slice of this magnificent African cake.

- King Leopold of
Personal Analogy:


The passage below is a summary of a passage written by Friedrich Fabri in his book,
Does Germany Need Colonies? The book was published in 1879 and identifies some
of the motives for European Imperialism.

Should Germany begin on the road to Imperialism? I believe we should.

For one, we are an industrial nation. In order to maintain our factories and
produce our goods we need access to natural resources. Resources like
rubber, petroleum, manganese for steel, and palm oil for machinery is
necessary and can be found in Africa and Asia.
Obtaining colonies will also benefit our economy. Obtaining colonies in
far away lands will open up new markets to trade our goods, and buy items
that we do not produce. Colonies will provide our bankers with new business
enterprises and projects to invest money in.
Participating in Imperialism will strengthen our military and defend our
nation. Our steam powered merchant ships and naval vessels require coal to
operate. Colonies spread throughout Africa would provide all of our ships
with a place to pick up coal and supplies.
By engaging in Imperialism we can limit the power of our competitors,
Britain and
France. We can prevent territory from falling into their hands, and halt
further expansion. Germany would weaken their trade and keep colonial
profits from going to Britain and France.
Lastly, taking part in Imperialism would increase national pride in
Germany. If we successfully obtain colonies we will show the world that we
are a strong nation. We will provide a place for our increasing population to
live and work. By obtaining colonies, we can restore Germanys position as
the most prestigious, important, and influential nation in Europe.

Paraphrased from Paul Leroy Beaulieu- late 19th-century

The great part of the world is inhabited by barbarian tribes or savages

who participate in wars without end and brutal customs. They know very
little about the arts or sciences. They do not know how to work, invent, or
exploit their land and its natural resources. They live in little groups in
poverty spread throughout large territory which if used correctly, could
provide much food and riches.
This area of the world needs civilized people to intervene. It is not
natural for the civilized people of the west to gather the marvels of science,
art, and civilization and not share the opportunities with the savages in need.
We have a duty to spread knowledge of medicine, law, and Christian religion.
Such a transformation of a barbarian country cannot be accomplished by
business or economic relations alone.

DIRECTIONS: Read the passage Imperialism: A German Viewpoint.

Using the reading, work with your group to answer the questions

1. How did the Industrial Revolution encourage Imperialism?

2. How does the economy benefit from colonies?

3. What are the military benefits of having colonies?

4. Britain and France had many colonies, why should the Germans try and

get some?
5. What is the relationship between Imperialism and Nationalism?

DIRECTIONS: Read the passage Imperialism: A French Perspective

and work with your group to answer the following questions.

1. Who is the author speaking about? How does he describe them?

2. What does the author say is the responsibility of civilized people like him?

3. What kinds of people might be inspired by what the author wrote?

As a German, list your reasons for becoming involved in As a Frenchman, list your reasons for be
Imperialism. Imperialism.

Write a song or poem from the viewpoints of one of these Create a letter home from the viewpoin
Europeans in Africa. Europeans in Africa.
Compressed Conflict: The Scramble for Africa

List 5 important words to describe The List antonym for each word to the left
Scramble 1.
Criteria Exemplary Developing Weak/Missing
Voice The poem has two well The poem has two voices The poem does not have
developed, clearly but the voices are not two voices.
recognizable voices. 2.
clearly recognizable
2. views on an The poem shows an The poem does not The poem does not
Issue accurate, well developed clearly show an issue address an issue from the
issue from the historical from the historical historical timeframe of
timeframe of European 3.
timeframe of European European Imperialism in
3. Imperialism in Africa Imperialism in Africa Africa
Accurate historical The poem contains The poem lacks historical The poem has little to no
content accurate historical content or does not have historical content
content. 4.
accurate content.
Format The poem effectively uses The poem does use the The poem is not in a
twovoice format, having proper twovoice format, proper twovoice format.
some lines said but does not have lines
separately, others together that are separate and
5. together.

Review your original list and its antonyms. Do any of the pairs of words seem to
fight each other but still describe The Scramble. Create three Compressed

Synthesis Activity:

Name(s): ________________________________________________________

Date: ___________________________________________________________

Poem in Two Voices Rubric