Mali Quest

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Mali Quest

by Jennifer Polack, Frankie DePaola and Patrick Stalcup © 2014    

Mali Quest is a fun way to experience the rich history of the country of Mali. Boasting three mini-games and a quest across the kingdom of Mali, the player will solve puzzles, defend cities, and re-tell the epic of the great king Sundiata!

This game addresses the following Virginia SOL for Third Grade

Standard 3.2

The student will study the early West African empire of Mali by describing its oral tradition (storytelling), government (kings), and economic development (trade).

  • Africa was the home to several great empires. One of the most prosperous was the empire of Mali .
  • Many storytellers in Mali passed on traditions and stories from one generation to the next.
  • The kings of Mali were rich and powerful men who controlled trade in West Africa . Mali became one of the largest and wealthiest empires in the region and was an important trade center.
  • Mali lay across the trade routes between the sources of salt in the Sahara Desert and the gold region/mines of West Africa . For the people of the desert, salt was a natural resource. People used salt for their health and for preserving foods. Miners found gold in Western Africa . Therefore, salt was traded for gold.
  • Timbuktu was an important city in Mali . It had a famous university with a large library containing Greek and Roman books.

Standard 3.4

The student will develop map skills by
a) locating Greece , Rome , and West Africa ;
b) describing the physical and human characteristics of Greece , Rome , and West Africa ;
c) explaining how the people of Greece , Rome , and West Africa adapted to and/or changed their environment to meet their needs.

  • Terms to know:
    Characteristics: Different traits
  • Ancient Greece and Rome were located on land near the Mediterranean Sea . The empire of Mali was located in the western region of the continent of Africa
  • Physical characteristic
    • Ancient Greece : Located among mountains and hills, surrounded by Mediterranean Sea and limited rich soil
    • Ancient Rome : Located next to a river; city built on many hills; limited rich soil
    • Empire of Mali : Located in West Africa ; near rivers; desert-like conditions; gold mines
  • Human characteristics
    • Ancient Greece : Farmers, shipbuilders, and traders
    • Ancient Rome : Farmers, road builders, and traders
    • Empire of Mali : Farmers, miners, and traders
  • Ways they adapted to their environments
    • Ancient Greece : They farmed on hillsides; trading took place on the Mediterranean Sea ; small independent communities developed because of the many mountains.
    • Ancient Rome : They farmed on hillsides; trading took place on the Mediterranean Sea.
    • Empire of Mali : Salt was an important natural resource for people in the desert; salt was traded for gold.

Standard 3.8

The student will recognize the concepts of specialization (being an expert in one job, product, or service) and interdependence (depending on others) in the production of goods and services (in ancient Greece , Rome, the West African empire of Mali , and in the present).

  • Terms to know:
    Economic specialization: Focusing on one product or service
    Economic interdependence: Two or more people depending on each other for goods and services
  • Economic specialization occurs when people focus on the production of selected kinds of goods and services.
  • Economic specialization and interdependence of communities in the past
    • Ancient Greece and Rome both focused on building ships, farming, and making pottery. (Specialization)
    • Greeks and Romans traded their goods with Egypt and other nearby communities. (Interdependence)
    • In the empire of Mali , some people specialized in protecting the empire, while others specialized in growing food for the empire. (Specialization)
    • The people of Mali traded (gold for salt) with other people. (Interdependence)
  • Interdependence in the present
    • Virginia is known for its expertise in shipbuilding. (Specialization)
    • Virginia sells its coal to other countries but depends on other countries for oil. (Interdependence)