This week’s country in our Around the World in 11 Weeks series is the Democratic Republic of the Congo! DR Congo is the second largest country in Africa and was formerly known as Zaire. It sits to the east of of the much smaller country, Congo.
DR Congo has recently been the scene of devastating wars and despite being rich in natural resources, there has not been widespread development. However, this means it is full of a variety of beautiful, natural landscapes. It is home of the second largest rainforest and the largest river in the world, which are full of biodiversity. Check out all the resources below to study DR Congo and grab the FREE printable portion.
Note: For ideas on how to organize your unit study and find links to other country unit studies, visit the Around the World in 11 Weeks main page.
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Printable Unit Study
The printable portion of the unit study contains DR Congo Notebooking Pages, a Map Scavenger Hunt, a Following Directions activity, a math activity about Congolese currency, Famous People notebooking pages, and book summaries. Grab it below! (16 pages)
Videos About DR Congo
This video is kind of goofy and aimed toward older students, but it does give a really good overview of the DR Congo. (12 min.)
Overview of the natural world of the DR Congo (6.5 min.)
Barbara Kanam singing against the backdrop of scenes of Conglese culture (7 min.):
Research More About DR Congo
Ducksters has a variety of information about Congo including information about the geography, economy, and government of Congo.
Hands On Activities
African masks are a part of the art culture in Congo. There are several ideas out there for making your own, but I thought this one turned out really good:
Here are some more fun ways to make African masks, but the directions are not in English. 🙂
You can make animals that live in Congo for a fun, hands on activity.
Pretend play with jungle animals would be fun, too.
Here is a fun art piece using shadow tracing to make an African Sunset.
Mancala is a popular game in Congo and you can make your own version here.
Make Congolese Food
Fish is a very popular food in the Congo and it is often cooked whole. Here is a simple fish recipe with a Congolese flavor. And if you are not up for cooking a whole fish, I am sure that it will work with fillets, too!
If your family does not do fish, this chicken recipe is popular throughout sub-Saharan Africa and is pretty simple to make.
You could serve Fumbwa or spinach stew as a side dish. It is pretty simple once you locate some smoked catfish, which is chopped and used to flavor the stew.
Dessert is not a common part of a Congolese meal. Sometimes a meal is followed by fruit. Common fruits in the Congo that you can easily find are guava and mango. If you would like to make one of the few desserts native to the Congo, try this Chakrey recipe.
Famous Congolese People
Play Congolese Music
Find a Congolese playlist on your favorite streaming service and read more about the history of Congolese music.
Learn French and Swahili
There are about 242 languages spoken in the Congo. The official language is French, which dates back to its colonial days. There are also the following national languages: Kikongo, Lingala, Swahili, and Tshiluba.
Rock n’ Learn has several videos for kids to learn French.
Here are some videos for older students to learn French and Swahili.
Duolingo is another free way to learn French or Swahili.
Here are some children’s picture books read in French with English and French text.
Books About the Congo
There are not many books about the Congo for children that are easy to find, but here are a few.
Movies About DR Congo
There is an episode of PBS Nature that takes place in the Congo.
While not super educational, any of the Tarzan movies would be fun to watch as part of this study.
For teenagers and adults: Virunga is a highly acclaimed, but violent documentary about DR Congo. It is available on Netflix.
Another movie for older audiences is Lumumba, which tells the story of the former leader of DR Congo, Patrice Lumumba.
"Go to" DR Congo
Here is a gorilla webcam in DR Congo.
If you happen to have a VR headset, you can take virtual tours of the Congo from BBC. If not, you can just watch the videos on YouTube.
Study the Biomes
The Congo River and Rainforest are major features of DR Congo so studying rainforests could be a great side unit. Here is our Rainforest Unit Study, which is based more on the Amazon.
For a full year of biome studies:
Download Printable Activities
Don’t forget to grab the printable portion of the Congo Unit Study:
Get the Unit Study
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What other activities have you used to learn about the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Let us know!
Other ideas for learning about countries around the world: