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Weight in the form of a European ShipGeneral Information

What Is Currency? Lessons from Historic Africa is adapted from Smithsonian in Your Classroom, a publication of the Smithsonian Office of Education, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Smithsonian in Your Classroom is made possible through the generous support of the Pacific Life Foundation.

Smithsonian in Your Classroom's purpose is to help teachers bring into their classrooms the educational power of museums and other community resources. Smithsonian in Your Classroom draws on the Smithsonian's hundreds of exhibitions and programs-from art, history, and science to aviation and folklife-to create classroom-ready materials for grades 3-8. Each of the four annual issues explores a single topic through an interdisciplinary, multicultural approach. The Smithsonian invites teachers to duplicate Smithsonian in Your Classroom materials for educational use.

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Educational Standards

What Is Currency?: Lessons from Historic Africa meets the following Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory (McREL) educational standards.

Economics Standard 4
Understands basic features of market structures and exchanges
Economics Standard 10
Understands basic concepts about international economics
Geography Standard 5
Understands the concept of regions
Geography Standard 11
Understands the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on the Earth's surface
Geography Standard 16
Understands the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources
World History Standard 22
Understands the growth of states, towns, and trade in Sub-Saharan Africa between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries
Mathematics Standard 9
Understands the general nature and uses of mathematics


All photographs are copyright Smithsonian Institution. For all questions about use of photos from the National Museum of African Art, please visit the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives Web page. You can also view a list of images that appear in this Website.

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Veronika Jenke, National Museum of African Art
Bryna Freyer, National Museum of African Art

Dedicated to the memory of Philip L. Ravenhill

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