Trade was a huge part of the growth of the empires of West Africa. In this lab you will examine two minerals to determine their relative values. You will decide which is worth more: gold or halite?

Topic: Medieval African Trade
Lesson time: 50 minutes
Materials Used: Aluminum foil, saltine crackers, 600 ml of "sweat", 150 mg of salt, Investigation Journal, Printed Exhibits
Set up: Print out copies of the Investigation Journal for each student and 5-6 copies of each exhibit.

Open with the following video to introduce the lab:


For added flavor follow up with the Pawn Stars intro:


Give students 25 minutes to examine the 7 exhibits around the room and fill in their investigation journals.

To bring them back together wrap up with Exhibit H below. (Skipping this exhibit is also optional as it can tend to skew results when it is the last thing students see.)


Give students time to complete the conclusion questions on the back of the sheet and then debrief the activity.