Pawn Stars: Africa

The medieval West African empires were built on trade. They had massive reserves of gold that they used to bring in materials and goods to make them prosper. In this lab a new mineral, halite, is being introduced to Africa. Will it be worth more than gold? You will examine a deadliest warrior battle, an old fairy tale, modern magazine ads and even a jar of human sweat and decide what value to set for this new mineral.

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.