Lesson Plan: Culture Marketing Campaign – Sub-Saharan Africa
Lesson Plan: Culture Marketing Campaign – Sub-Saharan Africa

Lesson Plan: Culture Marketing Campaign – Sub-Saharan Africa

Subject Area: World Geography
Grade Level: Grade 9
Time Frame/Duration: 6 55-minute classes
(Lesson can be shortened and/or some work can be assigned outside of class)


By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe the elements of culture of Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Describe patterns of culture that make Sub-Saharan Africa distinctive.


1. What are the elements of culture in Sub-Saharan Africa?
2. What are the cultural patterns in Sub-Saharan Africa that make this region distinctive?
3. How would the culture of Sub-Saharan Africa affect a marketing campaign?


This lesson is intended to be part of a 9th grade World Regional Geography course in a unit on Sub-Saharan Africa.

It could easily be modified to fit 6th World Cultures or AP Human Geography and could also be adapted for another world region.

This lesson is intended to be integrated into the Sub-Saharan Africa unit. It does not have to be completed in consecutive days and can complement the learning objectives of other lessons in the unit, particularly economic geography.

Christianity * culture * consumer * custom * distinctive * formal region * infrastructure * institution * Islam * landmark * landscape * literacy rate * region * Sub-Saharan Africa * taboo


marketing and advertising | management | sales | business


Students will act as researchers for a company to create an infographic about a country in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Using student-created infographics, students will participate in a gallery walk to determine the cultural patterns of Sub-Saharan Africa.  Then they will use this information to come up with a plan for a marketing campaign to launch a new product in the region.



World Geography Studies (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Standards)

  • (9) Geography. The student understands the concept of region as an area of Earth’s surface with related geographic characteristics.  The student is expected to:

(A) identify physical and/or human factors such as climate, vegetation, language, trade networks, political units, river systems, and religion that constitute a region; and

(B) describe different types of regions, including formal, functional, and perceptual

  • (16) Culture. The student understands how the components of culture affect the way people live and shape the characteristics of regions.  The student is expected to:

(B) describe elements of culture, including language, religion, beliefs, institutions, and technologies.

  • (17) Culture. The student understands the distributions, patterns, and characteristics of different cultures. The student is expected to:

(A) describe and compare patterns of cultures such as language, religion, land use, education, and customs that make specific regions of the world distinctive.

  • (21) Social studies skills.  The student applies critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired through established research methodologies from a variety of valid sources, including technology.  The student is expected to:

      (D) analyze information by sequencing, categorizing, identifying cause-and-effect relationships, comparing, contrasting, finding the main idea, summarizing, making generalizations and predictions, drawing inferences and conclusions, and developing connections over time.

  • (22) Social studies skills.  The student communicates in written, oral, and visual forms.  The student is expected to:

(A) create appropriate graphics such as maps, diagrams, tables, and graphs to communicate geographic features, distributions, and relationships;

(B) generate summaries, generalizations, and thesis statements supported by evidence;

(C) use social studies terminology correctly.

  • (23) Social studies skills.  The student uses problem-solving and decision-making skills, working independently and with others.  The student is expected to:

(A) plan, organize, and complete a research project that involves asking geographic questions; acquiring, organizing, and analyzing information; answering questions; and communicating results.



For Students: For Teachers:

Optional – Students could create posters by hand.

“New product list” listed below under Day 5

Optional - Teacher can assign a product to each group or allow groups to come up with their own product.


Optional – Any website that creates infographics or posters can be used. Piktochart is a free resource for students.

ProQuest® Culturegrams -

ProQuest® Culturegrams is a database of country, state, and province information that must be purchased for use.  If the teacher does not have access to ProQuest® Culturegrams, they can provide other resources for students to research country information or have students find their own sources.

Marketing Campaign Task #1 Worksheet

One per student for grading purposes.

Marketing Campaign Task #1 Worksheet

One per student.

Marketing Campaign Rubric

One per student or one per group, depending on teacher preference for individual grade v. group grade.

Marketing Campaign Task # 2 Worksheet

One per student or one per group, depending on teacher preference for completion of gallery walk.

Marketing Campaign Task #3 Worksheet

One per student or one per group, depending on teacher preference for group work.

“Exit Ticket” Rubric

This can either be printed for each student or displayed in the classroom during instructions.

Marketing Campaign Rubric

This can either be printed for each student or displayed in the classroom during instructions.





It is assumed that students have already been introduced to formal regions and cultural elements and are able to define, identify, and describe each cultural element.  Some understanding of the characteristics of religions, especially Christianity and Islam, is preferable.



Day 1

Asking Geographic Questions: (5 mins)

  1. Display the question “What are the cultural characteristics that make Sub-Saharan Africa distinct?” and lead students in a think-pair-share. Once classroom discussion is over, tell students that they will conduct research to identify the cultural patterns that make Sub-Saharan Africa a distinct formal region.



Day 1-3*

Acquiring and Organizing Geographic Information: (160 mins)*

  1. Introduce the project using the “Marketing Campaign Task #1 Worksheet.” Students will use the worksheet, piktochart.com, and ProQuest® Culturegrams to create an infographic for a Sub-Saharan African country.

Teacher hints:

  • Have students turn this assignment in at least one day in advance of the gallery walk so you have time to set up the gallery walk and can also collect any late work from students.
  • Be sure to select major countries from each of the sub-regions of Sub-Saharan Africa so students get a holistic view of the region during the gallery walk.
  • If the teacher has more than one section of World Geography, assign as many different countries from Sub-Saharan Africa as possible across the sections and use all infographics submitted by students for the gallery walk.

*A couple of options are possible if you need to minimize class time spent on this portion of the lesson. 

  1. This part of the lesson could be omitted altogether, and the teacher could provide country information for the gallery walk (see Day 4). If choosing this method, the online edition of ProQuest® Culturegrams, provides an “Infographic: Average Person” that could be used in the gallery walk IF supplemented with other information.
  2. This could be introduced in class and all or some of it could be completed outside of class.


Day 4 & 5

Analyzing Geographic Information: (110 min)

Day 4

  1. Prior to the lesson, hang student infographics (or teacher-supplied country information) around the classroom for the gallery walk.
  2. Divide students into groups of 3-4 and give each student the “Marketing Campaign Task #2 Worksheet.” During the gallery walk, have students take notes in the “Notes” column of the worksheet.  Ensure students are moving around the room quickly enough to see all infographics with about 10 minutes left in class.  During the last 10 minutes of class, have students complete the last column, “Region Commonalities” as a group.

Teacher hints:

  • Teacher can have students turn in their Task #2 worksheet to check students’ understanding of the “Region Commonalities” column.

 Day 5

  1. Students will return to work with their group of 3-4 from the gallery walk day. Give each student or group the “Marketing Campaign Task #3” worksheet.  Lead the class in a discussion of questions to consider for each of the cultural elements. (15 mins)

Example questions to consider:

      • Language: What language(s) will your campaign be in?
      • Religion/Beliefs: Are there any religious taboos to avoid?  Will you try to use religion to promote your product?
      • Land Use: Would your product be useful for any of the common land use types?  Are there any land use issues that could be solved by your product?  Are there any landmarks or landscapes that you would use as a visual part of your campaign?  Do the values of their land use align with the values of your product? (i.e. protecting the rainforest and being a “green” product)
      • Education: How will the education levels of Sub-Saharan Africa affect your campaign?  How many people are literate and would be able to read an advertisement?  Does the education of people in Sub-Saharan Africa affect the language(s) they speak?  Would their education affect the usefulness of your product?  How do education levels affect the level of development of this region and its consumers?
      • Customs: Are there any customs that would be enhanced by the use of your product?  Could you use any of the customs to sell your product?  Are there any taboos that you should avoid?  Are there any actions that must be made in order to be considered polite?
      • Institutions: Are there any institutions that consumers hold in great esteem that you could use in your advertisement?  Are there any you should avoid? Could you collaborate with an institution to advertise?
      • Technologies: What media will your campaign use?  Newspaper, tv, internet, billboards, social media, etc.?  Does this region have the infrastructure to support the media you are selecting? Are there any technology trends in this region that you could utilize in your advertisement?
  1. Once students have brainstormed questions to consider for their marketing campaign, students should work in a group to develop a marketing campaign for their new product. (40 mins)

Note: Students will NOT actually be creating the campaign (i.e. commercial, billboard, etc.); rather, they are only developing the pitch to be presented to the class the following day.

Teacher hints:

  • Teachers have the option of assigning students to a product, or the teacher can allow each group to come up with their own product. Possible product list:
    • Shampoo
    • Soft drink
    • Tennis shoes
    • Furniture
    • Refrigerator
    • Cell phone
    • Restaurant
  • Teachers should show students the “Marketing Campaign Rubric” so students know how their campaign will be evaluated.  Stress to students that their campaign should be as detailed as possible and demonstrate that they understand how the cultural elements of the region affected their decisions in the marketing campaign.
  • Teacher should circulate around the classroom and check for understanding while students are working in groups to make sure that they are making strong geographic connections with the marketing campaign.



Day 6

Answering Geographic Questions: (55mins)

  1. Students will present their campaign as a group to the class. Each group should take no more than 4 minutes for the pitch.  (40 mins) After group presentations, have students complete the following two tasks for their “exit ticket.” (15 mins) Teacher can use the “Exit Ticket Rubric” to evaluate student responses.
  • Describe the cultural patterns that make Sub-Saharan Africa a distinctive region. (paragraph)
  • Create a Venn Diagram comparing the cultural patterns of Sub-Saharan Africa and Southwest Asia-North Africa.

Teacher hints:

  • If Southwest Asia-North Africa has not been covered in class before this lesson, choose the previous region taught in class.



  • Preview Vocabulary List: Marketing Campaign Preview Vocabulary
  • Focused organizer for research: Marketing Campaign Task #1: Focused
  • Increase number of requirements on Infographic (see "Extension" Section for ideas).
  • Teacher could create an infographic template that students simply need to edit to fit their country.
  • ProQuest® Culturegrams has the ability to differentiate in a few different ways:
  • Reading level: World Edition has more information and a more advanced reading level, while Kids Edition has more condensed information and a lower reading level.
  • Auditory learners: There is an option to listen to the information being displayed on the screen.
  • ELL learners: There is the ability to translate the information. (There is a disclaimer that the translation is for convenience only, but this could still be a useful tool.)
  • Shortened assignment: Teacher could provide a printout of the Infographic: Average Person and have the student supplement by creating an infographic with only the missing pieces of information.
  • Give students the list of questions to consider for marketing campaign: Marketing Campaign Questions to Consider
  • Provide students with a list of cultural characteristics from Southwest Asia-North Africa (or the previous unit) to be used in the creation of the “exit ticket” Venn Diagram.
  • Frequent checks for understanding.



Teachers can grade the infographic that students created. Teachers can use the last column of the “Marketing Campaign Task #2” worksheet to check for understanding as the students develop their knowledge and comprehension of Sub-Saharan Africa as a region. Teachers will use the “Marketing Campaign Rubric” to evaluate each group’s marketing campaign.  For a final individual evaluation, the teacher will use the “exit ticket” from Day 6; teachers will use the “Exit Ticket” Rubric.



If desired, this lesson could be modified to cover the entirety of human geography in Sub-Saharan Africa. Economic, population, and political geography lessons could be included during the course of the lesson, and the country infographic requirements could be expanded to include these topics.  Students could then be expected to consider this information when developing and presenting their market pitch.  If extending this lesson to include the whole of human geography, it would be best if students chose the product they are going to sell as this would require them to consider these topics in a deeper way.

  • Population geography:

Infographic: include information such as a population pyramid, population distribution map, and demographic indicators (gross domestic product per capita, life expectancy, literacy, and infant mortality).

Campaign considerations: How will the standard of living affect the consumers’ ability to purchase your product?  Will the dependency ratio affect the product you use?  (More information about dependency ratios can be found at https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/field/dependency-ratios/ .)  Is the population composition mostly young, middle age, or old?  Which of these groups should you target with your advertisements?  Will the population distribution affect where you advertise?


  • Economic geography:

Infographic: Include information such as type of economic system, subsistence/commercial agriculture, cottage/commercial industries, level of development, types of economic activities (primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary)

Campaign considerations: How does the type of economic systems affect how you will advertise?  How does the level of development and predominate economic activities affect the types of products someone is likely to be able to afford in this region?  Are there any products that could be useful in the types of economic activities occurring in this region?  Would it be possible to manufacture your product in this region and would that help increase your company’s profit?


  • Political geography:

Infographic: Include information such as government type.

Campaign considerations: Are there countries in which the government type will provide more access or present a barrier to the marketing of your product?  How will you take advantage of the access and/or handle the potential barriers?