Maasai and I – an Introduction

An IST Grade 2 tradition, the ever popular and exciting Maasai and I Unit of Inquiry has arrived! Students will be learning about and helping to define “culture” during this unit of study.

As modern day anthropologists, students will investigate and document the IST Elementary campus culture to preserve it for future generations in order to understand what life was like in the year 2010. Students will also study about traditional and modern day Maasai and other local cultures of Tanzania. We will compare and contrast the information we gather about cultures and report our findings.

Our PYP Theme:
Who We Are – An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Our Central Idea:
We can find similarities and differences among cultures.

Our Key Concepts:
Form – What does culture look like, what does it involve/include?
Causation – Why are certain cultures the way they are?
Connection – What connects all cultures and what are these commonalities as well as differences?

We invite you to participate in this unit of inquiry. As students learn more about the culture of IST, students will also do some self-exploration into their own personal/family culture. We will also be looking at what it means to be a “Third-Culture Kid” – to say you are from a certain country or area of the world but possibly never having been there or knowing little to nothing of your ‘home culture’. We invite you to take an active role in learning with us about our own culture(s) and exploring the diverse cultures of Tanzania. We welcome any artifacts of Tanzanian culture that could be displayed in our room during this 6 week unit. Please attach your name to the back of the item. It will be treated with the utmost respect, but please do not send anything in that is irreplaceable. Contact your homeroom teacher if you would like to contribute to this unit in any other way. Asante Sana!!!

Maasai image by S. Zabury from


3 Responses to Maasai and I – an Introduction

  1. aliyah says:

    Dear Mr. McKillip,

    I love grade 2 so much and I really want to learn about Maasai!

  2. Emylou says:

    This is awesome. As a TCK who used to live in Kenya. I think this is great!

  3. Rosemary Jairo says:

    This is an interesting topic. I would recommend the following since you are talking about Rights and Responsibilities. Kindly write to the Executive Secretary of the Commission For Human Rights and Good Governce to request for a Commissioner to come and speak with Children at your school or even grade 2 visit the Commission where there is also also a desk which handles child complains. The Commisson is an independent Goverment deparment established by the constitution of the United Republic oof Tanzania to Promote ,protect and preserve human Rights and Good Governance in Tanzania. Since human rights are universal it will be beneficial to all. use this email you can also visit our website on
    On culture ask Berth to explain to you her Nyiramba culture, she knows a few words she can sing and dance. We visited her village this Christimas which is Kinambeu Village, Iramba West District, Singida Region.

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