STUDENTS & PARENTS: These videos offer intimate glimpses into the daily lives of rural students, the first in their Senegalese (West Africa0 villages to attend school. They share their thoughts and their dreams for the future. They are speaking French, their third language. (English subtitles). Conversation prompts  are below. 

Selections from these short students stories were made into a  documentary short film — nominated for the 2011 Student Academy Awards. This, in turn, inspired the internationally-acclaimed feature film  TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE . The feature film comes with free educational materials to support Grade 8-12 standards correlated curricula and guided discussions for community groups and universities. (Spoken language Pulaar with English subtitles). 

TEACHERS:  These short 1 minute video stories, written, narrated, and filmed by Senegalese students — the first in their villages to attend school– provides a unique opportunity to explore real world issues.  (Spoken language French with English subtitles). These are young voices that represent some of the 85% of the world’s population living in the developing world.  Understanding other perspectives and cultures is a critical curriculum competency standard. Writing prompts below. 


  • What surprised you about the stories?
  • How is your life different from these lives of the students?
  • What else do you want to know after viewing one of these videos?
  • The students worked in teams to make the videos. What other examples of teamwork do you see when you watch the stories?
  • Take one thing you learned about Senegalese village life and compare and contrast it with your own life. What story might you tell to “answer” the story told in a Senegalese video?
  • How do your responsibilities at home or school compare to those of these Senegalese students?
  • Write a one-line movie tagline, or slogan, for each of the video stories here Make them catchy so that others will want to see the videos, too.
  • Many students in these videos talked about what they’d like to do change in their villages. If you could change one thing about your community, what would it be? What changes do you hope to see in your hometown 10 years from now? What changes do you hope to see in your country 10 years from now?
  • These stories were filmed in the village of Sinthiou Mbadane Senegal.  Where’s that? Geographically how does it compare to where you live?
  • Which one video spoke more directly to you? Why?