Talking Drums

Did you know that some African tribes used drums a lot like people today use telephones? These drums were called "talking drums." People in small villages used the drums to "talk" to one another. Talking drums could be heard from many miles. By hitting a drum in a certain way, the drummer made sounds like the ones used in his language. Hearing the drum was like hearing someone speak! A drummer could "call" a friend, give commands, or send important messages. Talking drums came in many shapes and sizes. One type of drum was wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. It could be hit at both ends. Another type was made from a hollowed-out log. Hitting the different parts of the log made different sounds. Another talking drum looked like an hourglass. Strings stretched from the top to the bottom of this drum. To change the sound, the drummer pressed down on the strings.

More Than Just a Snack
Have you ever tasted the "nutty" flavor of peanuts? In spite of their name, peanuts are not nuts. They are more closely related to peas. Peanuts grow inside pods, just like peas do. Unlike peas, though, they grow below the ground. Peanuts can be eaten alone. They can also be mixed into other foods. They are often used to make cookies, bread, and other baked goods. Peanuts are used to make peanut butter and peanut oil, too. Peanuts are a good source of energy. But they are more than just a healthy snack. They are used for making soap, shampoo, paint, and other items. In fact, an American scientist named George Washington Carver found over three hundred uses for the peanut plant! The next time you see peanuts, think of the many ways they are used to help people. Theer is more inside a peanut shell than just a tasty snack!

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