Morocco Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Claire DeSaussure

Claire has worked in behavioral programs at the Elementary Level and has an MLS with a focus on Creative Writing.

Morocco is a country in Northwest Africa. The only African country that sits on both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, its culture has been shaped by both Africa and Europe.

Where is Morocco?

Morocco is at the northwest tip of Africa, separated from Spain and the rest of Europe by only a narrow channel of water called the Strait of Gibraltar. The strait connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. Morocco is bordered on the east by the country of Algeria, and to the south by Western Sahara, which is not really a country itself but which Morocco has been trying to control since 1975.

Map of Morocco
Morocco

History

Over the centuries, lots of people have tried to rule Morocco. If you take a look at the map you'll get an idea of why Morocco was influenced by Europe - it was easy for the Europeans to travel there.

Morocco's original inhabitants were various groups of native people that eventually came to be called the Berbers. When European countries like France and Spain discovered the area, they found that Morocco had natural resources like like iron ore and phosphate. Iron ore is used to make metals and phosphate is used in fertilizer. Since these European countries wanted to have control of these resources, they decided to try and take control of the country. In the 1800's and 1900's, both Spain and France each took over the country by force - this is known as imperialism.

Today, Morocco is an independent nation, but the cities of Melilla and Ceuta that you can see at the very top of the map are still ruled by Spain today. Morocco has a king, but it also has a prime minister and parliament that help make the rules.

Geography

The capital city of Morocco is Rabat, located on the northwestern shore. Although Morocco is famously home to parts of the Sahara Desert, the country also has mountains and rich soils. The Moroccans grow wheat, barley and grapes and produce enough citrus fruits such as tangerines, that they are able to export them to other countries. Morocco is home to the Atlas Mountains where forests full of pine and juniper trees grow.

The Sahara Desert is the largest desert on earth, and some of it lies in Morocco. People in Morocco used to use camels to transport goods and people across the desert. Camels don't mind the hot temperatures, they don't need to drink very often, and their feet stop them from sinking into the sand. Many tourists who visit Morocco look forward to a camel ride through the desert.

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