World History


Sahara Desert

Red Sea

the long narrow sea that separates Africa from the Arabian Peninsula. According to the Bible, Moses parted the Red Sea while leading the Hebrews out of Egypt.

North Africa

the area of Africa that includes the Sahara Desert and lands lying to the north of the desert, including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt.

Atlas Mountains

a mountain range in northern Africa between the Mediterranean and the Sahara Desert, extending from southwestern Morocco to northern Tunisia.


A country of northwest Africa on the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The capital city is Rabat and the largest city is Casablanca.


a country of northwest Africa bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. Its capital city is Algiers.


a country of northern Africa bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. Its capital city is Tunis.

Sub-Saharan Africa

the area of Africa that lies south of the Sahara Desert.

The Sahara Desert is about the size of the United States, which makes it the largest dry desert in the world. It extends from the Atlantic Ocean on the west to the Red Sea on the east, and it is still expanding to the south. The Sahara separates North Africa from sub-Saharan Africa. North Africa borders the Mediterranean Sea and includes the Sahara and lands lying to the north of the desert including the Atlas Mountains and the modern countries of Morocco, AlgeriaTunisia, Libya, and Egypt.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the land that lies south of the desert. It has sometimes been called “black Africa” because people living there have darker skins than North Africans. Dark skin appears to be an adaptation to climate. People living in the tropics need more skin pigment to protect them from intense rays of the sun, while people living closer to the earth’s poles have paler skins to absorb more sunlight. People with black skins also live near the equator in India and Australia. It’s been estimated that it took roughly 20,000 years for skin color to change from black to white as humans spread north out of Africa.

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.