Topic: the environment
Children will read the story Planting the trees of Kenya.
Children will discuss how Wangari promoted women’s rights and planted trees to preserve the land.
Children will brainstorm how they can support and help the environment.
The Cover: Have students predict what the text is
about based on the title and front cover illustrations.
Have them make predictions about the text’s genre
and the author’s purpose. Who is Wangari Maathai?
The Pictures: Flip through the pages in the text. Ask
your students what they notice about the illustrations.
How does the land change throughout the book?
What effect might that have on the people of Kenya?
Prior Knowledge: Find out what your students know
about Kenya. Show them Kenya on a map and point out
its proximity to the equator. Explain that the climate
tends to be wet and hot—ideal for growing many
plants. Compare your area’s climate with that of Kenya.
Vocabulary: sacred, homestead, plantation, export, silt
Purpose for Reading: Choose the purpose that best
fits your class: “Let’s read today to find out how the
choices people make can affect their environment.”
“As we read, think about how the people of Kenya
found themselves growing poorer even though they
were working the same land they always had.” “As
we learn about Wangari Maathai, think about the
difference just one person can make.”
Discuss the following questions
What caused the changes in Kenya while Wangari was away at college?
What effect would the changes in the land have on the animals?
How would this affect the people?
How do you think Wangari felt when she returned
What does Wangari mean when she says that
good soldiers should have guns in their right hands
and trees in their left?
What would have happened if Wangari hadn’t
come back to Kenya?
Think Pair Share :Discuss how we have lost respect for the environment
Brainstorm: ideas how we improve the environmet.
create a list in groups of what we can do in order to be proactive and help the environment.
discuss brainstorm and lists of ideas
Recap on the story.
Could do a follow up lesson following through on some of the childrens ideas from their brainstorm .
Other Resources for teaching this topic
you could look at the green belt movement website during a follow up lesson.