Another focus the challenge was to introduce students to the work of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace prize. She started the Green Belt movement, replanting the trees of Kenya and supporting women’s rights. Her story is motivating and powerful and thankfully, there are quite a few children’s books that do an excellent job of sharing her story. Hopefully you have one of more of these titles in your schools already, but if not, thanks to YouTube, we have a few read aloud for us. I would still encourage purchasing the books for your classroom and/or school libraries, but for the sake of this week, check out the videos. My favorite clip is the Hummingbird Parable. If nothing else, I would share this clip with my students and share Wangari’s story. Then have a follow-up discussion on how they can be hummingbirds every single day. Below you will find the list of resources I’ve compiled and a few quick extension ideas for free writes or even just discussion. I hope that you take a few minutes to explore them and squeeze even just a little bit of this powerful story into your classroom this week. You, too can be a hummingbird and teach what counts.
- Hummingbird Parable Clip (embedded below) 2 minute clip
- Read Aloud Video of Wangari’s Trees of Peace (5 minute clip)
If you have time to go deeper with the text, Wangari’s Trees of Peace, check out this comprehensive Lesson Plan (designed for K) that has great discussion questions and more.
- Read Aloud of Kid-Created Book: Great intro video for kids, by kids. Explains her life and work in a kid-friendly way.
Seeds of Change by Jen Cullerton Johnson (Grades 3 and up)
Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire A. Nivola (Grades K & up)
- Video of Book Read Aloud (6 minutes 15 sec.)
Mama Miti by by Donna Jo Napoli and Kadir Nelson
Cause & Effect Lesson Plan & Additional Videos Resources
Writing Prompt Extension Ideas:
Wangari Maathai’s dream was to replant the trees of Kenya. What is one dream you have for your neighborhood, school, town or planet? Brainstorm some ways you can make a difference. Write about it or draw a picture.
Can you brainstorm an invention that would help solve an environmental problem? Think of a problem you see at school (ex. Styrofoam trays in the cafeteria), at home (your parents plastic coffee cups or k-cups) or in your neighborhood or even on our planet ? Do some planning then draw a diagram or sketch a picture and tell us about it!
Other Great Earth Day/ Tree Themed Books