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Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya

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In Lessons 2-4, students added ideas to the Reasons to Plant a Tree anchor chart during the focused read-aloud of A Tree Is Nice . In this lesson, they use the anchor chart during the Matching Opinions with Reasons game. Invite the reasons to move and stand next to a place that makes sense ("have trunks and limbs to climb" makes sense with "playground" but not "beach"; however, "makes shade" is a reason that could go with either place, and that's okay!). Transition students to their workspaces and invite them to begin watercoloring using the same routine from Work Time B of Lesson 5:

Mama Miti | Book by Donna Jo Napoli, Kadir Nelson | Official Mama Miti | Book by Donna Jo Napoli, Kadir Nelson | Official

From the title and picture on the cover, what do you think this book will be about?" (Responses will vary, but may include: a woman who plants trees.)Illustration from Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton and Brooke Boynton-Hughes Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton and illustrated by Brooke Boynton-Hughes Maathai was the first woman in east and central Africa to obtain a PhD. She was also the first woman professor the University of Nairobi, where she taught veterinary medicine and eventually became head of the faculty.

Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya

After reading the stories, talk about cause and effect. Have the students make a chart and fill in the missing causes and effects. Another option is to have them cut apart and then match the causes and effects. Here are some you may include: Cause:For ELLs (Recalling the Language Dive): Review the Language Dive sentence from A Tree Is Nice in Lesson 2 to reinforce the concept of pairing an opinion with a reason. One early action was a protest against the development of a business centre at a central forest and park in Nairobi. As a symbol of defiance they marched to the park with thousands of trees and occupied the park. She also raised the issue with international media and created a lot of attention and consequently, pressure. While serving on the National Council of Women of Kenya, she became dedicated to helping with the struggles of women in rural Kenya. Noticing how the rapid environmental degradation was affecting women's lives, she encouraged them to plant trees to ensure future supplies of firewood and to protect water sources and crops. To that end, she founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, which led to the planting of more than thirty million trees.

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