Wangari Maathai: Founder of the Green Belt Movement and Environmental Hero from Kenya

30-minute lesson plan honoring Wangari Maathai using MY HERO multimedia resources. Discussion questions are included. 

Wangari Maathai 30 minute lesson
Credit: MY HERO

NOBELITY: Wangari Maathai [Excerpt]

Produced by:Turk Pipkin

An Excerpt from the Feature Doc "Nobelity" produced by Turk Pipkin. (7 minutes run time)

Wangari Maathai Tribute Film

Produced by:Collaborative Partnership on Forests

To commemorate and honor the life and work of Professor Wangari Maathai. (6:51 minutes run time)

Hummingbird [excerpt from dirt! THE MOVIE]

Produced by:Bill Benenson, Gene Rosow, & Eleonore Dailly

Wangari Maathai shares a simple story to illustrate a powerful point. (2:00 minutes run time)

Film Discussion Questions:

1. How has the Green Belt Movement transformed the Kenyan landscape? 

2. How did the planting of trees and the Green Belt Movement empower women?

3. Wangari Maathai believes that people themselves need to be engaged and change their habits in order to create positive change. Do you agree? Why or why not?

4. How does the planting of trees help the climate?

5. How does the Hummingbird represent Wangari Maathai and her fight against deforestation? 


To extend this lesson and learn more about Wangari Maathai, watch this film, which came in first place in the student category at the MY HERO International Film Festival, created by high school student Will Levitt.


Wangari Maathai

Produced by:Will Levitt

Wangari Maathai works to save the earth through awareness and celebration. (9:45 minutes run time)

How does this mural represent the story of the Greenbelt Movement and how Wangari Maathai's efforts changed the direction of Kenya's deforestation and empowered women? 

Art Miles Mural Project is a My Hero partner for the HERO MILE. This is one of the murals included.

Art Miles Mural Project Celebrates Wangari Maathai
Credit: Linda Gallagher

Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement

By: The Art Miles Mural Project
The Art Miles Mural and My Hero partner on the HERO MILE

Wangari Maathai by Guinevere D from Henrietta, NY

By: Guinevere Devlin
Portrait of Kenyan environmental and women's activist Wangari Maathai

Students read the story written by Heidi Antocicco to learn why Wangari Maathai is Heidi's hero. This story has text with audio, allowing students to listen as they read along. 

Wangari Maathai

By: Heidi Antocicco

This story has text and audio allowing students to listen as they read along. 

Discussion Questions:

1. How does Wangari Maathai demonstrate that one person can make a positive difference in the world?

2. How did the Green Belt Movement empower women?

3. How does Wangari Maathai demonstrate courage and determination?

Heroes writing about the heroes who inspire them. 

Heroic Women

By: Wangari Maathai

Excerpt from The MY HERO book a chapter written by Wangari Maathai about the heroic women who have inspired her.

Wangari Maathai

By: Frances Moore Lappe

Excerpt from The MY HERO book: a chapter written by Francis Moore Lappé, author of “Diet for a Small Planet,” and winner of the MY HERO Global Educator Award, about her hero Wangari Maathai.

For additional information on the Green Belt Movement.

Green Belt Movement
Credit: Green Belt Movement

Who is your hero? Students are invited to submit their own stories, art and short films honoring their heroes or sign our Guestbook. 

Sing Our Guestbook
Credit: MY HERO

How to use MY HERO's Create Program to Publish Stories, Art, Film and Audio for Students

Tutorial for students: Publish written stories, film, original artwork and audio in MY HERO's multimedia library.

Create Program
Credit: MY HERO

Additional resources for students who would like to learn more about Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement. 

Wangari Maathai Lesson Plan and Resources
Credit: MY HERO

Organizer created on 3/28/2022 1:02:04 PM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 3/30/2022 11:30:50 AM by Laura Nietzer