Wangari Maathai Lesson Plan

Multimedia Curated Teacher Resource. Includes Discussion Questions and Learning Outcomes.

Wangari Maathai Lesson Plan
Credit: Kingkongphoto | www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel MD, USA

Lesson Plan Description 

Students will watch films, analyze a piece of art and/or read an essay about Wangari Maathai, Nobel Laureate and environmental activist. Students will use the questions provided to engage in class discussions or individual writing assignments. 


Films celebrating Wangari Maathai

NOBELITY: Wangari Maathai [Excerpt]

Produced by:Turk Pipkin

An Excerpt from the Feature Doc "Nobelity" produced by Turk Pipkin. (7:08 minutes running 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 running 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.

Story about Wangari Maathai in English, Spanish and French

Wangari Maathai

By: Heidi Antocicco
Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement that plants trees to help restore the desolate ecosystem in Africa.

Wangari Maathai (español)

By: Heidi Antocicco <br>Escritora de la revista Héroe

Wangari Maathai (French)

By: Heidi Antocicco

Excerpt from the MY HERO book 

Wangari Maathai

By: Frances Moore Lappe

Excerpt from The MY HERO book a chapter written by Francis Moore Lappé on Wangari Maathai.

From the Gallery- Art Miles Mural Project Inspires Wangari Tributes

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

High School Student Portrait of Wangari Maathai.

Wangari Maathai by Guinevere D from Henrietta, NY

By: Guinevere Devlin

Portrait of Kenyan environmental and women's activist Wangari Maathai

Discussion Questions (To be used for class discussions or individual student writing assignments.)

1. After watching either the Wangari Maathai Tribute or NOBELITY: Wangari Maathai [Excerpt] film, students watch Hummingbird [excerpt from dirt! THE MOVIE]. How does the Hummingbird represent Wangari Maathai and her fight against deforestation? 

2. After reading the excerpt about Wangari Maathai from the MY HERO book, or watching one of the films about her, students analyze the Art Miles Mural Project that Celebrates Wangari Maathai. 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? 

3. How does Wangari Maathai demonstrate that one person can make a difference?

4. Do you know of an individual making a difference in your community? Share his or her story with MY HERO.


Students will deepen their awareness how one person can make a difference. Students will develop higher level learning skills as they compare written word, films and art.  


Laura Nietzer

The Wanagari Maathai lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

Related Links

Film from Young Voices for the Planet about a Felix from Germany who was inspired by Wangari Maathai.

Young Voices for the Planet: Watch this film about Felix from Germany, who was inspired by Wangari Maathai, and hopes to plant 1 million trees. (running time 5 min)

Plant for the Planet
Credit: Wikimedia

The Greenbelt Movement has planted over 30 millions trees in Kenya and serves as a model program for the rest of the world.

Wangari Maathai - GreenbeltMovement.org
Credit: greenbeltmovement.org

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

Students can share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program

Organizer created on 3/29/2019 10:43:03 AM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 3/29/2022 9:41:19 AM by Laura Nietzer