English Lesson on Wangari Maathai

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THE LESSON ON WANGARI MAATHAI

Try the online quiz, reading, listening, and activities on grammar, spelling and vocabulary for this lesson on Wangari Maathai. Click on the links above or see the activities below this article:


READ

Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai was born in 1940 in a village in Kenya. In 2004, she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The judges valued "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace”. She was also a member of Kenya’s Parliament. She served as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources between 2003 and 2005.

Maathai left Kenya after high school to study biology in the USA. She got both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and returned to Kenya. She became the first Kenyan woman to earn a Ph.D. In 1971, she became a professor at the University of Nairobi. In 2002, Maathai accepted a position at Yale University's Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry.

Her environmental roots were planted in 1977. She founded the Green Belt Movement, a non-governmental organization whose mission was to plant trees across Kenya to prevent soil erosion. It has planted over 40 million trees to date and earned her the nickname of "The Tree Mother of Africa." This experience sparked her keen interest in protecting the environment and saving the planet.

Dr. Maathai became more involved in environmental and women's issues. Her politician husband divorced her because of this. He said she was too strong-minded for a woman. Amazingly, the divorce judge agreed and jailed her! Dr. Maathai was a member of the Nobel Women's Initiative and campaigned globally for peace with justice and equality. She died of cancer aged 71 on September 26, 2011.

Sources: http://www.wikipedia.org/ and assorted biographies.

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SYNONYM MATCH

Match the words from the article on the left with their synonyms on the right. Are your answers the same as other students’?

Paragraphs 1 and 2

 

 

1.

receive

a.

went back

2

development

b.

job

3.

served

c.

took

4.

returned

d.

get

5.

accepted

e.

progress

6.

position

f.

worked

Paragraphs 3 and 4

 

 

7.

mission

g.

started

8.

to date

h.

imprisoned

9.

sparked

i.

aim

10.

involved in

j.

fought

11

jailed

k

until now

12

campaigned

l

connected with

PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

1.

the first African woman to receive

a.

to sustainable development

2

The judges valued her contribution

b.

her keen interest

3.

Maathai left Kenya after high school

c.

earn a Ph.D.

4.

She got both her Bachelor’s

d.

to study biology

5.

the first Kenyan woman to

e.

to prevent soil erosion

6.

Her environmental roots

f.

the Nobel Peace Prize

7.

plant trees across Kenya

g.

cancer aged 71

8.

This experience sparked

h.

and Master’s degrees

9.

He said she was too

i.

were planted in 1977

10.

She died of

j.

strong-minded for a woman

LISTENING GAP FILL

Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai _________________ in a village in Kenya. In 2004, _________________ African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The judges valued "her contribution _________________ development, democracy and peace”. She was also a member of Kenya’s Parliament. _________________ Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources between 2003 and 2005.

Maathai left Kenya after high school _________________ the USA. She got both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and returned to Kenya. She became the first Kenyan woman _________________. In 1971, she became a professor at the University of Nairobi. In 2002, Maathai _________________ at Yale University's Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry.

Her environmental _________________ 1977. She founded the Green Belt Movement, a non-governmental organization _________________ to plant trees across Kenya to _________________. It has planted over 40 million trees to date and earned her the nickname of "The Tree Mother of Africa." This experience _________________ interest in protecting the environment and saving the planet.

Dr. Maathai became _________________ environmental and women's issues. Her politician husband divorced her _________________. He said she was too strong-minded for a woman. Amazingly, the divorce judge _________________ her! Dr. Maathai was a member of the Nobel Women's Initiative and campaigned globally for ____________________ equality. She died of cancer aged 71 on September 26, 2011.

CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

Delete the wrong word in each of the pairs of italics.

Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai was born in 1940 in a village in Kenya. In 2004, she became the fast / first African woman to receiving / receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The judges valued "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and piece / peace”. She was also a member of Kenya’s Parliament. She served / saved as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources between 2003 and 2005.

Maathai left Kenya after high school to study biologist / biology in the USA. She got both them / her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and returned to Kenya. She became the first Kenyan woman to earn / learn a Ph.D. In 1971, she became a professor at the University of Nairobi. In 2002, Maathai accepted a position of / at Yale University's Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry.

Her environmental leaves / roots were planted in 1977. She founded the Green Belt Movement, a non-governmental organization who / whose mission was to plant trees across Kenya to prevent sail / soil erosion. It has planted over 40 million trees to date and earned her the nickname of "The Tree Mother of Africa." This experience sparked her been / keen interest in protecting the environment and saving the planet.

Dr. Maathai became more / many involved in environmental and women's issues. Her politician husband divorced her because of this. He said she was too strong-minded with / for a woman. Amazingly, the divorce judge agreed and jailed / freed her! Dr. Maathai was a member of the Nobel Women's Initiative and campaigned Earth / globally for peace with justice and equality. She died of cancer aged 71 on September 26, 2011.

SPELLING

These jumbled words are from the text. Spell them correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

a gilelav in Kenya

2.

her contribution to sustainable deenvotlmep

3.

She is also a reembm of Kenya’s Parliament

4.

Natural soRrescue

Paragraph 2

5.

study logybio in the USA

6.

Bachelor’s and Master’s segdree

7.

she became a efrospsro at the University of Nairobi

8.

Maathai ctacdepe a position at Yale University

Paragraph 3

9.

Her environmental roots were ntdaple in 1977

10.

a non-governmental organization whose mioinss was to plant trees

11.

prevent soil sorneio

12.

This experience ksparde her keen interest

Paragraph 4

13.

environmental and women's ssusie

14.

He said she was too strong-nddime for a woman

15.

campaigned blalgoly for peace

16.

gmaansicp globally for peace

PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

peace”. She was also a member of Kenya’s Parliament. She served as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources between 2003 and 2005.

(    )

degrees and returned to Kenya. She became the first Kenyan woman to earn a Ph.D. In 1971, she became a professor

1  )

Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai was born in 1940 in a village in Kenya. In 2004, she became the first African woman to

(    )

equality. She died of cancer aged 71 on September 26, 2011.

(    )

campaigned globally for peace with justice and

(    )

soil erosion. It has planted over 40 million trees to date and earned her the nickname of

(    )

Dr. Maathai became more involved in environmental and women's issues. Her politician husband

(    )

"The Tree Mother of Africa." This experience sparked her keen interest in protecting the environment and saving the planet.

(    )

receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The judges valued "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and

(    )

at the University of Nairobi. In 2002, Maathai accepted a position at Yale University's Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry.

(    )

Maathai left Kenya after high school to study biology in the USA. She got both her Bachelor’s and Master’s

(    )

agreed and jailed her! Dr. Maathai was a member of the Nobel Women's Initiative and

(    )

non-governmental organization whose mission was to plant trees across Kenya to prevent

(    )

Her environmental roots were planted in 1977. She founded the Green Belt Movement, a

(    )

divorced her because of this. He said she was too strong-minded for a woman. Amazingly, the divorce judge

SCRAMBLED SENTENCES

With your partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

Peace   first   to   Nobel   the   woman   the   Prize   African   receive

2.

contribution   her   valued   judges   The   development   sustainable  to

3.

her   both   got   She   degrees   Master’s   and   Bachelor’s

4.

earn   Kenyan   became   a   woman   the   Ph.D.   to   first   She

5.

became   a   professor   at   the   University  of   Nairobi   In   1971  she

6.

planted   1977   environmental   were   in   Her   roots

7.

plant   erosion   soil   prevent   to   Kenya   across   trees

8.

planted   to   over   date   40   It   million   has   trees

9.

woman   He   said   she   was   too   strong-minded   for   a

10.

of    September    cancer    2011.    died    She    aged    71    on    26,

DISCUSSION (Write your questions)

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

What do you know about Wangari Maathai?

2.

Would you like to meet Wangari Maathai?

3.

What would you like to know about Wangari Maathai and why?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________

------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

What did you learn from this text about Wangari Maathai?

2.

What questions would you like to ask Wangari Maathai?

3.

What would her answers be to those questions?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________

THE WANGARI MAATHAI SURVEY

Write five questions about Wangari Maathai in the table. Do this in pairs/groups. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

Without your partner, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

Return to your original partner(s) and share and talk about what you found out.  Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

WRITING

Write about Wangari Maathai for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information about Wangari Maathai. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. WANGARI MAATHAI POSTER: Make a poster showing the different stages of the life of Wangari Maathai. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Wangari Maathai, her life and achievements. Write about what she did every day and what she thought about.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to a Wangari Maathai expert. Ask her/him three questions about her life. Give her/him three of your thoughts on her. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your “Wangari Maathai expert” partner(s) will try and answer your questions.

ANSWERS

SYNONYM MATCH:

Paragraphs 1 and 2

 

 

1.

receive

a.

get

2

development

b.

progress

3.

served

c.

worked

4.

returned

d.

went back

5.

accepted

e.

took

6.

position

f.

job

Paragraphs 3 and 4

 

 

7.

mission

g.

aim

8.

to date

h.

until now

9.

sparked

i.

started

10.

involved in

j.

connected with

11

jailed

k

imprisoned

12

campaigned

l

fought

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

the first African woman to receive

a.

the Nobel Peace Prize

2

The judges valued her contribution

b.

to sustainable development

3.

Maathai left Kenya after high school

c.

to study biology

4.

She got both her Bachelor’s

d.

and Master’s degrees

5.

the first Kenyan woman to

e.

earn a Ph.D.

6.

Her environmental roots

f.

were planted in 1977

7.

plant trees across Kenya

g.

to prevent soil erosion

8.

This experience sparked

h.

her keen interest

9.

He said she was too

i.

strong-minded for a woman

10.

She died of

j.

cancer aged 71

ALL OTHER EXERCISES

Check your answers in "THE READING / TAPESCRIPT" section at the top of this page.

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