Wangari Maathai The Leopard Who won the nobel Peace Prize

This learning block represents one week’s work. Aim to watch at least one video and choose at least one activity or project to complete.

There are two videos to choose from about Wangari Maathai. Her first name means “leopard” and she was a fighter. The first is suitable for younger kids, and the second will appear to older students. Watch one or both!

Choose an activity

Plant a Native Tree

Wangari Maathai made a HUGE impact on reforestation in Kenya by asking women to gather seeds from native trees and plant them. You can do the same in your part of the world. This video will show you how to plant native trees from seed.

NATIVE TREES are trees that grow naturally in your area, rather than species that have been brought from somewhere else. They are the best ones to plant because they are most helpful to native insects and other animals. A great way to find native tree seeds is to visit a local wooded area for a nature walk and collect a few! Sometimes, the trees in yards and gardens will not be native species, but you can use them in a pinch.

Ask your grownup about taking a nature walk to collect some tree seeds! If you need help identifying trees, try using the free PlantSnap app. Then watch the video to learn how to plant them.

You will need:
– tree seeds from your area
– paper egg carton
– potting soil
– plastic baggie
– leak-proof tray

Don’t forget to water your seeds when the soil gets dry. Once you have saplings, snap a photo for your portfolio! You can bring your saplings back to the area you found the seeds and plant them there, or find a home for them in your own backyard!

Make a “Hummingbird List”

In this video clip from Dirt! The Movie, Wangari Maathai tells the story of the hummingbird who works to put out a raging forest fire. First, watch the video.

Now, ask yourself:
– How does this story make you feel?
– When you think about all of the problems facing the Earth right now (climate change, extinctions, deforestation, etc.), do you feel hopeless? Worried? Do you feel motivated to help?

One of the best ways to manage feeling worried about the environment is by finding small ways to help. See if you can think of 5 to 10 things YOU could do to make a tiny difference for the Earth. This will be your Hummingbird List! (If you get stuck, this list has some great ideas!) Now, choose just ONE thing from your Hummingbird List to focus on this week. You may want to write it on a sticky note or make a poster to put up somewhere that you will see it every day.

Don’t forget to add your Hummingbird List to your portfolio. Add a photo of your poster or sticky note. Even better, take a picture of yourself DOING something from your list!

watch the Film Taking Root

The video below is the trailer for the film Taking Root, about Wangari Maathai and The Green Belt Movement. To find the full film, visit the Taking Root Website, where it is linked to watch on  Vimeo, free.

Books About Wangari Maathai


Click on the books below to buy them from Amazon. Or, you can ask for them at your local library!

seeds of change Read Aloud

Wangari’s trees of peace Read Aloud 

NOw Let’s Have some fun!