Thursday Tales: Seeds of Change Book Giveaway Contest
May 20, 2010 in Art activities, Books with Science Content, Books with Science Content, Elementary Educators, Johnson Jen Cullerton, Making Personal Connections, multicultural books, Picture Book, Research Ideas Tags: biography picture book, Jen Cullteron Johnson, Kenya, Nobel Peace Prize, nonfiction book, Seeds of Change, Sonia Lynn Sadler, Wangari Maathai
Seeds of Change written by Jen Cullerton Johnson and illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler is a terrific and beautiful biography picture book about Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmentalist Wangari Maathai. I am giving away one copy of this book that I received from Lee and Low for review. Simply leave a comment or question below by Monday, May 24 10:00 a.m. CST to be entered into the contest. One winner will be chosen from the comments.
*Picture book, nonfiction biography
*Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan female scientist, is the subject
*Rating: Seeds of Change is interesting and inspirational, and the illustrations are marvelous. Both kids and adults will love this book.
Short, short summary: From the time Wangari was young and living in Kenya, her mother taught her to respect the earth, especially the mugumo tree. Wangari had a dream to go to school even though many young Kenyan girls were not educated. Her parents decided to send her to school, and she worked very hard. She went on to high school in Nairobi and then onto college in Kansas to study science. Then she returned home to Kenya to teach and inspire women to follow their dreams. While home, she realized that her government was selling more and more land to companies that were cutting down forests. She started the Green Belt Movement, encouraging women to plant trees to replace the ones being cut down. Thirty million trees were planted, but wealthy businessmen were upset, and they had Wangari arrested and thrown in jail. In jail, Wangari met other women who were being imprisoned for false crimes. When released from prison, she went into the world again to share a message about women’s rights. And she continued to plant trees.
So, what do I do with this book?
1. Plant trees with your students. You can ask your school (or if you home school you can do this at home) where you could plant a tree and maybe dedicate it to the Green Belt Movement started by Wangari. This is a great spring activity, especially around Arbor Day or Earth Day.
2. Ask children to talk about how trees are important in their own lives. Even a child that lives in a city or suburb, sees trees in the park or in their yard. What do trees do (besides give us oxygen)? They may give birds and squirrels a place to live, provide shade for the yard so children can play in the summer time without becoming too hot, or if it’s a fruit tree–provide food. Ask students to write a journal entry, poem, or draw a picture about the importance of trees in their own lives. This will help them relate to how Wangari was feeling when she went home and saw many of the trees being cut down.
3. Not only is this book about an environmentalist, but it’s also about a girl who worked hard and followed her dreams. Wangari shows that anything is possible with determination and spirit. Talk to your students or children about their dreams–some may have dreams such as becoming a doctor; some may want to help feed hungry people that they’ve read about; others may want to become a teacher or truck driver. It doesn’t matter what their dreams are–just let them talk about it. And then ask them to draw a picture of themselves fulfilling their dreams. Older children can write a paragraph to go with their pictures.
Don’t forget to leave a comment or question for a chance to win this incredible book, Seeds of Change.