Wangari’s Trees of Peace
By Jeanette Winter
Nonfiction picture book
Based on the true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, this simply worded picture book tells of the power of one woman who made a difference in the environment of her nativeKenya. After returning home from studying in theUnited States, she sees now barren land where trees were cut to make room for new buildings. Starting with nine seedlings, she encourages the women throughout the villages and they in turn plant more trees, until the land is barren no more.
“Wangari thinks about the barren land. I can begin to replace some of the lost trees here in my own backyard—one tree at a time. She starts by planting nine seedlings.”
Ask the students if they’ve heard about global warming. Discuss greenhouse gases and why and how they warm the earth.
Explain that these greenhouse gases trap energy in the atmosphere and make the Earth warmer.
Discuss climate changes that are taking place and the impact it can have on habitats. Examples might include rising sea levels, loss of ice in Antarctica and the Arctic, or climate change might have effects on crops that can grow.
Use the book to define reforestation and discuss how replenishing trees can reduce global warming. how we can help.
Take this global warming quiz.
Define reforestation. Review photosynthesis and remind the students about the use of carbon dioxide by plants to make energy in the form of food. Then define the greenhouse effect and discuss how reforestation like that shown in the book can help restore balance to the natural system.
Reforestation is the restocking of existing forests and woodlands which have been depleted, with native tree stock.
Greenhouse effect is the rise in temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere due to certain gases trapping the sun’s energy. These atmospheric gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane. We need them to keep all the Earth’s heat from escaping, because we need some heat. They are called greenhouse gases because of how they keep the world warm.
Global warming is the average increase of the Earth’s temperature due to the addition of more green house gases. These additional gases can cause a change in the climate
Photosynthesis is the process where green plants make carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water using light as the source of energy, and release oxygen as a waste by-product.
Another book about saving a tree is The Tree, by Dana Lyons.