Planting the trees of Kenya

Author(s): Claire A. Nivola

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3czVYI7
Indigo: https://bit.ly/2z3dmqL

Social Justice focus: Environmental degradation

Synopsis: This book highlights the destruction of the environment, that has been a repeating issue for many years. I feel like many generations can learn the lessons from this book. One current event that we can connect to this is deforestation, especially deforestation of the rainforest. The rainforest makes up 20% of the planet’s oxygen, and by cutting down the plants and trees for illegal logging, agriculture, forest fires, and oil drilling, not only the people in the Amazon suffer, but everyone globally suffers. Students can further explore this issue and how look deeper into the impacts. Additionally, we can discuss the fires in Australia and how that is impacting the lives of the people and animals in Australia.

Lesson Plan: Sarah Castelli

Primary/Junior/Intermediate Lesson Plan (Abbreviated Template)

Consecutive and Concurrent Programs

Unit/Topic: Procedural Writing

Grade: 7

Lesson: Introduction to Procedural Writing

Curriculum Areas: Literacy, Geography, Science

Curriculum Expectations:

Literacy – Writing

Overall Expectations:

1. Generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience

2.Draft and revise their writing, using a variety of informational, literary, and graphic forms and stylistic elements appropriate for the purpose and audience

Specific Expectations:

1.3Gather information to support ideas for writing, using a variety of strategies and a wide range of print and electronic resources

1.6 Determine whether the ideas and information they have gathered are relevant, appropriate, and sufficiently specific for the purpose, and do more research if necessary

2.1 Write complex texts of different lengths using a wide range of forms


Overall Expectations:

B1 By the end of Grade 7, students will B1 Application: analyse aspects of the extraction/harvesting and use of natural resources in different regions of the world and assess ways of preserving these resources (Focus On: Spatial Significance; Interrelationships)

B3 Understanding Geographic Context:

Specific Expectations:

B1.2 Analyse natural resource extraction/harvesting and use in some specific regions of the world

B1.4 Create a personal plan of action outlining how they can contribute to more sustainable natural resource extraction/harvesting and/or use

B3.2 Describe ways in which people use the natural environment, including specific elements within it, to meet their needs and wants

B3.3 Identify significant short and long-term effects of natural resource extraction/harvesting and use on people and the environment

B3.5 Describe some responses to social and/or environmental challenges arising from the use of natural resources


Overall Expectations:

2.Investigate interactions within the environment, and identify factors that affect the balance between different components of an ecosystem

3.Demonstrate an understanding of interactions between and among biotic and abiotic elements in the environment

Specific Expectations:

2.5 Use a variety of forms (e.g. oral, written, graphic, multimedia) to communicate with different audiences and for a variety of purposes

3.8 Describe ways in which human activities and technologies alter balances and interactions in the environment

Learning Goal(s):

Students will demonstrate their current knowledge of procedural writing, by writing a procedure on how to plant a seedling.

Success Criteria:

I can write a procedure for planting a seed.

I can write step-by-step in great detail.

I can communicate my thoughts and ideas throughout the lesson.


Accommodations: Student A can type out his procedure on his iPad instead of writing it out.

Modifications: Student B can write a procedure based on an example online that requires less steps.


Minutes: 10 minutes


  • Start by reading the book Planting the Trees of Kenya
  • Ask the students what is a procedure? Generate ideas on chart paper. Introduce to the students that we will be starting procedural writing. Ask students what they think they need to do when writing out a procedure.

Assessment: Assessment for learning/Conversation


Minutes: 15


  • Watch the “exact instructions challenge”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDA3_5982h8 (start at 40 seconds and end at 4:50)
  • Ask students what they noticed in the video. Ensure to inform students that they need to be as detailed as possible and that their procedure needs to be in order!
  • Introduce the task to the students. As a class, we will put ourselves in Wangari’s shoes. We have just arrived back to Kenya and noticed that the water has dried up, the trees are gone, and the people are suffering. As Wangari, we need to teach the people of Kenya the importance of taking care of the environment and sustainability. We will need to give the people of Kenya step-by-step instructions on how to properly plant a seed. *This can be done in 2 ways depending on your class. Option 1: You can demonstrate to students how to plant the seedling and they can follow along and then write the procedure afterwards. Option 2: Similar to the exact instructions challenge, students can give you the next step and you can perform what they tell you to do, and then write out the procedure for you afterwards. Option 3: Have students write out a procedure for planting a seed in a cup. Students can swap their procedures and do the “exact instruction challenge” and plant each others’s seed using their instructions.
  • After planting the seedlings, students will have to write out their procedure for how they did it.


  • Assessment as Learning/Observation/Conversation/Anecdotal Record


Minutes: 5


  • To consolidate, as students to reflect on something that they do on a daily basis or something that they enjoy doing (making cookies, building lego, etc.) and ask them to bring an idea for the next day so they can begin their next procedural writing task.
  • Exit Ticket: ask students to write on a sticky note anything they would like to know about procedural writing or anything they are confused about.

Assessment: Assessment as learning/Anecdotal record


  • The book: Planting the Trees of Kenya
  • Styrofoam cups
  • Soil
  • Seeds
  • Pens or pencils
  • Paper
  • Chart Paper
  • Markers

REFLECTION: Questions to determine the success of your lesson:

  • Were my students successful in meeting the learning goals and success criteria? How do I know?
  • Did my instructional decisions meet the needs of all students? If not, what are my next steps?
  • What worked well and why?
  • What will I do differently in the future when teaching this lesson? For the subsequent lesson?
  • What are the next steps for my professional learning?


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Social Justice Picture Books Copyright © 2019 by Ruth McQuirter, editor and Gurbinder Kaur, contributing editor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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