flesl.net paired stories: writing (Wangari Maathai)

web address: flesl.net/Reading/Stories/Series2/WangariM/Extras/WangariM_writing.pdf

doing things to help other people, not worrying about yourself (Antonym: selfish)

dishonest politicians and government officials who take money in ‘bribes’etc

poltical favor:
something a politician does to help another politician (or powerful non-politician)

people who, together, publicly criticize their goverment


use (but often with a negative connotation)

not violent

• writing activities for ‘Wangari Maathai’

1. Paragraphs

• instructions

- Write a one-paragraph “story” (a narrative) about one of the topics listed below.

- You should concentrate on one particularly important or interesting event.

- The event you describe should be one that affected you personally.

- Suggested maximum length: 150 words. Suggested maximum time: 30 minutes.

• topics

1. How one person worked unselfishly to improve the lives of poor people in his or her country.

2. How corrupt politicians made poor people’s lives worse.
(by doing things like giving away public land as a “political favor”)

3. How the police acted harshly against anti-government protesters.
(as when the police beat up Wangari and her supporters)

2. Essays

• instructions

- From the list below, choose the topic for a three-paragraph essay.

- After choosing your topic, spend some time thinking about what the “main idea” of your essay is going to be and about what facts and ideas you are going to use to support it.

- If possible, before you begin to write, discuss your plan with other students or your teacher.

- When you have finished, go over your draft carefully checking for spelling, grammar, cohesion, coherence and trying to eliminate wordiness, repetition and vagueness.

- Write your final draft.

- Suggested maximum length: 500 words. Suggested maximum time: 90 minutes.

• topics

1. Why governments everywhere have a responsibility to protect the environment.
(even if this means restricting economic development)

2. Why governments should not prevent people from exploiting the environment in any way they want.
(economic progress should be the only criterion of whether or not the environment should be protected)

3. Why the police should not use violence to break up peaceful demonstrations even if demonstrators are breaking the law.