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Kenya’s Long Dry Season by Nellie Gonzalez Cutler

Teacher Guide by Elizabeth Pedro

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Kenya's Long Dry Season Lesson Plans

Student Activities for Kenya’s Long Dry Season Include:

The informational article, “Kenya’s Long Dry Season”, by Nellie Gonzalez Cutler, describes the hardship felt during the 2009 drought in that country.

Kenya’s Long Dry Season Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Vocabulary Lesson Plan for "Kenya's Long Dry Season"


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In this activity, students demonstrate their understanding of several vocabulary words using a spider map. After choosing the word(s), students provide the part of speech, definition, an example from the text, and demonstrate their understanding of the word(s) through the storyboard.

The example storyboard includes:


  • drought
  • donation
  • crisis

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary words in "Kenya's Long Dry Season" by creating visualizations.


  1. Choose three vocabulary words from the story and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary.
  3. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Cause and Effect Graphic Organizer in "Kenya’s Long Dry Season"


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In this activity, students will identify cause and effect relationships by answering the some of the following or similar questions:

  • What effects did the the drought cause?
  • What happened because there was a drought?
  • What did people do because there was a drought?
  • What changes happened?

Students will create a grid storyboard to organize their thoughts on the numerous impacts of the drought on the environment and community. See the storyboard below for an example.


Cause

Severe drought in Kenya.


Effects

  • “The East African nation's grasslands are dried out. Bare, leafless trees dot the landscape. Watering holes are almost dry.”
  • "The drought has caused cattle to die and crops to shrivel. This year's grain harvest is expected to be 28% less than last year's."
  • "Food prices have risen by as much as 130%."
  • “The WFP is working to keep kids in school, where it provides them with nutritious meals."

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows cause and effect relationships in "Kenya’s Long Dry Season". Each cause and effect pair will be shown in the same row.


  1. On the left side of the T-Chart, illustrate events that show cause (why).
  2. On the right side of the T-Chart, illustrate events that are the direct effect of that cause.
  3. Write a description below each cause.
  4. In the description under each effect, show how the cause and effect are related.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Compare and Contrast Student Activity in "Kenya's Long Dry Season"

In this activity, students will compare what they have read in "Kenya’s Long Dry Season" with the article, "Drought seen getting worse in Washington state this summer" (or similar) in a T-Chart. The T-Chart could have two columns, as in a traditional T-Chart and the example below, or use three columns for a Venn Diagram. These texts both discuss drought and the effects it can have on the environment and community, but for very different locations.


"Kenya’s Long Dry Season"

  • For the past three seasons, the rains have failed to come to Kenya.
  • Kenya's grasslands are dried out and cattle are dying.
  • The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) needs $230 million in donations.

"Drought seen getting worse in Washington state this summer"

  • Washington state is experiencing a drought. Farmers are being paid not to water their crops until the end of the summer.
  • Salmon may be stranded in shallow water or could be harmed by the warm temperatures.
  • The Department of Ecology is waiting for $18 million dollars to get water to help farmers.
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A Quick Synopsis of "Kenya’s Long Dry Season" (Contains Spoilers)

“Kenya’s Long Dry Season” begins by identifying the problem: the East African nation of Kenya is experiencing a severe drought, resulting in the loss of crops and a struggle by animals and people to survive. Kids are being taken out of school to work for their families, though schools that provide food have a lower dropout rate. In order to help feed families and to keep kids in school, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) asks for $230 million in donations.


Essential Questions for "Kenya’s Long Dry Season"

  1. What effects do droughts have on a community?
  2. Should people help those in other countries? Why or why not?

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•   (English) Kenya’s Long Dry Season   •   (Español) La Larga Temporada Seca de Kenia   •   (Français) La Longue Saison Sèche du Kenya   •   (Deutsch) Kenias Lange Trockenzeit   •   (Italiana) Lunga Stagione Secca del Kenya   •   (Nederlands) Kenia's Long Dry Season   •   (Português) Estação Seca Longa de Kenya   •   (עברית) עונת היובש הארוכה של הקנייה   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) الموسم كينيا الجاف طويل   •   (हिन्दी) केन्या के लंबे सूखी सीजन   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Кения Длинный Сухой Сезон   •   (Dansk) Kenyas Lang Tør Season   •   (Svenska) Kenyas Långa Torrperioden   •   (Suomi) Kenian Pitkä Kuiva Kausi   •   (Norsk) Kenyas Long Dry Season   •   (Türkçe) Kenya'nın Uzun Kurak Sezon   •   (Polski) Letni Sezon w Kenii   •   (Româna) Sezonul Lung de Uscat din Kenya   •   (Ceština) Keňa Dlouhá Suchá Sezóna   •   (Slovenský) Keňa Dlho Suchá Sezóna   •   (Magyar) Kenya Hosszú Száraz Évszak   •   (Hrvatski) Dugačak Sušni Period Kenije   •   (български) Сезонът на Дългите Сухи Условия в Кения   •   (Lietuvos) Kenijos Ilgas Sausas Sezonas   •   (Slovenščina) Kenije Long Suha Sezona   •   (Latvijas) Kenijas Long Sausā Sezona   •   (eesti) Keenia Pikk Kuiv Hooaeg