William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. But William had read about windmills, and he dreamed of building one that would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala—crazy—but William refused to let go of his dreams. With a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks; some scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves; and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to forge an unlikely contraption and small miracle that would change the lives around him.
Each week, this core offering follows a similar weekly format with ample room for students to catalog their observations and bring shape to their ideas. Students will read and journal on character development, setting, and plot. They will explore rich vocabulary unique to the story, and will trace the plot more deeply as they answer comprehension questions with complete sentences. Students will craft an expanded paragraph in response to a prompt that is connected to the week’s reading and learn to move from a rough draft to a final, polished work. Each week culminates with a robust discussion.