Compare and Contrast Your School with Mahiga Hope

This flexible lesson plan is designed to accompany the student-friendly documentary, Building Hope: The Story of Mahiga Hope High School. Shot in both east Kenya and Texas, the film tells the engaging story of how a determined community in rural Kenya, Africa and the Central Texas-based Nobelity Project come together, overcome obstacles, and build the first high school in the region.
The lesson is designed to “hook” students through their own personal experiences with school and American culture. Next, students compare their own school experience with that of students in Kenya, Africa. Lastly, students are provided with a variety of opportunities to make real world connections, think critically, and express opinions about global issues such as education and citizenship.


Key Ideas and Details:

    Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
    Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
    Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).

Craft and Structure:

    Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
    Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
    Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

    Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.


(6) Geography. The student uses geographic tools to collect, analyze, and interpret data. The student is expected to:

(A) apply geographic tools, including grid systems, legends, symbols, scales, and compass roses, to construct and interpret maps;

(18) Citizenship. The student understands the importance of individual participation in the democratic process at the local, state, and national levels. The student is expected to:

(A) explain the duty individuals have to participate in civic affairs at the local, state, and national levels; and

(B) explain how to contact elected and appointed leaders in local, state, and national governments.

(19) Citizenship. The student understands the importance of effective leadership in a constitutional republic.

(22) Culture. The student understands the contributions of people of various racial, ethnic, and religious groups to the United States. The student is expected to:

(C) summarize the contributions of people of various racial, ethnic, and religious groups to our national identity

(26) Social studies skills. The student uses problem-solving and decision-making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings. The student is expected to:

(A) use a problem-solving process to identify a problem, gather information, list and consider options, consider advantages and disadvantages, choose and implement a solution, and evaluate the effectiveness of the solution; and

(B) use a decision-making process to identify a situation that requires a decision, gather information, identify options, predict consequences, and take action to implement a decision.


• physical and human geography of Africa
• character, leadership, citizenship
• global studies
• philanthropy / advocacy / community
• science, technology and society
• culture (e.g., government, economics)
• contemporary issues / current events
• sustainable human development