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From Millionaire to Mud Hut


Arts & Humanities
--Language Arts
Social Studies
--Current Events


Grades 2-up

News Content

One man is giving up his life of luxury to help improve the quality of life of people in Uganda.

Anticipation Guide

Write the words millionaire and Uganda on a board or chart.

  • Ask students what they think of when they hear the word millionaire. Write down some of their responses.
  • Ask studentsto identify the location of Uganda on a world map. The Republic of Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa. It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, which is the worlds second-largest freshwater lake. (The largest is Lake Michigan-Huron, which geographers consider a single lake because it is connected at the same elevation pool.)

News Words

Next, introduce these words that appear in the News Word Box on the students printable page: positive, pursuit, appreciate, fortune, organization, and facilities. Discuss the meanings of any of those words that might be unfamiliar to students. Then ask students to use one of those words to complete each of these sentences:

  • If my lucky numbers are really lucky, I should win a _____ in the lottery this week. (fortune)
  • The parent _____ at our school works hard to build school spirit. (organization)
  • Toby practiced shooting baskets every day in _____ of a position on his schools team. (pursuit)
  • The picnic _____ at the beach will be open to the public starting on Memorial Day weekend. (facilities)
  • Having a cat to care for can make a _____ difference in life of a senior citizen who lives all alone. (positive)
  • Your mother is sure to _____ the thoughtful card you made for her. (appreciate)

    Read the News

    Click for a printable version of this weeks news story From Millionaire to Mud Hut.

    Reading the News

    You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

    Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.

    Students might first read the news story to themselves; then you might call on individual students to read sections of the news aloud for the class.

    Photocopy the news story onto a transparency and project it onto a screen. (Or use your classroom computer's projector to project the story.) Read the story aloud as a class, or ask students to take turns reading it.

    Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write notes in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.

    More Facts to Share

    You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this weeks news story.

  • Jon Pedley, a telecommunications consultant in England, has put his 16th century farmhouse ($1.5 million) and his top-of-the-line Range Rover ($112,000) up for sale. He will use the money he earns from their sale to help finance a charity he has started to support Ugandan orphans and turn around the lives of troubled United Kingdom (U.K.) teens.
  • Pedley admits he has led a very selfish existence. Even a 2002 car crash that left him in a coma for six weeks didnt change his life. Pedley didnt learn anything from the crash; he simply returned to his old selfish lifestyle.
  • While Pedley has always been generous with his wealth, donating 15 percent of his earnings to charity, he often felt he should be doing more. It was a visit to a church service that set Pedleys life in a different direction. There were 500 people at the service. It was different to anything else I had ever seen," he told There was a confidence about [the congregation]. I was sure I had more money, I was sure I drove a bigger car and had been to more places and done more things, but they were more at peace."
  • A friend from church invited Pedley to visit Uganda for the first time in 2007. I was just blown away by Uganda," he told As a society, it is so much more familial and spiritual than we are in the UK. There is a morality there which comes naturally. You feel so unbelievably humbled. And I wanted kids in the UK, especially those who are on a downward spiral of addiction and self-hatred, to experience this."
  • Soon after that visit, Pedley started a charity, J1010, which takes its name from a verse in the Gospel of St John. The charity is helping to improve life for people in the village of Kigazi in South West Uganda, near the border with Congo and Rwanda. Kigazi is a poor rural community of mostly subsistence farmers. The charity also sponsors month-long Turn Them Around Camps (TTA Camps) that immerse troubled teens and young adults in community work in Kigazi.
  • Pedley has ideas about getting solar-powered electricity and even the Internet into the village. I would love to import the components for the solar panels and have the men of the village assemble them, create micro-businesses which can be taken into other communities," he added.
  • The average life expectancy for a person in Uganda is 53 years. The AIDS epidemic has impacted life expectancy. While Uganda has done a better job than many other African nations in responding to AIDS, about 940,000 people in Uganda are living with HIV. About 1.2 million children have been orphaned by AIDS.
  • Ugandas main products include sugar, cloth, coffee, tobacco, and beef.
  • Use the News

    Print out this weeks Use the News printable activity page for students. Or use the questions on that page to check student comprehension.

    Use the News: Answer Key
    Reading Comprehension 1. selfish, 2. pursuit, 3. outlook, 4. appreciate, 5. fortune, 6.organization, 7. quality, 8. positive.
    Language Practice: Building Vocabulary. 1.a, 2.d, 3.b, 4.b, 5.c, 6.b, 7.a.


    Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News question on the news story page.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    National Standards

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
    NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.11 Participating in Society
    NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

    GRADES K - 4
    NSS-C.K-4.2 Values and Principles of Democracy
    NSS-C.K-4.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
    NSS-C.K-4.5 Roles of the Citizen

    GRADES 5 - 8
    NSS-C.5-8.1 Civic Life, Politics, and Government
    NSS-C.5-8.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
    NSS-C.5-8.5 Roles of the Citizen
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NSS-C.9-12.1 Civic Life, Politics, and Government
    NSS-C.9-12.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
    NSS-C.9-12.5 Roles of the Citizen

    SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography
    GRADES K - 12
    NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms
    NSS-G.K-12.4 Human Systems

    See recent news stories in Education Worlds News Story of the Week Archive.

    Article by Gary Hopkins
    Education World®
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