The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

Young William Kamkwamba must leave school and abandon his formal education because his family can no longer pay the tuition. As the drought and resulting famine in Malawi continue, his family, like others, comes close to starvation. This true story shows how Williams’s resourcefulness provided a solution for his family and eventually for his village: a wind turbine to bring water to the fields.


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Product Description

Film runtime: 1 hour, 53 minutes

Film rating: Not rated. Common Sense Media rates this film as appropriate for ages 12+. We recommend the film for Grades 6 and up.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Curriculum Guide

Lesson 1: The Environmental Crisis (Environmental Science)
Lesson 2: Wind Power: History and Engineering (Engineering, World History)
Lesson 3: Generating Electricity: Dollar Store Physics (Physics)
Lesson 4: The Character of William Kamkwamba (English Language Arts)
Lesson 5: Film as Literature: Understanding Tone (English Language Arts, Film Studies) – The Glossary of Film Terms linked below is valuable for this lesson. 
Lesson 6: Helping the Children of Malawi (Economics, Social Studies, Service Learning)

Preview Curriculum Guide

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Discussion Guide

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Meeting William
What about You? Getting Involved

Preview Discussion Guide

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Related Resources

This film and resource is part of our Environmental Studies Lessons set.

An On Demand webinar featuring William Kamkwamba is available through Share My Lesson.

Video Librarian features this film in several articles:

Sustainable Development Goals
This curriculum guide connects to the following United Nations SDGs. Learn more about teaching with SDGs:
Dark yellow background. 2 in the upper left hand corner. Zero Hunger next to the number. Primary art is a white bowl with steam rising out of it. Deep red square with a white 4 in the upper left-hand corner. Quality Education, in white text, beside the number, and a book and pencil, white stencil style, is the focus art on the red background. Bright yellow background. 7 in white in upper left hand corner. Affordable and clean energy beside the number. A white sun with a power button on it is the key art in the image. Dark pink background. 10 in the left-hand corner. Reduced Inequalities beside the number. Central image on the pink background is a not quite complete circle with equal marks inside. Dark green background color. 13 in the upper left hand corner. Climate Action beside that. Central image on the green background is a white eyeball with what looks like the earth inside of it.

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