"Oh, the Kingdom in the Sky" Lesson

With a decades-long nursing career to her credit, Mary Ann Camp was a hero before she became a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Still, while many Americans her age considered retirement, Peace Corps service for Mary Ann meant three tours—in Lesotho, Malawi, and Botswana—tackling health, agriculture, and education problems with her host communities.


Have students access the resources about Mary Ann Camp on the "Lifetime of Service" page, including the interview, the video, and the vignettes about life in Mary Ann's various host countries. Then read the poem together with students, being sure to review an unfamiliar vocabulary, and discuss. Suggested questions and activities:

  • What images of Lesotho does Mary Ann Camp give to the reader? How do you picture Lesotho when you read this poem?
  • What are the people in this poem doing? What do you imagine them to be like?
  • To whom is Mary Ann talking in this poem? Why?
  • If you were to write a poem to your own country or community, what images would you use? To whom would you address the poem?
  • Encourage students to write a poem to their own community. 

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