Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Monday, April 9, 2012

What's the point of being green?

Author: Jacqui Bailey
Illustrator: Jan McCafferty
Grade Level: 4-6


What’s the point of being green?  is an excellent resource book written by Jacqui  Bailey. The book raises awareness about pollution and how everyone can do their part in saving the planet and keeping it green.  The book is divided into short chapters that cover different environmental challenges and discusses ways children can help preserve their carbon footprint. For example the chapter on trees discusses why trees are important, why do we cut trees down, what happens when people cut them down, and how we can be more forest friendly. Throughout each chapter a cartoon teenager provides facts about the environment and gives the reader solutions on how to be more eco-friendly. 

Element 5
What’s the point of being green is a great example for Element 5 raising awareness.  It provides amazing photos on what’s happening to the earth and supports its claims with child friendly science facts about the issue. It covers issues such as pollution, the greenhouse effect, different types of energy, how pollution became such an issue and more. The most interesting aspect of the book is that it not only brings awareness to the problem, but also offers solutions on how people can make a change.

There are several activities that can be done with children that relate to recycling. One activity that you can do is to place several recyclable and non- recyclable items in front of them and with a worksheet have the students separate which items can and cannot be recycled. Then after they separate the items, the teacher can then have a discussion on which items can be eliminated altogether to go completely green.  A second activity that a teacher can do is to do an experiment on how plastic garbage affects sea animals. The students will hook one end of a rubber band around their little finger and then stretch it behind their hand and hook the free end to their thumb. Then ask the students to remove the rubber band without using their fingers or their other hand. Remind the students that sea animals do not have hands and if they get caught in plastic they have no way of removing it from their bodies.  Ask the students how this could have been prevented and in what ways are they going to help the planet stay green. 

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