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.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Go Easy on Energy


Author: Lisa Bullard

Illustrator: Wes Thomas

Grade Level: 3-5

Buy it here!


Go Easy on Energy is an informative piece of children’s literature that brings awareness to the way in which we use energy and the problems excessive energy use can cause. The book also discusses the ways in which we can go about conserving energy in our everyday lives. The book is narrated by a young boy named Tyler who just learned about energy and electricity in school. Tyler shares with the reader specific examples of energy usage, the problems it can cause, and ways to help conserve it.
Tyler discusses all the ways in which energy is used in our day to day lives such as to heat buildings, light rooms, run a car, burn coal, and power many useful gadgets. He explains how energy can pollute the air, cost a lot of money, and ultimately be harmful to our health and to the earth. Tyler discusses the importance of trying to use less energy and gives specific examples of how he is going about doing so. These examples consist of turning off lights when he leaves a room, unplugging power cords with a parents help, and walking instead of having his mom driving whenever possible.
Element 5:
Go Easy on Energy represents Element 5: Raising Awareness. The main character Tyler, who is also the narrator, raises awareness about the negative impact of energy use. He discusses the knowledge he has learned in school about energy and also explains the ways in which he has personally been going about conserving energy. This book can be used to teach students all about how we use electricity and other types of energy every day. It brings to light the importance of saving energy in any way we can in order to help make the earth a healthier environment to live in. By showing the reader how he now uses energy more wisely, it encourages others to make similar changes to the ways in which they use energy. The goal of this book is to encourage others to do their part in saving energy and to become active planet protectors of the world.
In an elementary classroom, I would use this book to educate students on types of energy we use everyday, the problems energy use can create, and the ways we can go about conserving it. As an activity, students will first complete the power patrol game at the back of the book. It asks them to point out the devices or gadgets they see in the picture that need energy to work. Next, students will be asked to go home and find things around their houses that use energy. They will draw these items onto a poster. Students will then present their poster to the class where they will share their energy user findings. Based on what they learned from Tyler in the book, they will also be able to explain ways they can go about conserving energy when it comes to those specific items.

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