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, November 25, 2013
I Can Save The Ocean! The Little Green Monster Cleans Up The Beach
Illustrator: Viviana Garofoli
Reading Level: Ages 4-6
Publisher: Little Simon
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I Can Save The Ocean is a children's book about a little green monster who loved the ocean. He liked to have picnics on the beach and play in the water but didn't like to clean up his mess. While playing in the water one day, he noticed that there was "a bottle, plastic bag, old tire, and broken toy" in the water instead of the "fish, sea stars, and bright pink coral" he expected to see. The little green monster realized that trash left on the beach ended in the water and to reduce the waste in the ocean he decided to keep the beach clean. Soon the little green monster realized that the trash in the ocean came from littering in other places in the world and he was determined to stop it. He reduced his use of hurtful chemicals and materials to help save the ocean and also taught his friends to be green monsters too.
Element # 6- Taking Social Action
I Can Save The Ocean is great story that shows children how to take action against litter in our community. It helps children realize that liter is a major issue that not only affects our community but also the ocean. The little green monster examines our usage of certain chemicals and materials such as car oil, plastic and pollution and the affect it has on the ocean. He provides opportunities for children to understand the harmful affects littering has on the ocean and how to create change in our environment. I Can Save The Ocean is a wonderful example of taking social action on issues that affect students and our community.
In order to incorporate element six into a unit, teachers could implement a 'go-green' classroom environment. The teacher could teach students how to reduce, reuse, recycle using material gathered throughout the classroom which would give students a firsthand experience to recycling. As students learn more about the affect littering has on the planet and by recycling in their own classroom, students can begin to expand their 'go-green' plan into the rest of the school. Students could create go-green posters, post eco-friendly tips throughout the school and create recycling bins to encourage recycling. By planting the seeds to a more eco-friendly environment in the school, students will provide opportunities for other students to also create change in our community.