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.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's Earth Day!


 
 
 
 
 Title: It's Earth Day!
 
Author & Illustrator: Mercer Mayer
 
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
 
Publisher: HarperFestival

Element 5: Raising Awareness

 
 
Summary:
It's Earth Day! is a children's book series about a lovable and charismatic character named Little Critter. He has just learned that the earth is getting hotter and the ice at the North Pole is melting, putting the lives of the Polar Bears at risk. Little Critter goes home and shares this new found knowledge with his family. Him and his classmates take on the task of bringing awareness to the community by making and posting signs that say "Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!". They hope that this will encourage other members of the community to join the fight to keep the North Pole cold and the Polar Bears alive. In addition It's Earth Day! also includes a list of Little Critter's top 10 ways to help save the planet.

Element No. 5- Raising Awareness
It's Earth Day! is a great book to teach element No. 5 because it tells the story about how Little Critter is on a mission to raise awareness among his family and community to slow down global warming. After learning in school that the ice at the North Pole is melting and the Polar Bears are in danger, Little Critter goes home and with his father's help he researches different ways to slow down global warming. Little Critter shares his new found knowledge with his family and community. It's Earth Day! educates readers and gives them ideas of things they can do to help the earth and make a difference. This is a great book that can be used to let readers know that they too can make a difference.

Follow-up Activity:
After reading It's Earth Day! and Little Critter's top 10 ways to help save the planet, the teacher can make a contract that includes a  list with the top 10 things that we can do to help slow down global warming. After giving each student a contract, the teacher can read it and discuss it with the class and the students will check off at least 5 of the things on the list and finally sign off at the bottom. By signing this contract the students will be making a commitment to help save the planet. For homework each student will  be asked to take a blank contract and they will choose someone whom they will share their new found knowledge with; they will then encourage the person they chose to check off at least 5 things from the list, sign it and commit to help save the planet.

 
 
 


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