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, December 1, 2014
The Berenstain Bears Go Green
Author: Jan & Mike Berenstain
Illustrator: Jan & Mike Berenstain
Grade Level: K-2
Buy It Here!
The Berenstain Bears Go Green is a children's book about taking care of the environment. The Berenstain Bears live in beautiful Bear Country where there is a lot of nature. There are many animals who live in Bear Country and depend on all the nature of Bear Country. One day as Bear family was going for a stroll and tidying up Bear Country, they all decided to have a little picnic and go fishing. As they were fishing and enjoying their picnic they came upon an awful smell. They noticed it was the overflowing Bear Country Dump! The Bear family had to get this problem solved and called a town meeting. In the town meeting everyone volunteered to help clean Bear Country Dump. As Bear family left the Dump Sister Bear suggested many good ideas to keep Bear Country clean. When Papa Bear got home he decided he was going to make a huge green contribution! That was to make a windmill!
Element 6- Taking Social Action
I feel that this is an adequate book for Element 6 because the Berenstain Bears take action into their hands to clean up the Dump in order to prevent pollution in the river. Because they are all concerned, Mama Bear says she will complain in the town meeting. At the town meeting everyone accepts to volunteer to clean up Bear Country Dump. Everyone is taking action for a better environment! After they are done cleaning up the Dump, sister bear comes up with great ideas to be more green. Towards the end of the book, there is a list of suggestions for going green at home. In reading this book, they can learn that recycling and composting, carpooling and even shutting off the water while brushing their teeth are simple actions that they can take to becoming more green. These tips can be shared with the class and can make a different in the community.
After reading the book I would ask students to brainstorm some actions they would take to contribute to a green friendly environment. I would then ask them what Papa Bear did to go green. After they have told me that he created a windmill in order to save energy, I will then tell them they will be making a small windmill. After making our windmill, I will then take them to a local park and have them try out their windmills. I will then explain that like Papa Bear's windmill, the wind is used to create free energy that doesn't hurt the environment.