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 29, 2010

Michael Recycle

Title: Michael Recycle
Author: Ellie Bethel
Illustrated by: Alexandra Colombo
Reading level: Ages 5-8
Publisher: Jonas Publishing, Howard Jonas

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Michael Recycle is a children’s picture book about a young superhero named Michael Recycle who has come to spread the word about recycling and keeping our planet green! This book has an important message about environmental awareness. It encourages readers of all ages to recycle often, to not waste energy or other products, to throw trash in the proper bins, and to encourage others to practice these habits as well. In addition to the rhyming language and colorful illustrations, Michael Recycle includes some “go green tips” at the end of the story to persuade others to take action and keep our environment clean.

Element #5- Raising Awareness:
Michael Recycle tells a wonderful story of a young boy who feels passionately about the environment and shares his enthusiasm with others to promote a green planet. The character Michael Recycle realizes that the air and water in his town has become polluted over time. He believes it is his job to raise the awareness of others and teach them how to keep the planet clean before it is too late. Michael Recycle encourages young readers to be advocates of change for their own environments. This book provides children with a number of small ways they can help to create a cleaner environment for everyone. Michael Recycle gets the attention of its readers and will potentially spark an interest in other ways they can help their community promote healthy habits.

Follow-Up Activity:
In order to reinforce the lesson of environmental awareness from the story of Michael Recycle, teachers can assist students in promoting go-green awareness for their own classrooms, their school, or even their entire local community. The students can create posters and other advertisements to encourage others to participate in environmental friendly activities. Additionally students could create websites or send in a write up to their local newspaper to grab the attention of others to be advocates for a clean planet! Students will spread the word of how important it is to recycle, reduce waste and reuse products, just like Michael Recycle did in the story.

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