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 19, 2011

Michael Recycle Meets Litterbug Doug

Michael Recycle Meets Litterbug Doug
Author: Ellie Bethel
Illustrated by: Alexandra Colombo
Age Group- 6-9 years old

Blog by: Jenna Galatro

This book is about two characters, Michael Recycle, and Litterbug Doug. While Michael keeps the town clean and encourages the people of the town to recycle; Litterbug Doug does the exact opposite. Lonely Litterbug Doug sits on his mound of garbage all day long being entertained by his two fat cats, many rats and tons of trash! We later find out that Litterbug Doug has a green side when he finds out he has friends other than his fat cats and rats. With the help of his new friends, they all join in to help Litterbug Doug, and their town become a greener and happier place! Litterbug Doug gains a new title by the end of the book, and is awarded, Doug the Litter Police!

Element 5: Raising Awareness:
This book does a fabulous job at raising awareness for the need to live a green lifestyle and recycle. Through its illustrations and clever writing, it encourages kids that they too can all take responsibility in helping our world stay clean. At the end of the book, it has two pages of facts on 'Litterbug Doug' Trash Round-up, and 'Michael Recycle' Go Green Tips. This is a nice recap for students to see and transition teachers into a nice group activity. The best way to link this element effectively is to have students raise awareness directly in their school!

Activity/Integrate into Classroom:
There are various ways to integrate this book into your classroom. The month of April for recognition of Earth Day on the 22nd is probably the best month to introduce this book. After reading, you can have a group discussion on what things WE can do to recycle. As a teacher if you are unsure yourself of how to recycle, here is a website that can give you some guidance-RECYCLE. After making a list on the board during group discussion, have each student create their own fact/something they learned about making our world a greener place. The best way to raise awareness is to spread the word. Reward your students by allowing them to display their artwork around the school. Other kids in the school will be able to understand the importance of effective recycling and how it can benefit their community.

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