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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We Are Extremley Very Good Recyclers

Title: We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers
Author: Lauren Child
Illustrator: Based on the TV Animation Charlie and Lola
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Grade Level: 1-2

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To learn more about Lauren Child and her series of books, click here! 


We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers introduces the reader to a charactor named Lola. Lola is known to keep things in her bedroom instead of throwing anything away. One day when her and her brother, Charlie, are at their friends house they sneak into their friends big brothers bedroom who is just like Lola. However, his room is extreemley "stinky" and Lola does not want her room looking and smelling like that. Once they go home Charlie suggests to Lola that she recycles the items in her room instead of throwing them away. Lola asks what recycling is and Charlie explains it was when people can reuse old things in a different way. He then explains to Lola how things like paper can be recycled. Charlie also mentions that if things do not get recycled they turn into a big pile of garbage. Lola then receives a book about recycling from her mom, and in it is a tree counter, and for each item you recycle you can post up a leaf on the tree and once you are done you get your own tree to plant. Lola and Charlie start recycling but then get worried that they wont have enough items to recycle in two weeks. That is when Lola takes her idea to school and asks everyone to help out in her recycling project, and in return they will receive a tree to plan on their school property. In the end, they fill up the tree counter and win a tree to plant on their school property which everyone has pitched in and helped to recieve.

Element #6: Taking Social Action:
We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers is a great book on taking social action in helping the environment by recycling. Instead of just encouraging children to recycle, this book also explains what recycling is, what happens if we do not recycle and also gives an example of how you can help by following what Lola did to get her classmates involved in her recycling project. In the back of the book there is also a poster of your very own tree counter that you can use to keep track of your own recycling.

Follow-Up Activity:
For a follow-up activity I would first give a mini lesson on why it is imporant for us to recylce, then I would post the poster of the recycling tree counter in the classroom (provided at the end of the book) and get my students involved in recycling. It would be a project for the whole class to work on for the year, at the end of the year we would plant a tree outside to replicate what Lola and her classmates did.

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