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, April 22, 2013

The Berenstain Bears Don't Pollute Anymore

Author: Stan and Jan Berenstain
Illustrator: Stan Berenstain
Grade Level: K-2

Buy it here!

The Berenstain Bears Don't Pollute Anymore is a children's book about the importance of recycling and how they should save the earth. The book shows how many animals are becoming endangered and possibly extinct because of the pollution everyone is causing. What made this book really effective is that the characters are all bears so if everyone doesn't stop polluting soon, then they too will become extinct. This book gives an important message on recycling and that even recycling something so small like a plastic soda-can holder can save a living things life. Another message this book gives is that you can never be too young to take action and change the world.

Element 6: Taking Social Action
The Berenstain Bears Don't Pollute Anymore is a great book for teachers to read to their kindergarten through second grade students to raise awareness on pollution and how they should take action by having other people realize they need to recycle. The young bear students took action by starting a club to stop pollution and called it the Earthsavers Club. They made posters and bumper stickers and had marches and parades for everyone to see. Children will read this book and realize how important it is to stop pollution before it gets worse. 

A fun way students can get themselves involved is by having them name several ideas about how to reuse the items in the recycling bin. Once they have done that, have the students make posters on how others can recycle and hang the posters all over the school.

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