Hi Guys! As some of you may know, Earth Day is coming up! That means your child’s classroom will be filled with activities and discussions about our home planet. Social and economic issues like the environment are regularly covered in classrooms so it is important you support lessons taught with activities at home. I remember when I used to teach, I made a real effort to incorporate some sort of philanthropy or cause into the curriculum. Whether it was planting a garden in the school, collecting pennies for the Pennies For Peace cause or showing my frightful students scenes from the documentary The Inconvenient Truth. While the students I taught may have gone their separate ways and are passionate about different causes, I hope each and everyone was instilled with a sense of responsibility and compassion for the world around them.
Today, I wanted to recommend children books for those parents who would like to supplement what their children may be learning in school this week. One of the first tasks for any responsible parent, guardian, or teacher is to teach that there are different causes within the “Environment” umbrella they can support. This shows kids that there are so many possibilities that suit their interests. I have listed some popular ones they can explore!
Different Environmental Issues
- Ocean Pollution
One of the biggest misconceptions we need to clear in children (and some adults) is that what humans do on land doesn’t affect the ocean life. Whether we litter, use harmful chemicals, or buy fish products from unethical companies all directly affect the ocean biology. Some books I recommend to instill this awareness are “The New Ocean: The Fate of Life in a Changing Sea” (See HERE), “Look Out for Litter” (See HERE), “All The Way To the Ocean” (See HERE), and “Watch Over Our Water” (See HERE). For older kids, I would recommend “A River” (See HERE) that requires a copious amount of imagination, “Plastic, Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch” (See HERE), and “Trash Vortex: How Plastic Pollution Is Choking the World’s Oceans” (See HERE).
- Global Warming
This concept may be a little difficult to understand for younger kids. I think the important fact to instill in them is that Earth is heating up. While the debate is still going on over the cause(s) of global warming, this fact still stands true. To improve science literacy, some book titles such as “Global Warming (Science Readers: Content and Literacy)” (See HERE), “Climate Change: Discover How It Impacts Spaceship Earth (Build It Yourself)” (See HERE), “The Polar Bears’ Home: A Story About Global Warming (See HERE).
Global warming is probably one of the most difficult environmental problems the human race has had to tackle because there are no physical causes for it. It is not because of litter on the ground or harsh chemicals going down the drain. To me, global warming seems to be a product of various natural causes exacerbated by human actions (or inactions) over a couple of hundred years. This will take time and collective effort and regulations to manage, but our future generations need to learn about this so they are prepared with the knowledge as well.
One of the biggest precautions adults and kids alike can take is to reduce their carbon print on the planet. That means recycling and reusing whenever possible. Some titles I recommend are “Choose To Reuse” (See HERE), “Reusing and Recycling (Help The Environment) (See HERE)”, “Funky Junk: Recycle Rubbish into Art!” (See HERE), “Recycled Craft Projects For Kids: 50 Fantastic Things to Make From Junk, Shown Step by Step in Over 400 Photographs” (See HERE), “Crafts Around the House” (See HERE), “Artful Collage from Found Objects” (See HERE), and “Green Crafts for Children: 35 Step-by-Step Projects Using Natural, Recycled, And Found Materials” (See HERE).
Recycling/reusing teaches other motor and conceptual skills as well such as categories and handling fragile art materials.
- Species Extinction –
To me, species extinction is the most painful reality out of planet Earth’s issues. And to think it is caused by human actions and are preventable is infuriating. Most kids are passionate about animal causes so this issue may be the best one they can relate to. Some book titles I recommend for them are “Wild: Endangered Animals in Living Motion” (See HERE), “Silent Thunder: In the Presence of Elephants” (See HERE), “Battling Extinction (Explorer Library: Follow the Clues) (See HERE), and “National Geographic Investigates: Animals on the Edge: Science Races to Save Species Threatened With Extinction (National Geographic Investigates Science)” (See HERE). For younger children, the following book titles should be appropriate, “What Do You See?: A Lift-the-Flap Book About Endangered Animals (Little Green Books)” (See HERE), and “The Last Panther” (See HERE).
Well, guys, I hope I have given you guys enough information to jump start your kids’ passion for the environment. For more on my opinions about global warming and, see my older posts (HERE), (HERE), (HERE), and (HERE). Happy Earth Day 2018! And Happy Reading!!