Giving Kids the Green Way through the Written Way
In 1839, English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton said, “The pen is mightier than the sword”. This phrase can be applied to many scenarios and one just may be green enlightenment through a child’s eyes. As teachers and parents implement the education of recycling, re-using and more, it is essential that the materials used to sculpt a healthy, practical and activist outlook on environmental healing is valid and influential. Therefore, several contemporary authors stepped up with age appropriate stories that just may start a child onto a path of proper green knowledge.
What Can You Do With an Old Red Shoe?
Author and former pre-school teacher, Anna Alter, penned this book when she realized that even though four year olds understand the term recycling, many do not know why we recycle in the first place. The book revolves around fanciful poems with animal characters that, on each page, find a reusable item and then a simple craft design using the item is described. Alter comments, “Kids, even if they don't make a huge impact when they're 4, can still learn the values of 'I'm responsible for the things I buy and the things I do' and 'I can still make a difference,' Instilling that value can translate into better recycling habits when they're older."
The Land of Curiosities: Adventures in Yellowstone and Lost in Yellowstone
Deanna Neil wanted to teach children the importance of conservation and what better way to do it than to write a series that educates the reader of the creation of the world’s first national park in 1872. Neil describes the series, “It provides a platform for issues of conservation. It's a window into environmental thought. It explores what the park system is about and how the parks themselves are a reflection of environmental thought from the first concept of land preservation — protecting a plot of land — to modern-day ideas of biodiversity.”
Other Good Picks
Here’s a list of some other great texts to read to or put in a child’s hands:
- The Earth and I by Frank Asch – Relationship and responsibility of a little boy and his buddy Earth.
- Pass the Energy Please by Barbara Shaw – Food chain education as well as preventing wildlife extinction.
- The Adventures of an Aluminum Can by Alison Inches – Recycling told through the eyes of an aluminum can who answers a child’s question, “How can one thing be turned into another?”
- The Tree in the Ancient Forest by Carol Reed Jones – A rhyming story of a tree and its relationship to all its surrounding inhabitants that rely on it to survive.
- It’s Earth Day by Mercer Mayer – Great pre-schooler reading that easily explains the importance of recycling, tree planting and water conservation.
As each child’s world becomes more and more about instant digital gratification make sure it is balanced out by hard copy reading of environmental healing. If it is in their face as much as their app world there may still be a chance that they learn to give back.