Books We'll Be Using in Class!

1. Bowden, R. (2004). Waste. Farmington Hills, MI: Kidhaven Press.
This is non-fiction text that focuses on the garbage crisis. It talks about the issue, and then goes into sustainable options of throwing away garbage. This relates to my generalization that asks my students to find small changes they can make in their own lives to improve the environment. I intend on using this book for my mini-lesson on finding important information, as well as making text-to-self connections. Student can also use this book for their final assessment project to do research.

2. Cherry, L. (1990). The great kapok tree: A tale of the amazon rain forest. Orlando: Sandpiper.
This is a picture book about cutting trees in the Amazon Rainforest. The animals in the book try to convince a sleeping man to think twice about cutting down the trees, as it is home to so many animals. This addresses my generalization about actions that impact our environment because the animals explain how cutting down trees would affect them. I intend on using this book as a read aloud at the beginning of my unit to get my students thinking about the topic. They can also use it for independent practice when making text-to-self connections.

3. Current Science Magazine
This is a science magazine with kid-friendly articles. I intend to use these articles during literature circles to start a discussion about a particular environmental issue. Depending on what I find, I would ensure that it is relevant to my unit.

3. Dalgleish, S. (2002). Saving water. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers.
This is a non-fiction text that focuses on how much water we use and waste everyday. It is very engaging because it is full of fun facts and pictures. This addresses my essential question and my second generalization of making small changes in one’s own life to improve the environment as it gives the readers ways to make changes in their life. I want the students to use this book for the identifying important information lesson during the independent practice, as well as for their final assessment if they choose to focus on the issues surrounding water.

4. Dorion, C. (2007). Earth's garbage crisis. Milwaukee, WI: World Almanac Library.
This is a non-fiction text that focuses on the amount of garbage in the world. It explains the causes of the problem, but then provides actions and programs that are in place today that people are trying to get involved in to help this cause. It is also prompts the reader to take action in his/her own community. This addresses my essential question and my second generalization of making small changes in one’s own life to improve the environment. I want the students to use this book for the identifying important information lesson during the independent practice, as well as for their final assessment if they choose to focus on the garbage crisis.

5. Franklin, K. L. (1995). When the monkeys came back. New York, NY: Atheneum.
This is a picture book about a woman who lived in a place where monkeys lived in trees, and made lots of noise. The townspeople did not like the daily disruptions, so they decided to cut down all the threes. Later, the woman decides to plant the trees in hopes of bringing the monkeys back to their home. It is not until she is an old lady that this finally happens. This answers my essential question of how can we leaven the world a better place than we found it? This woman accomplished a significant feat as she brought back the forest and the original habitat of these monkeys. This book also shows actions that people took that affected the environment. I intend to use this book as a shared read aloud to model identifying important information (examples of people who take actions to affect the future of the environment).

6. Kurlansky, M., & Stockton, F. (2011). World without fish. Workman Pub Co.
This is a non-fiction book that discusses humans’ impact on fish. It goes into detail about overfishing, as well as ways we can make a different. It hits the target on the theme and on one of my generalizations. It is all about actions that humans took, and what happened as a result of them. As well as, small steps we can make to make a positive impact for the future of the environment. This book, while colorful and fun, is very dense with facts and information. I think it would be appropriate for doing the text-to-self or identifying important information graphic organizers during the independent practice.

7. Rand, G. (1999). Fighting for the forest. New York, NY: Henry Hold and Company.
This is a picture book about a boy who goes hiking in a forest with his dad. One day, they realize that the trees are going to be cut down. They try to advocate for the forest and inform people about what is happening, but in the end the trees get cut down anyway. The dad and son eventually find a new forest to hike in, but the author makes sure to point out that the work the boy did to try to save the forest did not go to waste, but that he made people more aware that trees were being cut down. This is related to my generalization that there are changes we can make in our lives to make a different in the environment. I am using this book as a read aloud to reinforce the text-to-self connections lesson that would be taught the day prior.

8. Seuss, D. (1971). The Lorax. New York: Random House Books for Young Readers.
The Lorax is a children’s picture book about a person who tells a story about how he cut down all the trees in the world in order to get rich, even when someone tried to warn him of all the harm he was doing. This character is hiding in his home as he shares the story because he is embarrassed for what he had done. At the end, he hands the boy listener the last tree seed to plant in hopes that it will bring things back to the way they were. While it does not talk exactly about trees, but rather the truffula trees, students can make a connection to their own lives and to the world around them. This book touches on how students can understand how actions we take can seriously impact the environment in the future. I will use this book as a read aloud, then will use it again for my lesson on making text to self connections.

9. Vogel, C. (2003). The restless sea human impact. New York: Franklin Watts.
This book focuses on the various issues that are impacting the seas and oceans such as global warming, overfishing, and pollution. It is a non-fiction text that is very informative, and provides many facts and pictures on this subject. This book embodies the theme and generalization of the unit. It prompts the reader to take a hard look at the problems, particularly human’s impact on them, and forces him to think about what changes he can make to be part of the solution. It addresses the generalization on how students will understand how the actions they take today will impact the future of the environment, as it provides many examples of how this has already happened. I intend on using this book to model my mini-lesson on how to identify important information.

If you have any recommendations, feel free to let me know! **

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