There is so much temptation in the world and it is so easy just to sit back and not think outside our own little bubble.
There is life beyond our bubble and the things we do effect those both in and out of our bubble.
So how do you raise your children to think outside of their little bubble?
- Read to your child. Reading the books that I have suggested throughout this blog allow your child to see how others live and how they can live a better life for the sake of the world they live in.
- Promote empathy. Ask them to consider how others might feel. Empathy is a skill that many people in the world lack so building this up in your child is important if you are to raise a globally conscious child.
- Get outside – Create new experiences – play.
- Stand up for what you believe in and involve your children – send money to a cause, write a letter to a politician or sign a petition. Encourage your child’s passion.
Join me on Facebook, instagram and follow my blog for tips and conversations on how we can all become more globally conscious citizens.
It’s exactly what this town needs.
I adore this book, Whatcha Building? by Andrew Daddo and Stephen Michael King is a story about endings and new beginnings, imagination and determination and a sense of community.
The old milk bar around the corner from young Davey’s house in being pulled down and a new building is replacing it. Davey observes the daily deconstruction of the milk bar and each day takes a piece of timber home. The builder and the reader’s imagination run wild with all the possibilities of what young Davey might be building.
It’s only until right at the end the masterpiece is unveiled with a timely message for us all.
I love the illustrations in this story as they not only accompany the text but they add more depth to each page. Stephen Michael King has used recycled garbage, cardboard, pen and ink to create the illustrations and this combination brings life to the story. Throughout the images we can get a real sense of the community at work and the role we all play in our environment.
So what else can you do with this book?
- We all throw out too much and many of this can be reused or recycled. Investigate what you can do with things that are no use to you anymore. Rather than just throwing them out can you create something new? Give it to someone else? Or recycle it in the best possible way.
- Create your own doll sized house purely from recycled and reused materials.
- What sort of materials are best for the environment? Compare and contrast different types of floorboards available to the community – work out which ones are best using categories such as value for money, ecological impact and community impact.
- Watch building really makes us think about how important people and space is to each of us. Many of us get caught up in consumption and needing the best of everything. Is there a place in your community where people can come together?
- Design a space where people of all ages and backgrounds can come to share the love of where they live – without having to buy things.
- Look at the slang used throughout the story – what do each of these slang words mean? How does this portray Dave the builder?
- What is the significance of Davey not saying many things throughout the story?
Some great thinking questions:
Do endings always have new beginnings?
If all the buildings in your town were replaced how would that effect your community both negatively and positively?
Select one architect who has changed the way we build sustainably. Find out how they approach design and how they want to improve life for all.
Let me know how you go! It’s a beautiful book – I hope you can enjoy it too.
One of the things I love about picture books is that they can bring real life stories to young readers all around the world through pictures and simple words.
Rhino in the House by Daniel Kirk is an empowering story about a women named Anna Merz and her lifelong dedication to saving endangered animals in Africa. Anna had always been involved in wildlife conservation and it was when she retired and moved to Kenya that her journey into saving Rhinoceroses began.
The relationship between a baby rhino named Samia and Anna is at the heart of this conservation story. We learn how their relationship develops over time and how her story has inspired many to pursue careers and action in the area of wildlife conservation.
Children will adore this book as the images are colourful and the story is sweet and entertaining. There is little mention of the dangers from poachers which is lovely and allows the children to enjoy this story without fear. We did discuss who poachers are at the start of the story but were then able to focus more on the wonderful work Anna did in her sanctuary.
Rhino in the House is one of those picture books which stays with you long after it has been read and with historical facts at the end of the story it allows the adult reader learn more about Anna and her rhinos.
So what can you do?
- Why do we need to take care of all animals in our world?
- Which animals are endangered in your country? Why are they endangered and can this be changed?
- Why are books like this important? How do picture books give all readers this important message? How do they make us read and learn when compared to wordy articles?
- How is nature fragile?
- How can animals be protected when humans don’t want to change? Investigate an endangered animal that is effected by human action – write a letter or create a campaign that will change minds and attitudes.
Compare and contrast other books that use a true story and place it in picture book form. With these books: Phasmid, One small Island, The Hairy Nosed Wombats
– Identify the true story in each book.
– Identify the human actions involved – positive and negative.
– Identify the impacts on the world if this animal/s was to become extinct.
– Compare and contrast the 4 picture books and decide which one makes more of an impact on you.
– What does sustainability mean in regards to these stories?
– Teach another group of students about your story or of another animal that is endangered. Think of an interesting way that grabs their attention so they listen and learn.
Links to Rhinos
OI.3 – Sustainable patterns of living rely on the interdependence of healthy social, economic and ecological systems.
OI.6 The sustainability of ecological, social and economic systems is achieved through informed individual and community action that values local and global equity and fairness across generations into the future.
During the month of May my intention is to help parents and teachers build awareness of how we can act more sustainability and how education in this area can be part of their daily routine.
The world we live in now needs more people to start reflecting on how we are living and how that living is effecting the way others live now and how are future generations are going to be able to live.
Through picture books, small activities and short discussions we can all start to raise awareness in ourselves and our children.
Have you ever read a book about our underground farmers?
Do your children know why earthworms exist and how what we spray on our backyards can drastically effect their health? Try reading Yucky Worms to inspire your own backyard warrior!
Have you ever stopped to look at the detail of a tree?
Many children do have a short attention span but ask them to touch the tree and give you an adjective about how it feels, looks and smells like. You will be amazed! Inspire yourself and your child to appreciate trees and perhaps plant some extra in your own yard or during a community event such as Plant a Tree day.
Try reading Last Tree in the city also – an inspiring read about the power of determination to make a difference.
How about inspiring your child to be more sustainable in order to save an endangered species?
Many adults and children are oblivious to the animals that we effect by the chemicals we pour down the drain, water we waste, plastic waste we throw out and land clearing for housing, farms and business. Try reading a story that inspires someone to tread a little more carefully. The Hairy Nosed Wombats Find a New Home is a very inspiring story as is Phasmid!
Join me in May on instagram and Facebook as I learn how I can make my life more sustainable so someone else in the world has a better chance and so that my children live in a better world.
Written on a solar-powered computer and printed on recyclable paper The tomorrow book by Jackie French and Sue Degennaro is a story filled with hope for tomorrow.
Many environmental books are filled with doom and gloom – as the media tells us that is where we are headed. BUT with imagination, creative thinking, problem solving and open minds, tomorrow can be a wonderful day where we harness the sun’s energy, we repair things instead of throwing them away, we each have our own veggie patch and wind power is just another form of easy to use energy.
Jackie French is a marvellous story teller and through this book she ignites ownership of the world in children and a belief that they can all make a difference to the world they live in.
Many of us are too caught up in what we are used to doing and find change so difficult but as we can see through this story that sometimes it is only the simplest of changes that makes a difference to our human world, the animals and natural habitats within in.
Sue Degennaro’s illustrations are an energetic mixture of pastel and collage (using recycled materials of course!) and add so much more to the story being told. Degennaro’s illustrations really highlight the fact that tomorrow isn’t just about humans.
So what can you do?
- Redesign your day: How would you get to work or school if you made one change? What would your meals look like?
- How can Easter be packaged better? Reflect on the waste over Easter and how you can make a change for next year. Re design an Easter egg package so it is better for tomorrow.
- Check out my long list of sustainability books.
- Check out this great program on Self-sufficiency in the suburbs! Tell Laura I sent you.
- How to the illustrations add more depth to the story?
- Does the use of recycled paper change how you see the story? Why aren’t more books printed this way?
- How does collage add a different dimension to this story – can it be used in all stories?
Reading books to children is a great place to start igniting ideas to make changes in the world we live in. Start conversations and take responsibility together to make a difference in the world we live in.
More from Harper Collins: http://static.harpercollins.com/harperimages/ommoverride/The_Tomorrow_Book_TN.pdf
Rock Pool Secrets by Narelle Oliver was the last book she produced in her artistic career and it truly is a wonderful book to be remembered by.
Rock Pool Secrets take children on a journey into the secrets of a rock pool through high and low tide. Children can discover the different animals that hide amongst the rocks and see how they survive fluctuations in the water level, food availability and predators.
Rock Pools are always a fascinating place to be and there is so much hidden deep down crevices and cracks, behind seaweed and darkness.
Each page engages the reader as they search for camouflaged animals, hidden molluscs and inky octopuses.
Rock Pool Secrets is a beautiful book to help your child become aware of these imagination inspiring places and how something so small can do so many amazing things.
So what can you do with this book?
- Learn about different animals that live in rock pools. Discover their life cycles, habitat and eating habits.
- Where are rockpools situated?
- Are there any famous rockpools in the world and why are they famous?
- Using this book as a springboard, choose another area of interest in the area of science. How could you present this new topic in an interesting and engaging manner? Try to engage your peers in a new way so that they can learn something new.
- Why do we need rockpools?
- How can the ph of the water effect the livelihood of rock pool creatures?
- What sort of creatures only live in rockpools?
- Are rockpools ever in danger of destruction?
- If all rockpools were destroyed, what might the oceans look like?
Before the earth’s environment collapsed, under the weight of industrial pollution and radioactive waster, the oceans teemed with an abundance of life.
It’s now 2200 and all that moves now is only mechanical…..
Aquatica is the second book by Lance Balchin which explores a future where all animals and insects as we know them now are long extinct and all that we have are mechanical creatures.
Aquatica explores a world filled with aquatic animals who have evolved from robotic drones into free thinking, dangerous attackers. Life in 2200 is dangerous yet amazingly interesting.
The protagonist Liberty Crisp, aged 15, is on a mission to document each of these species and try to befriend them so the world does not destroy itself even more than it has.
You can spend hours looking at the details of each mechanical creature and reading the detail of it’s habitat, speed and lifestyle. Lance Balchin ignites our imagination and makes the reader ponder the future – what do we want it to look like for our children?
So how can you use this book at home?
– Revisit Mechanica and the activities included.
– Visit a nearby water way and investigate the different living species that live within this environment.
– Look at what you put down your drain at home – could any of this effect marine life?
– Make your own Aquatica creature and test to see if it can live in water.
– Look at organisations such as WWF, Greenpeace and see how they help our oceans.