Monday, September 24, 2018

Climate Change for Children

Image result for read aloud

Environmental & Science Education
Climate Change
Edward Hessler

Well-known climate scientist, Michael Mann (Pennsylvania State University) and Australian illustrator/writer, Megan Hubert have written a children's book on climate change titled The Tantrum that Changed the World.

The National Center for Science Education's Stephanie Keep discussed the book with Mann and Herbert after reading the book to her two daughters. It includes a review by a 5th grade teacher and her students. Seven climate refugees are included in the book, some non-human animals and some human animals.

Megan Herbert described the purpose of the book in these words. "When people feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the climate change issue, they tend to shut off their empathy valves. “This isn’t happening to me; it’s too big a problem; I’m powerless to help.” My goal, in writing this book, was to help people—both children and adults—to reengage with their empathy. Because when we feel empathy, we are moved to act.

It is hard for me to pick a quote from Kottie Christie-Blick, the teacher who with her class reviewed the book. She wrote "This book is an appropriate read-aloud for children ages 7–11. There are quite a few difficult words for young readers, such as “condescension” and “conviction,” but when they experience the book as a read-aloud, supplemented with a bit of explanation, children will get the drift. The delightful pictures also provide good support to help children understand the story line."
Both authors have great comments on "wishful thinking" and imagination, important for both children and adults.

Grist asked a class of first graders on whether a tantrum can save the world. Here is a video of the class in action.

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