Each year on April 22, over one billion people take part in Earth Day activities. Whether that's cleaning up litter, attending an event, or even learning more about the earth through reading. For us to know how we can treat out planet better, we need to develop our environmental literacy. This refers to the knowledge and understanding needed to connect what we know and what we do to enact positive change.
We have found some great books that you can read with your kids to help them develop a deeper relationship with the environment as well as some characteristics you can help them have to ensure they continue to care about the environment as they grow older.
According to MAEOE, an environmentally conscious person:
Has knowledge and understanding of a wide range of environmental concepts, problems, and issues;
Understands the ecological, economic, and cultural connections between humans and the environment;
Recognizes the impact of decisions they make; and,
Possesses a set of cognitive skills and abilities, like critical thinking and reading.
Franklin Plants a Tree (2001)
Written by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrated by Brenda Clark
"In this Franklin TV Storybook, it's Earth Day and Mr. Heron is giving away free trees. Franklin can hardly wait to plant a big climbing tree in his backyard. But when Franklin gets to the village square, Mr. Heron hands him a tiny sapling. Disappointed, Franklin doesn't notice when the little tree falls off his wagon. On his search for the lost tree, Franklin discovers that even the very biggest trees in the village started out as something small." — Kids Can Press
The Lorax (1971)
Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
"Dr. Seuss’s beloved story teaches kids to treat the planet with kindness and stand up and speak up for others. Experience the beauty of the Truffula Trees and the danger of taking our earth for granted in a story that is timely, playful, and hopeful. The book’s final pages teach us that just one small seed, or one small child, can make a difference." —Random House Books
Calgary Public Library Link: https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1232779095
10 Things I Can Do to Help My World (2008)
Written and illustrated by Melanie Walsh
"Do you remember to turn off the tap while you brush your teeth? How about using both sides of the paper when writing and drawing? Or planting seeds and nurturing the new plants as they grow? Bold, child-friendly illustrations and die-cut pages will draw even the youngest listeners to this gentle reminder of the easy, everyday ways we can be kinder to the earth." —Goodreads
The Water Princess (2016)
Written by Susan Verde / Georgie Badiel and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
"Based on supermodel Georgie Badiel’s childhood, a young girl dreams of bringing clean drinking water to her African village
With its wide sky and warm earth, Princess Gie Gie’s kingdom is a beautiful land. But clean drinking water is scarce in her small African village. And try as she might, Gie Gie cannot bring the water closer; she cannot make it run clearer. Every morning, she rises before the sun to make the long journey to the well. Instead of a crown, she wears a heavy pot on her head to collect the water. After the voyage home, after boiling the water to drink and clean with, Gie Gie thinks of the trip that tomorrow will bring. And she dreams. She dreams of a day when her village will have cool, crystal-clear water of its own." — Penguin Random House
The Earth Gives More (2019)
Written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Christiane Engel
"From leaves falling and becoming fertilizer to raindrops bringing plants to life in the spring, the cycle of every season has something to enjoy. While delighting in all nature offers, we need to remember to respect and treasure the world around us. This sweet rhyming story follows the change in seasons and illustrates how we can all be stewards of the Earth." —Goodreads
If you'd like to support literacy-based programming, please consider donating to our "Cover Your FESA" fundraiser as part of the 25th Anniversary of the Further Education Society of Alberta. Between February 1 and August 15, 2021, all donations received will be matched up to 50% by Shaw Birdies for Kids Presented by Altalink.