Amazing Books That Inspire Environmental Responsibility
These environment books focus on different aspects of saving the planet including deforestation, plastic reduction and saving habitats. They explain environmental responsibility in ways for children of different ages to understand.
More and more it seems like the younger generation will have to live with the consequences of questionable environmental decisions. Though things are changing, it is not happening quickly enough.
I first added this video in 2018, but it is just as relevant today. Greta Thunberg, a Swedish activist gave a powerful speech to the UN about the inaction on climate change.
She ended the speech by saying “We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again. We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time. We have come here to let you know that change is coming whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people.”
When introducing environmental responsibility and activism in your classroom it is important to look deeper than what’s on the news. While Greta Thunberg has global attention there are child activists all over the world. They are changing their communities and the world. You can find out more about these young activists here:
- BBC Newsround: Climate change: 7 young climate activists from around the world
- Earth Day: 19 Youth Climate Activists You Should Be Following On Social Media
- Eco-UNESCO: Why I am a Young Environmentalist
- Project Learning Tree: 13 Inspiring Examples Of Young Environmentalists Making A Difference
- UN Environment Programme: Meet six environmentalists who are changing the world
Environment Responsibility Through Teaching
As educators, it is partly our responsibility to help children understand the need for change and the consequences of inaction. While the future of the planet is very political it doesn’t have to be with children. If you want to inspire your students further with environmental responsibility try some of these activities and model positive actions.
- Get children involved in recycling, reducing and reusing items where possible.
- Involve children in outdoor activities and appreciate nature, plants, animals and insects. You could get involved in cleaning up your local environment – beaches, parks, etc.
- Do you have a garden or even a window sill? Try some gardening or growing your own food.
- Develop an understanding of how precious water is.
- Encourage children to turn the tap off when they are cleaning their teeth, etc.
- Recycling old clothes and toys.
- Save electricity by turning off lights or plugs when not needed.
Environment Books For Children
These environment books focus on different aspects of saving the planet including deforestation, plastic reduction and saving habitats. Other themes include respect, responsibility, open-mindedness and empathy.
111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl by Rina Singh
A Symphony of Whales by Steve Schuch
Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood
The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool
The Digger and the Flower by Joseph Kuefler
Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunberg's stand to save the world by Zoë Tucker
Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood by Tony Hillery
Here Comes the Garbage Barge by Jonah Winter
Leaf by Sandra Dieckmann
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane
Mrs Noah’s Pockets by Jackie Morris
One Small Island by Alison Lester
Rainbow Weaver by Linda Elovitz Marshall
Tidy by Emily Gravett
The Tomorrow Book by Jackie French
The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed A City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins
Where Are You, Sun Bear?: Malaysia by Eun-mi Choi
Are you worried about the state of our planet? How do you help children understand the importance of their action when it comes to the environment?
If you have used these books tell what you thought of their message for children. Add comments below.
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11 thoughts on “Amazing Books That Inspire Environmental Responsibility”
I love all of these suggestions and am putting them on our holds list at the library. One question: do you have any similar suggestions for middle grades books?
Dear Julia, Thank you for your comments!! My knowledge of middle school books is not great but try this site https://www.readbrightly.com/environmentally-conscious-middle-grade-books/. You will find some great choices.
What a great list you’ve put together, it’s such an important topic for students to learn about.
So many amazing suggestions! I’ve never read any of these, and now I want them all! I can’t wait to grab them from our library – I’m sure my kiddos will love them.
Yeah!! I hope you find them at your local library. Thanks for the comment!
Thanks for sharing!
Beautiful book recommendations! It always amazes me how much a single book can have on a child. Channeling that power towards protecting nature is a great idea!
I totally agree, Michelle. Glad you enjoy the recommendations!
These look like wonderful books with beautiful illustrations! I love the idea of changing the world through literature. It’s a much more positive approach.
Thanks, Heidi! I agree literature is such a positive tool, especially with children.