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Building Environmental Awareness Through Childrenís Literature, by Bonnie Bielen Osborne

Guide Entry to 97.07.08:

This curriculum unit of study was developed to be used in a special education classroom at the high school level. It was created for students who have a limited background in science education and little exposure to environmental studies. Simple, basic concepts are reviewed, along with the presentation of new ideas and information.

It would be appropriate to include all or selected sections of the curriculum in a high school parenting class or as a unit in a regular education general science class. Individual sections of the unit could be presented separately, based on interests and needs of particular students.

The main focus of the unit is to promote consciousness-raising in the area of environmental science. The purposes of the unit are to build awareness through the study of childrenís literature relating to environmental topics and to further develop reading and writing skills. The core unit topics include pollution, recycling, food chains, the water cycle, habitats, endangered species, and balance in nature. The topics are presented through books written for children. In these selected books, scientific concepts are simplified, the text is relatively easy to read, and the illustrations aid in understanding. It is intended that once studied by the students in the classroom, these books will then be reread to younger children at home. The unitís culminating project is the creation of individual books about the environment, written by each student.

(Recommended for Parenting, Special Ed Science/General, grades 8-12)

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