4 Nonfiction Learning Extensions on Climate & the Environment

Anna Starecheski

One of our most important goals at Storyworks Jr. is to inspire your kids to want to learn more. The nonfiction article, “The Killer Smog,” from the February 2018 issue, is a great way to spark more learning about the environment, current events, and the industrial revolution. Another great thing about these learning extensions is that they offer a wonderful opportunity for self-directed constructed learning environments. We hope that the resources below will captivate and inspire your students!




TO READ: An information-packed book about how you can help the environment.

TO DO: A science-connection project and discussion.

The Everything Kids’ Environment Book explains environmental issues in ways kids can understand, and suggests some super fun science experiments to deepen understanding!

LEARNING TASK: For a specialized whole-class project, see the “Smog in a Jar” project on page 4. Do the project as a class and have a discussion about what they learned. Remember to bring ideas from the Storyworks Jr. article into the discussion!



TO WATCH: An educational video from National Geographic

TO DO: A compare/contrast exercise

This awesome video tells the story of another pollution problem London has faced: the pollution of the River Thames. The video explains how the river got polluted and how people managed to fix it, making it a great companion piece to our article.

LEARNING TASK: Have your students write a compare/contrast essay about London’s two pollution problems and how people helped improve conditions. 



TO READ: An inspiring book about real people doing their part for the Earth.

TO DO: A debate or persuasive writing activity

Heroes of the Environment is an incredible book of stories about real people who have done amazing things for the environment. The level might be tricky for some of your students, so feel free to break students into groups based on ability and work closely with the lower-level groups.

LEARNING TASK: Have your students pick out the hero from the book that they think had the greatest impact. If everyone picks the same hero, have them write persuasive essays about why they chose their hero. If there are a few heroes that come up, have the class debate about which hero had the greatest impact. 




TO READ: An infographic about air pollution in the U.S.

TO DO: Make a plan of action

This infographic from the American Lung Association tells you how to lower your risk of air pollution.

LEARNING TASK: Have students create a poster educating people in your town or city on how they can reduce air pollution.


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