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Environmental Education: An Appealing Pathway to Project-Based Guided Investigations (January 2023): Grades 3 through 5

By Stephen T. Schroth and Janese Daniels

Grades 3 through 5

As children move into the intermediate grades, they are more able to work independently and to engage in a more active role in identifying problems facing their communities and devising possible solutions to those problems. Literature written for children at this stage can serve as a launching point for them to initiate their own projects and investigations. Excellent texts to begin with might include Kathryn Laskey’s Vision of Beauty, a biography of the pioneering African American inventor and businesswoman who created less caustic Black haircare products; Laurie Wallmark’s Grace Hopper, which chronicles the life of the groundbreaking computer programmer and feminist icon; and Carole Lindstrom’s We Are Water Protectors, an urgent rallying cry to protect the Earth’s water and an account of a community of Ojibwe who did so. For those working with more independent learners, Keith and Chenoa Egawa’s The Whale Child, examining how environmental degradation affects Indigenous people; Leslie Davenport’s All the Feelings Under the Sun, written to help young learners work their way through anxiety related to climate change; and Joanna Kanow’s EcoQueen, in which the protagonist (Kora) works to address environmental threats after losing her mother to a traumatic climate event, may also be appropriate titles for inclusion.

Works Cited