This started as a simple read a story answer a few questions project and snowballed into a much bigger Ecopedagogy project. It’s up to us as teachers to immerse our students in the bigger picture in a way that elicits not just understanding but compassion and caring. In this case, I am speaking to our current environmental situation. According to my own research, I have found we are in the biggest extinction crisis since the age of dinosaurs. Forests are being burnt and destroyed for capitalistic projects. Animals are being poached and killed for things as silly as their tusks. Natural resources are being consumed at twice the reproducible speed. Something must be done and the classroom is the best place to start.
Here you will find a starting point for bringing ecological education into your classroom. I have included a short story by Roald Dahl, “The Sound Machine,” as well as an article published in Bolivia a few years back. Both pieces of literature have been formatted to leave plenty of space for annotating and note taking in the margins. Each piece is also followed by comprehension questions and a Constructed Response prompt. Lastly, I have included a Constructed Response meant to bring the two pieces together under one large thematic comparison.
In addition to the ecological aspect of the unit, the article is a great way to introduce rhetorical devices to the classroom.
I chose not to add a vocabulary aspect to this unit. The focus is on following the theme through both piece of texts, therefore students should include vocabulary in their annotations.
"The Sound Machine" by Roald Dahl
"Rainforest Rapidly Cleared for Sugarcane in Bolivia" by Franco Berton
Comprehension questions for each text
Three Constructed Response Prompts