I regularly incorporate books into our Little Lotus preschool & school age classes. It is a wonderful way to share powerful messages in a fun way that captures the attention of all. I am absolutely in love with the book The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. First published in the early 1970’s I find most parents of my students are familiar with this book and some families already have it in their repertoire of reading. If this book is not a part of your current family library I highly recommend that you consider its addition a valuable resource.
The book details what happens to the environment when the Oncler, who was fond of the great Truffala trees, decided to set up shop and begin production of turning the truffala trees into thneeds “something everyone needs”, a garmet of some sort. The Lorax arrives, to speak for the trees, to stop the production of thneeds and help protect the environment. You see the trees produce wonderful fruits that feed the surrounding animals (Bar-ba-loots), and the pond where the Humming Fish swim is now being polluted due to the high production of the truffula trees to thneeds. There is no place for the fish to swim as their water becomes brown and murky and the swomee swans need to leave what was once a clean and safe place to live. In the end, due to the Oncler’s greediness, there are no trees left. However, one last little Truffula seed is found, which is thrown out to you the reader, to plant the seed, take care of its growth and nurture it grow. Basically, the seed is thrown to the reader to make the decision of what they will do with the one last seed that is left. Will you take care of it? nurture it and invite the re-growth of the Truffala trees and bring back all the wonderful creatures that once lived there?
This book always brings forth a great conversation, no matter the age-group, on protecting our environment, what happens when pollution occurs, how we can protect the earth and create an everlasting environment that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Here are some questions you may wish to engage your child in:
1. How did you like the Truffula tree and the pond where the Humming Fish swam at the start of the book. (You may wish to sort back through to show the picture again of the bountiful trees and fresh blue water)
2. What happened to the trees and the pond when the Oncler began a large production of making thneeds?
3. Where would you prefer to live (where the Truffula trees are still in tact & Bar-ba-loots enjoy the bountiful fruit, or where the trees have all been cut and the brown murky water pond) and why?
4. How can we, as a family, help in protecting the earth and our environment? What can we do if we find garbage at the park when we go for a play? Why do we compost or recycle and do you like doing these things to help the earth stay healthy?
5. Consider planting a tree or plant with your family and nurture it to growth together. Would your child like to do this and what responsibilities would they like to take on to make sure it thrives? will they aid in the actual planting? daily watering? ensuring it gets enough sunlight?
What are you doing already as a family to nurture our wonderful Mother Nature and make sure there is a thriving environment for our future generations? Please share so we can learn from each other and work towards a cleaner and safer Planet Earth 🙂