What's old is new again. Even when it comes to garbage.
“Oh, the places you’ll go. The people you’ll meet.” Hey, it’s Dr. Seuss!
And it’s THINK-THINK-THINK-ing Thursday! Dr. Seuss would have liked joining us today, I THINK. Ya know, I should have asked him a few years back when he and I were shaking hands during autographing sessions for his and my books at adjacent tables. Ah, he’d like to THINK-THINK with us. I just know it. WOW! A week flies by. We’ve gone places, done things, and met people. And as a week flies by, so the garbage piles up.
Okay, you may be in a mood such that right now you'd like to take that "garbage piles up" figuratively. But for some moments today, let's THINK on it literally. WOW! The recycling cans are full again! And that thought leads me to THINK about the fact that I have seen our society's concern for recycling...well, recycle itself. We’ll cycle back to that idea i
n a bit here. THINKing about recycling takes me to ways for you and your child to THINK and talk about recycling today. I'll offer some writings to share with your child from toddler age to teenage. It was in the late 1980's and early 90's when I first began to write about recycling for children's needs and interests. As a visiting author and consultant, I traveled to school districts around the country. Communities across this country were focusing on the benefits and how-to’s of recycling. We needed, folks said, to look for ways to reuse all sorts of our resources, both natural and manufactured. Folks wanted their children to learn early on to THINK about our planet’s need for humans to do less tossing out. This meant that recycling became a hot topic in elementary schools. And publishers, writers, editors, and illustrators recognized the corresponding need for appropriate textbooks, library books, and classroom materials.
I and others began to include the topic in articles for textbooks, in poems, and in all sorts of children's books. I began reading and reciting some of my writings about recycling each time I met with student and educator groups. Children and teachers responded enthusiastically to any and every mention of recycling. Thus, I included “Earth Says” in a Poetry Works
set of classroom materials with posters that, still today, grace classroom walls in schools here and abroad. "Earth Says" also appeared on a bookmark. Then, I included the poem in my More Phonics through Poetry: Teaching Phonemic Awareness Using Poetry
, this time to help children focus on the sound of a prefix before reading and writing its letter representation re-
. Earth Says
I'm giving you oodles of cues To reduce, recycle, reuse. It's time to refuse The choice to abuse Or lose your freedom to choose. Copyright © 1989 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz First published in Poetry Works: The Second Stanza
by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz (Modern Curriculum Press/PearsonLearning, 1993). Younger children's enthusiasm for “Gobble, Gobble, Munch!” saw this poem published similarly in another poster kit, with a second appearance as a picture book. The poem was later included in a poetry collection that’s housed in homes, schools, and public libraries around the country. [caption id="attachment_881" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Gobble, Gobble, Munch! by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz"]
[/caption] Gobble! Gobble! Munch!
Gobble, gobble, munch! Gobble, gobble, munch! What will you be serving on your street for lunch? Don't serve me paper! Don't serve me cans! Don't serve me metal or aluminum pans! Don't serve me plastic! Don't serve me glass! I would rather munch on egg shells or grass. Gobble, gobble, munch! Gobble, gobble, munch! What will you be serving this garbage truck for lunch? Copyright © 1991 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz First published in Poetry Works: The First Verse
by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz, (Modern Curriculum Press, PearsonLearning, 1992). Times change. Interests change. And some time during the late 1990’s, I began noticing that the idea of recycling was not resonating with whole schools of children. That word was no longer on the tips of children’s tongues. WOW!
Wearing my teacher hat, I continued to read and recite “Earth Says” and “Gobble, Gobble, Munch!” with nearly every group. Now, however, I neede
d to follow up the readings with real teaching...to lead children toward an understanding of each poem's context. Often I’d ask adults in the room if the community recycled. No, they didn’t. Hmmm. Times change. Interests change. And just in these past few years, I've noticed that recycling has recycled itself! WOW! Whole schools of children are again versed on the word and its concept. Children tend to know about the need for and the how-to’s of recycling. Yes. Items get recycled. That we know. I hope you and your child will have some fun naming such items in your home. Today and every day.
And then you can do some oral sorting out to exclude those items that may be biodegradable. Yes! Do make sure to use that big word with your child from age 3. Because children find that big word fun to say! And I promise you'll soon hear your young child saying the word while sorting recyclables! WOW! Aside from items and the concept of recycling, itself, lots of ideas and behaviors get recycled. THINK and TALK with your child
about how fads and fashions come and go. TALK about hair styles, “cool” words that cool kids utter, or potluck dishes like the ones I tasted at a pool party last week. Hmmm. Those recipes from the 70’s struck folks of all ages––right here and now in 2009––as being mouth-wateringly new
I leave you today with thoughts of recycling...items, fads, foods, behaviors, what-have-you. Enjoy your day of THINKing and TALKing about recycling with your child! While you’re at it, try recycling fun together with an old toy or book or game. And tune in here tomorrow for a bit more about recycling...and some Free-for-All Friday frolicking fun!
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