The Lorax. (1971). New York: Random House.
Challenged Book, Grade 3
The Lorax is a really cute and entertaining book for children. It is presented in a fantasy land type setting where little troll-like creatures live. It discusses the issue of the environment and how if all the trees were gone then a lot of the insects, bugs, and animals would be gone too. Although I don’t have personal connection to the book, I really enjoyed reading it.
When reading this book to children, there are a lot of prompts that could be given. For example, asking them what kind of person do they think the once-ler is? Why is the little boy asking about the lorax? What do you think is the mystery of the lorax? Why do you think the once-ler is telling the little boy the story? Do you think the little boy will plant the trees?
The Lorax is a very good teaching book in terms of teaching parts of a story. Since this is a story about a story it is challenging to dissect the parts of the story. So this would be a good story for children to look at and evaluate. The plot of the story is that the Once-ler moved into Thneed-ville and he cuts down all the trees. He is in constant conflict with the Lorax who speaks for the trees. The once-over becomes greedy and his entire family moves to Thneed-ville since they learned they can make money from the trees. In the end, the Lorax is forced to move and leave his life in Thneed-ville since there are no trees. The once-ler is telling the story to a little 12 year old boy named Ted who now holds the secrets of the Lorax and is holding the seeds for the future.
Lesson sketch: There are tons of lessons you could do with students on The Lorax. Teachers could do lessons on pollution of the Earth discussing water and air pollution, students could discuss greed, students could discuss energy products vs. natural products, students could discuss ways humans pollute the Earth, etc. Students could also discuss the differences between pollution such as noise pollution, air pollution, water pollution, etc. Students could come up with a way to “Save the Earth” and they could campaign it around school. Students could also try to test out their idea at school. For example, if they want to make the school cleaner. They could pick up extra trash and remind students to do the same.
Lesson objective: Students will be able to identify at least three different types of pollution. Students will be able to name one way to help the Earth (ex: picking up trash, not wasting water, etc.).
Links to outside resource:
Who is the Lorax?
Why does he “speak for the trees?”
What kind of person is the once-ler?
How is the once-ler harming the environment?