Try these Environmental Read-Aloud Books for Your Classroom

Environmental Read aloud Books

If you are like many educators, you might find it difficult to fit environmental education into your daily teaching routine. Lucky for you, you’ve stumbled across this article on environmental read-aloud books and we are here to help! One of the best and easiest ways to teach about climate topics is through amazing read-aloud books featuring environmentalism. Before we move ahead, let’s answer this important question — what are read-aloud books and why choose ones with an environmental theme for kids?

Read-aloud is a type of instructional practice adopted by educators, parents and guardians or caregivers of children where they read texts aloud to them. This is done by blending variations in voice tone, pitch and volume with hand or facial gestures, questions and more to make the story narration and delivery an interesting experience. There are so many reasons why environmental read-aloud books are important and one of them is developing a love for nature in children and youth.

Educators play an important role in raising a next generation of learners who are empowered and equipped to brainstorm solutions to the world’s climate issues. This might seem like a hefty responsibility to bear but thankfully there are many available resources to assist and make the process easy. GreenLearning alone has a wide range of lesson plans, programs and challenges that can help make teaching children about sustainability easier. Our curated blogs also provide insights into teaching practices that can enhance the learning experience. This is why we have written this piece about environmental read-aloud books, because we know that it is an opportunity to combine both English and environmental literacy.

Here are several environmental read-aloud books that feature a planet-loving, environmental message.

Book #1 - Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers
(Preschool to Grade 2)

Both written and fabulously illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth” is a guide for young people about the beautiful intricacies of our planet. Both the planet’s natural wonders, and diversity of its people, plants and animals. This book will leave a warm feeling in reader’s hearts.

Book #2 - Sila and the Land by Ariana Roundpoint, Shelby Agnalik, and Lindsay DuPré
(Grade 1 to 8)

“Sila and the Land” was co-authored by three incredible Indigenous youth, with an aim to bring their perspectives on pressing environmental issues such as climate change. In the book, Sila is an Inuk girl who goes on an adventure. During her travels she meets many plants and animals that help teach her about the land and the importance of its protection. An added bonus to choosing this book is that it can act as a mentor text in your classroom, as GreenLearning has provided multiple lessons for students to connect to the text and its larger message. If you are interested in these free teaching resources provided by GreenLearning click here.

Book #3 - The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
(Preschool to Grade 3)

Another book that will hit you right in the feels, Shel Silverstein’s, “The Giving Tree” is a story about the lifelong relationship between a boy and a tree. There is a reason this story is a classic, as the interpretations of the story are endless. Connecting it to environmentalism, the tree could serve as a great representation of how our planet provides for us, how thankful we should be for it, and how we should be careful of not taking too much for all we will be left with is stumps.

Book #4 - The Water Walker by Joanne Robertson
(Grade 1 to 3)

Based on the real life story of Josephine Mandamin, Robertson’s “The Water Walker” features a story of environmental activism. An Anishinaabe elder and water-rights advocate, Josephine’s journey to protect Nibi leads her to walk incredible distances around the Great Lakes to raise awareness. While we are so fortunate to live with incredible resources such as the Great Lakes in Canada, the book’s message lets us remember the importance of the water for us and future generations and ensuringclean and fresh water is available to all on Turtle Island.

Book #5 - Carson Crosses Canada by Linda Bailey
(Preschool to Grade 3)

To end off my list with something a little more light and fun, “Carson Crosses Canada” is a story that details Carson the dog and his owner Annie traversing the entirety of Canada to visit Annie’s sister. While this book may not appear to be an environmental read aloud at first, the lovely illustrations done by Kass Reich show what a marvel the Canadian landscape truly is. One of environmentalism's truest sparks is an appreciation for the nature that surrounds us. Carson Crosses Canada dazzles readers with stories and images from our beaches, prairies, mountains, and more!

Do you have a favourite environmental read-aloud book that we missed? Tag us in our social media: @greenlearning and let us know why it’s your top choice. If you're looking for more ways to engage your students in environmental learning, remember that GreenLearning offers a variety of free resources to spark student curiosity. Bookmark this page in your web browser and visit us again!

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