The Dr. Seuss book “The Lorax” is obviously an indictment against corporate waste, pollution and lack of environmentally friendly practices. Just in time for National Reading Month in March, Read Across America (first week of March) and Earth Month in April, here are environmental science activities from The Lorax. Oh, and this is a tribute to the Great One– Dr. Seuss whose birthday is March 2. Use these literature-based environmental science lesson plans for Earth Day lesson plans and crafts. Here are environmental science printables and lesson plans for spring science units.
Text to Life Dr Seuss lesson plans. The Lorax is a parable or allegory. Characters represent ideas or people. As you read the Lorax ask students to decide who these characters represent: The Once-ler (corporations, society, people), The Boy (children, the future generation), The Lorax (God, Mother Nature, a Supreme Being). Here are Lorax and Dr Seuss printables..
Lorax story maps. After reading The Lorax, students should design environmental science diagrams to show food web and pollution impacts charts. Show in sequence how each species relies on the Trufulla trees. These could be drawn in cartoon format or as flowcharts. Now show backwards, how the Once-ler’s factory takes out not only too the Trufulla trees away, but pollutes the air and water and harms the animals and plants. Here are endangered species printables to show what that looks like in real life.
Explore environmental science vocabulary from the Lorax–sustainable, ecology, symbiotic relationship, biodegradable, environment, pollution, interdependence, interconnected, food web, food chain, carbon footprint, carbon cycle, Make 3D graphic organizers by folding paper into 6 parts. for sequenced cartoon strip. Make a sequence book by accordion folding a wide strip of paper. On each page or frame, students write a word or sentence explaining what damage the factory created and how it affects each animal group. Or make a circle chart to show how nature is interconnected, by folding paper circles in six parts. Here are earth science printables to help.
Environmental science experiments. Plant seeds. Here’s a excellent text to life connection. Do as the Lorax and Once-ler commanded and plant trees. Sprout seeds in simple terrariums by placing dried beans and wet paper towel in Ziploc bags. Or put carrot tops in water. Show how seeds need clean air and sun to grow. Place one seedling in a dark, dusty room such as a broom closet and others in the sun. Water some but not others. Compare results.
Writer’s Workshop Dr. Seuss lesson plans. April is National Poetry Month. Write poems for Earth Day, telling what will happen “unless” people stop polluting and start caring for the earth. Or write an Earth Day song about why it is important to keep our world green. Draw shape poems, writing each line or sentence in the shape of the sun, trees, fish, birds, etc. The Lorax says he “speaks for the trees for the trees have no voice.” Have children make posters, poems and songs to advocate for the trees.
Environmental science field trips and experiments. Go on a litter hunt. Take before and after pictures of the playground, woods or roadside. Give each student a recycled plastic bag and latex or plastic gloves. Count, weigh and measure how much trash was collected in 15 minutes. Chart and graph different kinds of litter and show what kinds of trash is most commonly thrown out. Start a recycling club. Take a field trip to visit a wildlife refuge, native tribal council, DNR station, nature center, fish hatchery or nature preserve. Wherever you live in this wide wonderful world, there are places to explore the wildlife in your area and folks committed to sharing their love of nature with students.
Environmental science skits. Students should write skits on reducing pollution and litter. Or retell The Lorax story. Explore the internet for new ways to reuse trash. For example, communities in Michigan create green eco-friendly park benches to made entirely from recycled plastic milk jugs.
Design a bird feeder, watering station and bird house. Use recycled materials like milk jugs. Compost food scraps. Or make bird seed cakes. Explore local songbirds in your area. Here are George Washington Carver jprintables with recycling ideas from the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle King himself!