I received this book to read and review from my dad back in the early fall and ended up using it with my class at the time in our science unit.

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It is published locally on Vancouver island and the group that put it together does school visits and local events as well. The idea behind it is to use drama and fun to address the issue of the garbage patch and the need to clean up our shoreline.

Although the book itself is probably more suited for grades 4-6, my grade 8’s enjoyed “story time” and we used the book as a starting point to brainstorm ideas. If I had more time in that class I think it could have turned into a neat buddy project with younger students.

Here is the lesson I did, but again, if I had more time this would have been turned into something bigger and more in depth.

1. Introduce the book:

I gave the students some background about the organization and got them to tell me what they already knew about ocean pollution- many of them were already familiar with the garbage patch.

2. Read the book:

I read the story out loud, stopping at a few points for questions and discussion to keep them engaged.

3. Discussion:

We talked about the meaning of the book and similarities/differences with other books on the topic of pollution and environment. It was great to hear their perspectives about the book and what age group they think it would be best for.

4. Project Planning:

In small groups they came up with a plan as to how they would use the book to create a project for a grade 4 class. This was the best part because every group pulled information from the book in such a unique way – and the groups of students who I thought might not engage had the best ideas too! The ideas ranged from doing a garbage clean up at the beach to creating boats to race out of recycling/garbage and then sorting it into proper receptacles after. I really wish I had been able to stick around and help them put a plan into action because their ideas really were awesome!

We covered this in a 45 minute block so it worked pretty well as a lesson in general and I highly recommend the book.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. I was given this book and asked to do a review and, as always, all opinions expressed our my own.

Meaghan