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A great starting point for preparing students to be conservationists is The Lorax by Dr. Seuss.

This book tells the story of the Once-ler, who chops down all the Truffula Trees, and the Lorax, who tries to prevent their destruction. “I am the Lorax,” he says, “I speak for the trees.”

I have read the book many times since I was a child, and it really does speak to every age. The Lorax will get students to think about resource depletion and conservation, taking the perspective of the Lorax who protects the trees even when no one else will.

After reading the book, ask students what resources they need to live and to try to imagine a world without those things.  Perhaps they have lived in or visited places where there was not enough clean water; what was that like? Explain to them that a conservationist, like the Lorax, is someone who protects natural resources and that if enough of the people in the world become conservationists, they can work together to take care of plants, animals, and other natural resources.

Also, if movies help get your kids excited, The Lorax will soon be an animated film (with a promising cast of voice actors).

For more ideas on conservation, check out Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s educator’s guide, My Green Community.

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