I'm excited to announce that the newest Think Earth environmental education unit is online and available free! Stellar cartoonist Andy Hirsch (Science Comics: Dogs, Science Comics: Trees, and Science Comics: Cats) created Rosa and Able, a pair of hilarious pigeons that help kids learn about pollution. These two 8-page comics, called Pollution is for the Birds, in combination with the Classroom Guide, help students learn the causes and effects of air, water, and soil pollution, and learn ways to reduce pollution. This unit is aimed at 5th grade students but really can be used in grades 4-6.
All of the Think Earth K-5 units are available free online. Just complete the simple registration (don't worry, we don't share email addresses with anyone) and you can download everything, including comics, videos, pre- and posttests, student pages, teacher guides, and more.
Interestingly, we found in our testing that kids didn't understand the title because they were unfamiliar with the idiom "for the birds." We were curious about the origins of this phrase, so we did a little digging and found out that in the days before cars and trucks birds were often drawn to the undigested oats in horse droppings in the street. Thus, if something is for the birds, it's poop! Pollution is definitely for the birds.
And don't forget that our 4th grade unit, Waste Invaders, featuring comics by the brilliant Joey Wiser, is also available on the Think Earth site.
Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store for more graphic novel classroom resources!
Tracy Edmunds is an educational consultant specializing in curriculum development, project and online management, editing, and writing.