By on August 1st, 2008

With the way things are going, children who are born today will probably grow up associating “green” with the environmental movement more so than with the Crayola colour required for frogs and trees. Gone are the days when ‘The environment’ was a single chapter covered in a science textbook. In classrooms around the world, millions of teachers are doing their part to educate young people on the importance of caring for the earth. This is also true in the ESL world, where students come in all ages. According to over 1 billion of the world’s people are currently learning English. Students taking preparatory exams such as the TOEIC and TOEFL will now find that the environment is a topic commonly covered in reading and listening sections.

Millions of ESL learners rely on online resources. One of the most popular FREE e-learning sites for ESL learners and teachers is English This month English Club launched a section for learners who are interested in environmental issues.


Each English Club environment lesson includes a pre-reading vocabulary list, an English article on a current environmental issue, comprehension questions, and discussion topics. Readings range in difficulty from low-intermediate to advanced. English Club members may also enjoy the Our Planet forum. These resources can also be used by teachers in the ESL or young learners classroom (print them or use them in a computer lab setting). If you have an ESL learner or teacher in your circle of friends, please share the good news.


By on June 26th, 2008

What better way to celebrate Earth Hour with your kids than with a little Dr. Seuss? Including an earth friendly bedtime story in your monthly earth hour ritual is a great way to get kids on the green page. And no, I’m not talking about serving green eggs and ham for a bedtime snack. This Saturday, my family will be delving into The Lorax, a seventies classic which was once denounced by the American logging industry. This colourful story, is a great way to introduce children to the dangers associated with consumption.

In this story a young boy learns about a fluffy tree called the Truffula that once grew wild in a forest and provided a home for numerous Suessy creatures. A man named the “Once-ler” explains to the child how he discovered that the fluffy Truffula tree could be used for knitting “Thneeds” (objects that all people need). Despite protests from “the Lorax” the Once-ler watches his business grow and grow until the sky turns grey and there is only one seed left.

As with all Seuss books, The Lorax can be enjoyed at different levels by children and adults of all ages. This book may be the key to convincing your children (or spouse) that they don’t thneed anything new to play with this summer. Maybe they will be inspired to help you plants some seeds beneath the blue sky instead of going shopping.

Other Recommended Reading for Kids

Here are a few other kids’ stories that deal with ecological concerns. Look for these in your local libary or bookstore, and make sure to have one on hand at the end of each month for Earth Hour.

Recycle Every Day By Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
A bunny named Minna has a school assignment to make a poster about recycling.

The Great Trash Bash By Loreen Leedy.
Mayor Hippo and his animal citizens investigate the trash problems in Beaston.

The Tower to the Sun By Colin Thompson
A rich grandfather decides to build a tower so that his grandson can see how the sun once looked before air pollution took over the world.

Uno’s Garden By Graeme Base
Adorable creatures, including lumpybums and frinklepods welcome Uno into their garden. Life is beautiful until the tourists settle in and take over. What becomes of the Snortlepig?