Monday, August 29, 2011
The Green Mother Goose
My students Susan Corbitt and Katie Allen created this comprehensive readers' guide for The Green Mother Goose by Jan Peck and David Davis. Lots of great ideas here!
The Green Mother Goose:
Saving the World One Rhyme at a Time
By Jan Peck and David Davis
Illustrated by Carin Berger
New York: Sterling. ISBN 9781402765254.
Recommended age level: 4 – 8
Summary of Book:
Mother Goose has gone green in this recycled book of 30 familiar Mother Goose rhymes. Jack Pratt addresses healthy eating in this new green version where he eats junk food fat and outgrows his pants. This Little Piggy saves water, bikes, uses alternative energy and squealed “Re-re-recycle!” all the way home; Mother Hubbard shops with cloth grocery bags. This eco-friendly picture book introduces recycling, organic gardening, free-range chickens, alternative energy, and protecting the environment to children through the use of nursery rhymes. The illustrations further the eco-friendly theme by creating collages from ticket stubs, newspapers, and other reused items. The book is printed with soy-based ink on paper made from mixed sources including recycled wood and fibers.
School Library Journal
“Peck and Davis whimsically rework 30 familiar rhymes with eco-friendly issues and concerns: recycling, organic gardening, free-range chickens, and the benefits of conserving. Most of the rhymes are fun and readable, even rousing at times, though a few are forced and didactic. Berger's collage illustrations crafted from found papers, including ticket stubs and newsprint, add to the book's folksy appeal. Inventive and hopeful, this should strike the right note for Earth Day celebrations.”
“Peck and Davis deliver their missive with humor and a touch of snark, but the often self-righteous tone drains much of the fun.”
Booklist - Diane Foote
“More suitable for teaching about ecology and conservation than simple sharing for fun, this collection of fractured nursery rhymes will be received best by kids who already know the original versions and will appreciate the green twist. These versions are cleverly done and retain the rhythms of the originals while updating the language and the message. The moralistic tone (“Mary, Mary, quite contrary, / Refused to garden green. / her toxic sprays, a choking haze, / Spreading dangers, hurtful and mean”) isn’t likely to win many converts, although kids already on the green bandwagon will welcome the reinforcement.”
“For this collection of 30 poems, not only nursery rhymes but also familiar children's songs have been given new lyrics promoting energy conservation activities and healthy living. Their strong message is leavened by Berger's whimsical, inventive illustrations, which lighten the tone. These illustrations invite close inspection, while the poems will be welcomed in schools where going green is a value.”
Questions to ask before reading the book: Invite the children to discuss the following:
Are you familiar with Mother Goose Rhymes? Have the original Mother Goose book to show students. Read some of the poems if they are not familiar with them. Recite some if they know them.
What does it mean to “go green”?
Do you turn the lights off when you leave your room? Did you know you can save energy when you turn the lights off? How else can you save energy in your home?
Do you know what recycling is and does your family recycle?
What do you know about Earth Day?
Suggestions for reading poems aloud
“Here We go Round the Neighborhood” - Invite the entire group to sing along with you.
“Jack Be Nimble” – Invite six children to read one stanza
“This Little Piggy” – Invite one child to read the poem and invite the entire group to respond to the last line “And this little piggy squealed,”…. (Group)”Re-re-recycle!”
Follow up activities (Writing, art, science, etc.)
The author took original Mother Goose Rhymes and made them “Green”. Invite the children to explore other Mother Goose Rhymes and choose one that they could recreate into an eco-friendly version.
In groups, have the children think of other eco-friendly topics to write about. Have each group create an original poem about their topic.
Invite the children to research one of the science theme from one of the poems; such as, recycling, energy conservation, water conservation, or nutrition. Have the children report on their new knowledge about the theme.
Invite the children to start recycling at home and share their experiences.
Invite the children to collect used materials from their home and create a “recycled” pet from those items.
The illustrator used pieces of old newspaper, bottles, and cans to create many of the illustrations in the book. Invite the children to use these items to create a collage of their favorite poem.
Related Web Sites:
Earth Day web sites:
[Look here for Earth Day poems, quotes, songs, activities, games, crafts, and coloring pages]
[Locate many connect the dot activities for planet earth and recycling. The connect the dots incorporate counting by 1s, 2s, odd and even, and using upper and lower case letters]
[Find literacy, math, and art ideas, bulletin boards, color pages, and questions about Earth Day. A list of books about Earth Day is also provided]
[Look here for Earth Day activities]
Curriculum web site:
[Complete curriculum alignment with standards, benchmarks, and objectives. Complete lesson plans fro for all subject matter; science, math, language arts, social studies, health, and art. Each lesson includes objectives, materials, eco facts, overviews, procedures, and extension]
“Green” tips web site:
Zipper’s Green Tips [Learn how you can help save the Earth]
Green Tips: Save Power [Learn how you can save energy]
Related Books: (Poetry, Nonfiction, Fiction)
Other Mother Goose books:
Offen, Hilda. 1984. A treasury of mother goose. New York: Simon and Schuster for Young Readers.
DePaola, Tomie. 1985. Tomie DePaola’s mother goose. New York: G.P. Putman’s Sons.
Decker, Marjorie Ainsborough. 2001. The Christian mother goose book of nursery rhymes. New York: Penguin Putman.
Still, James. 1998. An Appalachian mother goose. KY: University Press of Kentucky.
Books on recycling:
Jablow, Renee. 2011. Hey, that’s not trash!: but which bin does it go in? New York: Little Simon.
Bethel, Ellie. 2008. Michael recycles. CA: Worthwhile books.
Inches, Alison. 2009. The adventures of a plastic bottle: a story about recycling. New York: Little Simon.
Inches, Alison. 2009. The adventures of an aluminum can: a story about recycling. New York: Little Simon.
Inches, Alison. 2008. I can save the earth!: one little monster learns to reduce, reuse, and recycle. New York: Little Simon.
Books on Earth Day:
Mayer, Mercer. 2008. It’s earth day. New York: Harper Festival.
O’Connor, Jane. 2010. Fancy Nancy: Every day is earth day. New York: Harper Collins.
Capucilli, Alyssa Satin. 2010. Biscuit’s earth day celebration. New York: Harper Festival.
McNamara, Margaret. 2009. Earth day. New York: Simon Spotlight.
Trucit, Trudi Strawn. 2007. Earth day. Chicago: Children’s Press.
Wallace, Chad and Pattie Schnetzier. 2003. Earth day birthday. CA: Dawn Publishing.
Murphy, Stuart J. 2004. Earth day – hooray! New York: Harper Collins.
Books on Going Green:
Martin, James II. 2008. William the garbage truck & crew: William is going green. CA: Dream Liaison.
Kaplan, Madeline. 2008. Planet earth gets well. S. Carolina: Book Surge.
Asch, Frank. 1994. The earth and I. CA: Gulliver Green.
Schimmel, Schim. 1998. Children of the earth…remember. New York: Cooper Square Publishing.
Brown, Marc. 2011. Arthur turns green. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
Walsh, Melaine. 2008. 10 things I can do to help my world. Mass: Candlewick.
Reilly, Kathleen. 2008. Planet earth: 25 environmental projects you can build yourself. VT: Nomad Press.
O’Ryan, Ellie. 2009. Easy to be green: simple activities you can do to save the earth. Utah: Simon Scribbles.
Glaser, Linda. 2010. Garbage helps our garden grow: compost story. Minn: Millbrook Press.
Glaser, Linda. 2010. Our big home: An earth poem. Minn: Millbrook Press.
Vanderwood, Jill Ammon. 2009. What’s it like living green?: Kids teaching kids by the way they live. S. Carolina: Book Surge.
About the Author
Jan Peck is an award-winning children's book author. She has also written for magazines, including Boys' Life, Highlights for Children, Humpty Dumpty and Turtle magazines. Jan is an organic gardener and a past cook for Auntie Em's, a vegetarian health-food restaurant in Cowtown. Her latest traditionally published picture book is The Green Mother Goose, co-written with David Davis. Jan is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and the past Regional Advisor for the North Central/ Northeast Texas Chapter. Jan has won many awards for her writing. Her website is http://www.janpeck.com.
About the Author
David Davis is an author, cartoonist and speaker. He grew up in San Antonio, Texas and currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas. In addition to his books, David has published pen-and-ink artwork, cartoons, poems, humor, and short stories in various magazines and newspapers. Davis is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. He is an active speaker and presenter at educational conferences and schools, including LeTourneau University, Baylor University, and Texas A&M at Corpus Christi. He's been a featured author at the Texas Library Association Convention, and the Texas Book Festival. His website is http://www.daviddavis.com.
About the Illustrator
Carin Berger is an award winning designer, illustrator, and author. She has worked in London, San Francisco, and New York City. She has been awarded the 2006 Founder’s Award from the Society of Illustrators, the Best of Show from 3 x 3 Magazine for the Children’s Book Show, and the Scandiuzzi Children’s Book Award. Her work has been featured in some of the most prestigious trade publications, including CA Magazine, Print Magazine, How Magazine, and 3 x 3 Magazine, and it has been included in shows for the Society of Illustrators and American Illustration. Her books have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and School Library Journal and have won numerous awards. Her illustrations, cut paper collages, are made with scraps of ephemera, used clothing catalogues, and old ticket stubs. Her website is http://www.carinberger.com
Here is a second readers' guide with additional ideas and activities created by graduate student Katie Allen.
Summary of Book
This collection of 30 eco-friendly poems serves up a new twist on many classic nursery rhymes and songs. Throughout the collection, the reader encounters The Green Mother Goose, who yearns to save “our emerald home,” fuel conservatives Yankee Doodle and Little Boy Green, and Little Jack Horner, who replaces his mother’s light bulbs to lower her bills. The reader also meets many characters who are, well, not-so-green. Mary, Mary Quite Contrary grows her garden with chemicals and toxins, while Old Mother Hubbard keeps her cabinets stocked only with junk food. Conservationist Jack Be Nimble can teach readers to turn off the tap water while brushing, turn off lights before leaving a room, and hang laundry out to dry. Readers will be disappointed to learn of Humpty Dumpty’s fate after global warming, but they will learn the importance of eating healthy foods from Jack Splat and his wife. Little King Pippin shares energy-saving tips for building environmentally friendly houses, and the Three Little Pigs “Re-re-recycle” all the way home. The beautifully collaged illustrations, made with found materials, add a whimsical feel to the recycled pages, which are printed using soy-based ink.
“More suitable for teaching about ecology and conservation than simple sharing for fun, this collection of fractured nursery rhymes, including “This Is the Seed That Jack Sowed,” “Old King Coal,” and 28 more, will be received best by kids who already know the original versions and will appreciate the green twist. These versions are cleverly done and retain the rhythms of the originals while updating the language and the message.”
“For this collection of 30 poems, not only nursery rhymes but also familiar children's songs ("Yankee Doodle," "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush," etc.) have been given new lyrics promoting energy conservation activities and healthy living… Their strong message is leavened by Berger's whimsical, inventive illustrations, which lighten the tone. On varied backgrounds, including lined paper, surreal bird-people with skinny legs and round heads litter and recycle, plant gardens, tend bees, hang laundry on the line and ride bicycles. Five little pig-people "re-re-recycle!" all the way home. Indeed, recycled materials, found papers and ephemera were used for these collages… These illustrations invite close inspection, while the poems will be welcomed in schools where going green is a value.”
“Peck and Davis whimsically rework 30 familiar rhymes with eco-friendly issues and concerns: recycling, organic gardening, free-range chickens, and the benefits of conserving. The five little piggies bike, save water, and cry: "'Re-re-recycle!'/All the way home." Little Jack Horner changes incandescent bulbs, Little Boy Green tends a beehive, and Old King Coal: "Though he was a meanie,/Now he is a greenie,/And he works to keep our skies smoke-free." Most of the rhymes are fun and readable, even rousing at times, though a few are forced and didactic. After failing to win her pet's approval with junk food and nonorganic snacks, Old Mother Hubbard: "...went to the market/To buy only local./Dog bounced and barked,/His approval was vocal."
-School Library Journal
Questions To Ask Before Reading
Discuss the following questions with your storytime group or class before reading selections from this poetry collection.
- Are you all familiar with Mother Goose poetry? If so, would any of you like to share a favorite Mother Goose poem.
- What do you think the word “green” means in this poetry collection? Look closely at the illustrations on the book’s front and back cover for clues. Are there any “green” activities depicted on the covers?
- What kinds of “green” activities are you doing at home or at school to be environmentally friendly?
- What do you think might happen if we stopped taking care of our planet?
Suggestions for Reading Poems Aloud
- “Yankee Doodle” – Turn this song into a singing poem! Sing the original “Yankee Doodle” song before beginning this activity to familiarize readers with the tune. Split the readers into 4 groups, and assign each group one verse and a chorus to sing together. Share the song with parents or other children to spread the importance of saving fuel. “Here We Go Round the Neighborhood,” “If All the Seas Were One Sea,” and “Hickory Dickory Dock” would also work well as singing poems.
- “Jack Be Nimble” – This poem can be read as a chorus poem. Have the children repeat this first line of every stanza, “Jack Be Nimble,” while you read the rest of each stanza.
- “There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” – This poem lends itself well to being read in the “line-around” style. Write each of the 12 lines on a numbered index card, and pass the cards out to volunteers who are comfortable reading aloud. Have the children share the poem by lining up and reading their cards from 1-12.
- “One, Two, We Can Renew” – This poem would work wonderfully if read in the “call and response” style. Split the readers into two groups. Group 1 will read the numbered parts of the poem, and group 2 will read the responses.
Follow Up Activities
o Provide a list of Mother Goose poems or nursery rhymes not included in this collection. Invite readers to change the words of a selected poem or song into a new, “greener” version.
o Have students research activities they can do to make the Earth a healthier place to live. The students can each choose one activity, create a “how-to” pamphlet or flyer, and hand it out to friends and family.
o Brainstorm as a group about aspects of your community that could be more eco-friendly. As a group, compose a letter addressing what can be done to help the community become more “green,” and send the letter to the appropriate location.
o Create a worksheet with word problems centered around “green living.” The following are examples of word problems for the worksheet.
♣ If Wendell has three hens, and they lay two eggs per day, how many eggs would Wendell have after seven weeks?
♣ Wendell’s family eats six eggs for breakfast every morning. How many times can Wendell’s family eat breakfast with seven week’s worth of eggs? (Hint-Use the answer from the first question)
♣ When the Bates family goes grocery shopping, they fill up four reusable shopping bags each trip. After five trips to the grocery story, how many plastic bags will they have saved by using their “green” shopping skills?
♣ The James family washes five loads of laundry each week. It costs $0.50 for each load of laundry dried in the clothes dryer. How much money would the James family save each month by hanging their clothes out to dry?
o Encourage your students to create less waste. Weigh the garbage in the classroom or library at the end of each day. Discuss how students can reuse and recycle to create less waste. Hopefully the weight of the garbage will slowly decline as students reuse and recycle more often.
o Grow a classroom or library garden. Plant flowers, vegetables, or herbs. Discuss the importance of healthy eating, and encourage children to pass their newly-learned habits on to their friends and family.
o Make seeded paper bookmarks. This easy science/craft activity creates a bookmark that can be planted after use as a bookmark. Instructions for this activity can be found at the following website: http://crafts.slides.kaboose.com/336-spring-crafts/12.
o Use found materials to create collages like the illustrations found in this book. Ideas for found materials include newspapers, old books or magazines, mismatched buttons, puzzle pieces, string, or fabric. Collages are great projects to clean out old craft materials without having to throw them away.
o Make bird feeders! Use peanut butter or honey to coat a paper towel or toilet paper roll. Roll the covered roll in bird seed and cover completely. Hang the feeder from a tree, and enjoy watching the birds snack on the seed!
o Fold origami cranes or other objects from scrap paper. Use pages from magazines, newspapers, or other paper materials that would otherwise be thrown away. Origami creations make beautiful Christmas Tree ornaments! Here’s a great website that includes step-by-step instruction diagrams and videos to teach the art of paper folding: http://en.origami-club.com/
Related Web Sites
- Going Greeny- This is a great site containing games, activites and information for kids all related to conservation. Children can test their “environmental footprint” and go on an Energy Quest. http://www.goinggreeny.com/Green_Guide/Children_Activities.php
- Green Scene Blog- Here’s a link to National Geographic for Kids’ Green Scene blog site. Children can learn the importance of recycling, how to grow their own vegetables, and how our trash effects wildlife living in the ocean. http://kidsblogs.nationalgeographic.com/greenscene/
- It’s Easy Being Green (Family Education)-This site provides ways for families to practice being “green.” Included are instructions for making bird houses, hazardous materials inventory printables, and many other tips for an eco-friendly home. http://life.familyeducation.com/environmental-education/recycling/36319.html
- Kids and Conservation- This website teaches children the importance of conservation of soil, water, and wildlife. http://www.clarkswcd.org/Kids/KidsHome.htm#soil
- Teaching Resources (Conservation)- This is a great website pioneered by the Environmental Protection Agency. It includes conservation games and activities for children of all ages. http://www.epa.gov/teachers/conservation.htm
- Two for One Author Visits- This is Jan Peck and David Davis’ author website. Here you can find information about author visits, author biographies, and video interviews. http://www.davidrdavis.com/twoforone.html
Mother Goose Poetry Books
Davis, David. Texas Mother Goose. Gretna: Pelican Publishing, 2006.
Hansen, Doug. Mother Goose in California. Berkeley: Heyday Books, 2009.
Maccarone, Grace. The Real Mother Goose Treasury. New York: Cartwheel Books, 2006.
Fiction Books About Conservation
Berger, Carin. OK Go. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2009.
Brown, Marc. Arthur Turns Green. New York: Little Brown, 2011.
Child, Lauren. We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2009.
Kroll, Steven. The Dumpster Diver. Cambridge: Candlewick Press, 2007.
Leedy, Loreen. The Great Trash Bash. New York, 1991.
Muldrow, Diane. We Planted a Tree. New York: Golden Books, 2010.
Perla, Victoria. When Santa Turned Green. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007.
Sierra, Judy. Ballyhoo Bay. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2009.
Ziefert, Harriet. My Forever Dress. Maplewood: Blue Apple Books. 2009.
Nonfiction Books About Conservation
Bailey, Jacqui. What’s the Point of Being Green? Hauppauge: Barron’s Educational Series, 2010.
Johnson, Angelique. The Eco-Student’s Guide To Being Green at School. Mankato: Picture Window Books, 2011.
Hirsch, Rebecca. Protecting Our Natural Resources. Ann Arbor: Cherry Lake Publishers, 2010.
McKay, Kim. True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do To Save the Planet. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2008.
Reilly, Kathleen. Planet Earth: 25 Environmental Projects You Can Build Yourself. White River Junction: Nomad Press, 2008.
Silverstein, Alvin. Smog, Oil Spills, Sewage, and More. Berkeley Heights: Enslow Publishing, 2011.
Used with permission of Susan Corbitt and Katie Allen.