Welcome to Books Teachers Love, a monthly blog post on some great picture books that you can use in your classroom for the upcoming month. I am going to share one of my favorite books to read in April in honor of Earth Day.
If you have yet to get your hands on this book, Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg, I suggest you add it to your amazon cart asap! (Or just cross your fingers that you will win it through our giveaway at the bottom of the post!) It has got to be my favorite Earth Day book to read. It is about a young boy named Walter who starts by littering a jelly donut wrapper in the beginning of the book, not caring about the effects such a simple act has on the earth he lives in. But that night, he has a dream that the world drastically changed right before his eyes. As he travels to the future, he sees how even the trees that were once in his front yard are now cut down for the making of toothpicks. The smog is so thick that Mt. Everest is no longer visible. Little by little, Walter becomes devastated for the earth and keeps praying to wake up from this nightmare. When he does finally wake up, he makes the biggest changes and sets out to save the earth and protect her from ever becoming what he saw in his dream.
I love when I read this book to my students, the students become so somber as they see the drastic effects that can happen from such small acts. You can almost see the wheels in their brains moving. I love to give them a writing piece that they can write how they can make a difference in the world. I also like seeing their comprehension using this cause and effect piece from the events in the book. Click on the picture below to download your FREE companion worksheets to this book.