|Title:||Winston of Churchill: One Bear’s Battle Against Global Warming|
|Authors:||Jean Davies Okimoto|
I’ve often heard it said, “What you encourage, you teach. What you permit, you promote.” I found a great example of this in this motivational story. Winston, the adorable polar bear of Churchill, Canada, notices that the earth is getting warmer due to human-generated pollution, so he mobilizes his friends to do something about it.
At first, Winston’s wife refuses to follow him, pointing out that he himself contributes to global warming by smoking a burning, smelly cigar. “How can you convince people to stop doing what they’re doing unless you can show that every little bit helps?” his wife demands.
Winston learns that the most persuasive way to advocate change is to change himself. He gives up his cigar to help convince humans to improve their world.
There’s a built-in history lesson here: Winston’s namesake, the real Winston Churchill, rallied his fellow citizens to fight against potential disaster. There’s also the real-life environmental threat of global warming that’s bound to ignite an interesting discussion among students. global warming.
This cool picture book can be the springboard for a debate or poster project on global warming. It might also generate an interesting reflective essay on the quote, “What you permit, you promote.” In the book, Winston’s cigar smoking promoted global warming, the very cause he was working against. Ask students to think of other examples for their essay of when this might ring true in an elementary school.
Want some other ways that students can become active citizens in their communities and beyond? Visit Westwood Elementary for ideas from service-learning expert Cathryn Berger Kaye.
Barbara Gruener is a school counselor at Westwood Elementary in Friendswood, TX, a finalist in the 2009 CEP National School of Character Award.