Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dumpster Divers Are Environmentalists: Teach Your Kids How to Recycle by Reading

Remember to add to the skunk adventure story with Jared and his younger sister. They're trying to get to school. Jared has a big test. He's all pumped up from his coffee that sis says stinks like skunk. What happens next? It's all up to you!

This week's Read-4-Luck pick is (the feature that acts as a recommendation, review, teaching tip, and writing lessonis The Dumpster Diver by Janet S. Wong, illustrated by David Roberts.
Steve, the electrician, dons special gear, and with the help of youngsters who live in his building, dives into a dumpster seeking useful objects that they can transform into imaginative new ones.
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Year: 2007
Word Count: 559
Book Level: 3.9

 Roaches? You betcha! Kid-friendly creations? You betcha! The illustrations really bring this one alive!

 Roaches? No thank you. And who wants their child digging through the trash? No thank you. But, recycling? Yes, yes, YES!!!

 Could definitely use in a recycling unit or to introduce a unit on inventions. Character-building lessons included too!

 Just a fun read. Illustrations too fun. Great opening line: Anyone knows you can dive for treasure in the ocean, but our neighbor Steve the Electrician dives for buried treasure RIGHT SMACK HERE in our backstreet alley. Great verbs: slink, dive, splash, measured, drilled. Favorite page? The diving team. Funniest page? The rules page. Favorite invention? An old blender turned into a lava lamp. Best page to read with kids? The inventions pages. Favorite phrase? "Steve says, 'Junk is GOOD!'" The "So, ha!" page? It's in the illustration at the very end when the kids do something sweet.

YOUR TURN: Not that we can all run out and write a Steve story of our own, but perhaps you could sharpen your writing skills by writing a list of things you wished you'd invented, or things you could invent with the trash in your "dumpster" right now. Now choose one item from your list and put it in a story. Use lots of action words. It's okay if it's stupid, just write for fun and if you get a few great phrases, then you have succeeded in today's writing lesson!

Keep on keepin' on...


  1. This book sounds great. I'm dying to go out and find it now since you teased us with the "something sweet" the kids do and I want to know how it ends :) Your writing exercise look fun too - but for me it's going to have to wait until tomorrow!

  2. My boys will absolutely love this! Must get it. :)

  3. In this throw away society (cheaper to buy new than repair it), this sounds like a fun book to teach children how to make an old thing new again. I love the writing exercise and will keep that as an idea for PiBoIdMo.


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