Archive for February 2013

NOVA’s Earth From Space

February 27, 2013

This week the Green Gremlins watched clips from the new NOVA program “Earth from Space.”  We learned new things about the importance of forests.

From our students:

“We learned that the Amazon Rainforest produces most of its own oxygen but the plankton who feed off of the the nutrients from the Amazon come up and produce a lot of oxygen that we breathe.  Plankton also releases nitrates that are good for us when it is evaporated into rain that eventually falls on land. ”

“Forest fires can lead to new life, so while humans don’t like forest fires that affect their land, some fires are good.”

“We learned about how everything on the earth contributes to a much bigger cycle that allows us to live, even things that seem dangerous like lightening and fire.”

We hope you can see this film too – it is available online at

Maya Lin’s “Unchopping a Tree”

February 21, 2013

Rainforest Slideshow by Emma

February 21, 2013

Click here to see a slideshow presentation by our green team member Emma.  Learn about how the rainforest’s resources are valued world-wide.

Green team deforestation

Deforestation – What We Can Do, by Thea

February 20, 2013

1) The world’s rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation.

2) I recycle the pieces of paper I don’t want.
3) I think kids can help stop deforestation by raising money to give to a deforestation charity. Kids can raise money by holding a bake sale and serve “green” foods.
4) Kids should care about the earth because one day, when the trees are all gone, people will not be able to live. All of the farms they have planted in place of the rainforests will not be able to survive either because every living thing needs oxygen.

The Lorax is a MUST READ!

February 17, 2013

While exploring the issues around Deforestation for the Global 20/20 Challenge, the Green Gremlins thought about how children in the United States learn to think about forest resources.  Many children read and explore Dr. Seuss’s, or Theodor Geisel’s, THE LORAX.  This book, written when Dr. Seuss was on vacation in Kenya, had a huge impact on the environmental movement, and even made its way into conversations about eventual legislation such as the Clear Air Act.

After analyzing some of the story and learning about deforestation rates worldwide, our students wrote about why they thought the book was important.  Explore their statements, as well as the video links below!

“The Lorax is about a magical creature that tells a man not to cut down trees because the animals use the trees to live.  The animals then leave because the trees are all gone.  The book tries to teach kids not to waste our environment.”

“I like the colors in the book, but it is important because I believe that the Lorax teaches kids the effects of cutting down trees.”

“The Lorax teaches kids to care about deforestation and to care about the earth because it could affect you and others.”

While exploring the book, we learned some amazing facts.  For example, forest resources gathered before deforestation are more valuable than those gathered after trees are cut down.  We learned that many people living in the rainforest in countries like Brazil have had to live with less and less because of deforestation for cattle.  We also learned that the medicines and other resources lost through deforestation can not be regained easily – they were gathered by local people over thousands of years.

Is there a book that your students think all kids should read about trees?