Each chapter in this collection offers a practical approach for using literature to engage and empower students to confront aspects of climate crises. Educators from different backgrounds and parts of the world share their experience using novels, short stories, drama, poetry, and nonfiction to help students understand the causes and consequences of climate change as well as how they can contribute to potential solutions.
Rebecca L. Young is Language and Literature content specialist for Cognia and the International Baccalaureate Organization.
Alexa Weik von Mossner
Rebecca L. Young
Chapter One “It wasn’t us!”: Teaching about Ecocide and the Systemic Causes of Climate Change
Marek C. Oziewicz
Chapter Two Amitav Ghosh and Arundhati Roy on Climate Change: A Pedagogical Approach to Awakening Student Engagement in Ecocriticism
Chapter Three Climate Crisis Confluence, History, and Social Justice: How Race, Place, Privilege, Past, and Present Flow Together in YA Literature
Anna Bernstein and Kaela Sweeney
Chapter Four Starting Points for Student Inquiry into Our Relationship with the Environment
Chapter Five Foregrounding the Value of Ecocriticism in a South African University Context
Chapter Six These Are the Forgeries of Jealousy: Nature Out of Balance
Timothy J. Duggan and Natalie Valentín-Espiet
Chapter Seven Raising Environmental Awareness and Rewriting Education Through Haiku
Lorraine Kerslake and María Encarnación Carrillo-García
Chapter Eight Introducing Sustainability Topics with Ursula Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” and Richard Powers’ “The Seventh Event”
Rachel Cohen and Sarah Wyman
Chapter Nine Developmental Bibliotherapy and Cli-Fi: Helping to Reframe Young People’s Responses to Climate Change
Literature as a Lens for Climate Change: Using Narratives to Prepare the Next Generation is a timely and necessary volume in the field of climate education. Rebecca L. Young has assembled a diverse range of contributors whose ideas about marshalling the power of narrative to teach climate change are both thought-provoking and practical. The chapters foreground the truth that young people today are not just victims of the intergenerational violence of climate change; they are themselves powerful leaders, activists, and storytellers. Yet as this book makes clear, the responsibility is not theirs alone for addressing the climate crisis; it is the responsibility of educators as well. This book then is not just a set of resources but an important call to action.
This engaging, timely collection of essays formulates a strong argument for the value of using literature about climate change to engage students for understanding and taking action to address climate change based on moral and ethical perspectives portrayed in texts. Through responding to literary portrayals of characters grappling with climate change effects in these texts, students are imagining alternative ways of enacting and reconstituting systems for adapting to and mitigating climate change effects. I highly recommend this book for English language arts teachers.
Drawing on diverse works from Shakespeare to young adult literature, from Lord of the Rings to Haiku, Literature as a Lens for Climate Change ties climate and ecological issues to the teaching of literature. A valuable resource for university and secondary English teachers, this book extends recent research on the power of literature to help us understand the social dimensions of global climate change.
An eye-opening and vitally important collection of essays for all teachers who care about our planet and want to help students imagine and create a more just, sustainable, thriving world. Literature as a Lens for Climate Change not only reveals how our future depends upon developing greater environmental literacy, it provides teachers with critical insights into the ways that stories can help us solve many of the environmental justice challenges we face. These incisive, practical, and ultimately hopeful essays will change the way you teach.
Literature as a Lens for Climate Change is a wonderful resource for any educator. Its insightful essays are a testimony to the power of stories to generate hope, thought, and action through imagination. It prompts us to see our lives as part of a larger narrative where positive change is possible and highlights the immense potential of fiction in engaging with the reality of climate change.
Chapter 6, Lesson Plan
Chapter 8, Lesson Plan
Chapter 8, Teaching Materials & Resources
Chapter 9, Recommended Reading List