Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Lorax, Didactic Literature, Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big, and The Great Kapok Tree

The Lorax
is considered didactic because it teaches the consequences of misusing the environment. Today, didactic children's books are published more as cautionary tales of what happens when we make inappropriate choices. Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big, by Berkeley Breathed, tells the story of Edwurd and his reputation of fibbing. As it turns out, his sister Fannie is the culprit of the lie this time. Readers will appreciate Edwurd's fantastic creation of the chain of events that leads to the broken pig. They will also learn the importance of telling the truth and not following in the footsteps of someone who is making poor choices.

Another title, The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry, is also a great piece of didactic literature. The story could be used to teach students about the destruction/conservation of the rainforest and the plants and animals of this ecosystem. The beautiful illustrations are also great teaching tools. Although this title was written in 1990 I chose it because the students in my class really enjoyed the book and gained a greater understanding of the effects one person can have on the rainforest habitat.

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