by Alison Pearce Stevens
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Why are bees vanishing?Alison Pearce Stevens
Over the past ten years, researchers have been trying to figure out why so many honeybee colonies are collapsing (colony collapse disease, or CCD). In this article, scientists find a combination of threats that may explain declining honeybee populations.Pair “Why are bees vanishing?” with “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” in order to spark a discussion about how plastic and pesticides (both human inventions) affect us and our environment.
Chernobyl: Interviews From Inside a Nuclear Disaster AreaInterviews That Matter
A journalist from Interviews That Matter speaks with a survivor of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 in Ukraine. The interviewee paints a haunting picture of the devastated area then and now.Pair “Chernobyl: A Story from Inside a Nuclear Disaster Area” with “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” and ask students to compare the ways technologies like nuclear energy and plastic effect our world. What are the costs and benefits of these technologies? Are they worth the value they bring to our lives? What can be done to prevent future disasters and pollution?
Sylvia Earle: Deep Ocean ExplorerBobbi Katz
In Bobbi Katz's poem "Sylvia Earle: Deep Ocean Explorer," a speaker describes Earle's interest exploring the ocean floor.Pair “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” with “Sylvia Earle: Deep Ocean Explorer” to provide students with information about the state of Earth’s oceans today. Ask students to discuss how it’s possible for scientists to be unaware of the amount of plastic in our oceans. How do students think Sylvia Earle would react to the information in “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem”?
Diving for TreasureJonArno Lawson
In JonArno Lawson's poem "Diving for Treasure," a diver explores the ocean.Pair “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” with “Diving for Treasure” and ask students to discuss how the ocean is changing. How might plastic negatively impact the treasures that the diver finds in the ocean? How do students think the diver from “Diving for Treasure” would respond to the information in “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem”?
City SystemsBarbara Radner
In the informational text "City Systems," Barbara Radner discusses government workers and the city systems that help a city run.Pair “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” with “City Systems” and ask students to discuss how city systems could help decrease the amount of plastic that enters the ocean. Do students think it’s a city’s responsibility to control the amount of pollution that enters the environment? Why or why not? How might the government and government workers be more successful in decreasing pollution than the actions of individual citizens?
The Dust BowlJessica McBirney
In the informational text "The Dust Bowl," Jessica McBirney discusses the factors that contributed to the Dust Bowl and how people were affected by it.Pair “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” with “The Dust Bowl” and ask students to discuss how humans affect the environment. How does the plastic that is introduced into the oceans by humans negatively impact the environment? How does this compare to the consequences of famers’ methods of farming during the 1920s?
Dirty Air Can Harm Your Brain and Stress the BodyLindsey Konkel
In the informational text "Dirty Air Can Harm Your Brain and Stress the Body," Lindsey Konkel discusses how air pollution can harm young people's brains and bodies.Pair “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” with “Dirty Air Can Harm Your Brain and Stress the Body” and ask students to discuss different types of pollution. How does plastic pollution compare to air pollution? How are humans negatively affected by plastic pollution? What other animals are harmed? Do students think that air pollution harms other animals, as well? If so, in what ways?
'Couch potatoes' tend to be TV-energy hogsKathiann Kowalski
In the informational text, "Couch potatoes' tend to be TV-energy hogs," Kathiann Kowalski discusses how much energy people who watch a lot of television use.Pair “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” with “’Couch potatoes’ tend to be TV-energy hogs” to provide students with another example of how humans pollute the environment. Ask students to discuss how plastic, and other trash, ends up in the environment. How does the plastic that humans introduce into the environment, as well as the greenhouse gases, negatively affect our planet? What can humans do to reduce the amount of trash and pollutants in the environment?
Adhesive from trees could make tape more eco-friendlyTyler Berrigan
In the informational text "Adhesive from trees could make tape more eco-friendly," Tyler Berrigan discusses a tape adhesive made from trees.Pair “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” with “Adhesive from trees could make tape more eco-friendly” to provide students with information about the waste that humans produce. Ask students to consider how much plastic they throw away and recycle. In “Adhesive from trees could make tape more eco-friendly,” the researchers turn something that is typically thrown away into something useful. Ask students to discuss how they could reuse a plastic bottle in a useful way. What are alternatives to plastic that they could use?
Smog, Smog, Go Away... Don't Come Back Another DayXyza: News for Kids
In the article from Xyza: News for Kids "Smog, Smog, Go Away... Don't Come Back Another Day," the author discusses the high level of smog in Delhi, India.Pair “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” with “Smog, Smog, Go Away... Don’t Come Back Another Day” to provide students with information about another type of pollution. Ask students to discuss how garbage and chemicals pollute our environment. How does plastic get into the ocean? How does the air become polluted? How do both polluters negatively affect the environment and human health?
Plastic PollutionAllyson Shaw, National Geographic Kids
While plastic pollution is causing problems in our oceans and impacting wildlife, there are things humans can do to lessen the impact.Pair “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” with “Plastic Pollution” to provide students with additional information about plastic pollution and the problems caused by it. What additional information does this text provide? Do you think most people are aware of these plastic problems? Why or why not? What can you do to raise awareness about plastic pollution?
You Can Help Stop Overfishingtherevolutionmovie.com
In this informational text, the problems with overfishing and some possible solutions are explained.Pair “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” with “You Can Help Stop Overfishing” to provide students with another issue that is negatively impacting oceans. Ask students to discuss the problems affecting our oceans presented in each text. Do students think one is more critical than the other? Why or why not? What do students think people need to immediately do to change the state of the oceans? How can students get started?
In Thailand, 17 Pounds of Plastic Kills Whale, Highlighting Ocean PollutionSamantha Raphelson
Samantha Raphelson examines how plastic waste is affecting ocean life.Pair “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” with “In Thailand, 17 Pounds of Plastic Kills Whale, Highlighting Ocean Pollution” to provide students with an additional text about plastic in the ocean. What issue with plastic do both texts highlight? What additional examples of single-use plastic does “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” offer? What is the true problem with single-use plastics? What additional concerns about plastic in the ocean does “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” explain?
The Plastic ProblemJacqueline Pratt-Tuke
In "The Plastic Problem," Jacqueline Pratt-Tuke explains the problems that plastics cause for the earth's environment.Pair “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” and “The Plastic Problem” and have students compare the solutions that both articles give for reducing ocean plastic. According to “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem,” how can we reduce the amount of ocean plastic? How are these solutions similar and different from those proposed in “The Plastic Problem”? What ideas do you have for reducing the amount of plastic in the ocean?
Scientists confirm 'greenhouse' effect of humans' CO2Thomas Sumner
In the informational text "Scientists confirm 'greenhouse' effect of humans' CO2," Thomas Sumner discusses how scientists proved that CO2 emissions contribute to global warming.Pair “Tiny Plastic, Big Problem” with “Scientists confirm ‘greenhouse’ effect of humans' CO2” to provide students with additional information about how humans affect the environment. How do humans introduce plastic and CO2 into the environment? How do trash and pollutants negatively impact the environment?