Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Evaluate, Interactive book, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 17-08-2010
What it is: Rustle the Leaf is an enchanting site that I learned about from @alexgfrancisco’s excellent blog ZarcoEnglish-Tool of the Day. Rustle the Leaf is a collection of online comic strips that teach about the environment. The comics star Rustle the Leaf (don’t you just love the name?) and his friends. Each comic is designed to help kids think about and understand their relationship to the planet and how their actions affect the Earth. The site has a great collection of teaching resources that include lesson plans, offline games, and comics. In the kids fun section, students will find Earth Day e-cards, printable cards, computer desktops, printable posters, and book downloads.
How to integrate Rustle the Leaf into your curriculum: I feel like when I was in elementary school (in the 80′s), that protecting the environment was a much bigger theme in schools than it is now. Maybe it just isn’t as widely taught at the schools I am in, or maybe it has been cut out of curriculum because it isn’t tested on. Regardless, the environment is as important to teach today as it was when I was growing up. Rustle the Leaf is a fun way to help your students think about and understand environmental issues. Use the site as the basis for a unit around Earth Day or help your students understand that everyday is Earth Day by reading and discussing a new comic every day. The comics would be great discussion starters at the beginning of the day. The resources on Rustle the Leaf are really well done, these can be used throughout the year, monthly, or all together as a focused unit. Set the desktops on classroom computers with Rustle the Leaf wallpapers as a daily reminder of how to care for the environment.
I have a feeling that students will fall in love with the Rustle the Leaf character. If this is the case for your students, they may enjoy creating their own Rustle the Leaf comics about the environment. They could even create a Rustle the Leaf comic reminding others to turn off the water or lights to be posted next to sinks and light switches in the classroom.
Tips: At the bottom of the Rustle the Leaf homepage in the left sidebar, you will find links to animated shorts starring Rustle the Leaf. These are entertaining and have a great message that tie directly into the comics and lesson plans on the site. Don’t miss them!
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Rustle the Leaf in your classroom!