The Soda Bottle SchoolThe town of Granados has a problem: they don't have enough room in their school to teach all the kids. But they have another problem, too, that kids can relate to: there is too much trash all around their community. One day, teacher Seño Laura notices that a soda bottle is the same width as the beam of an unfinished school building. She has a crazy idea: what if they used empty soda bottles to create walls for a school? It could take care of two problems at once!
by Seño Laura Kutner and Suzanne Slade
illustrated by Aileen Darragh
Tillbury House, 2014
Your local library
The whole community pulled together to support the teachers and children, gathering thousands of empty plastic bottles and stuffing them with trash to create “eco-ladrillos” (bricks). These bricks were stacked between the framing for the building, held in place by chicken wire fencing. A thin layer of concrete was slapped on top as a final layer.
Slade and Kutner draw young readers right into the story, helping them relate to the protagonist, young Fernando. My students especially liked the photographs and authors note included at the end of the story. I just found this news clip that would be another great way to share this story.
My students were interested and inspired to think of problems they would want to solve around our school. I especially liked this example because Kutner and Slade emphasize the importance of teamwork and thinking outside the box.
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©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books