viernes, 2 de julio de 2010


Con todos los accidentes o descuidos ambientales que se ven a diario, tanto en nuestro país como en el extranjero, la autora que se cita a continuación –a través de un e-mail de Lori Calabrese- puede resultar inspiradora para cualquier docente que trabaje con niños pequeños, los cuales suelen tener soluciones a cuanto problema se les plantee y los asuntos ecológicos no son la excepción.
Lori ha entrevistado a Suzy Becker por su libro Kids make it better.
Author Suzy Becker encourages children to make the world a better place
I had the recent opportunity to ask Suzy Becker about her latest book, “Kids Make it Better,” and how she went about ‘interviewing’ the children whose creative answers appear in the book. . .

What was your inspiration for “Kids Make it Better”?
Strangely enough, a photo of an oil-doused duck (much like the photos of the marine life we’re seeing from the Gulf spill now) was the genesis of the book. I was teaching 2nd and 3rd grade at the time and a bunch of my kids were upset about something. Turns out they had seen a photo of a duck covered in oil on the front page of The Boston Globe that morning. I put aside my lesson plan. We talked about the oil spill and the birds and animals for a little bit and then I handed out some paper. I asked the kids, “If you were in charge, if you were the President, or a scientist, or an inventor, what would you do to clean up the oil spill?” The kids began to write and draw. With each minute (maybe 15 in all), I could see they were less and less upset. It made me think I could probably put any problem in front of a roomful of kids and wind up with a roomful of solutions… Eighty classrooms later, I had the beginnings of KIDS MAKE IT BETTER.

How did you go about “interviewing” the children whose answers appear in the book?
I went into 20 different elementary schools and did author-visit-workshops with four 1st, 2nd and/or 3rd grade classrooms at each school. We’d talk for a little bit about whatever problem, I’d pass out some paper, I’d ask them the question and within 15-20 minutes they’d write down and illustrate their solutions. Never failed. I took some cues from their artwork when I did the final illustrations for the book, and I also sent the classrooms the spreads that they worked on as the book was edited, proofed and published so they experienced, firsthand, the bookmaking process. (There’s an Activity Guide at so educators, librarians and parents can recreate the workshop with their own kids.)

What is your favorite comment in the book and why?
Ooh, that’s hard. Today, I think it was the comment about what to do about all the garbage and Kristin (age 10) said, “Have a law that says every person who litters has to pick it up and eat it.”

How difficult was it to narrow down the questions for the book?
Harder than picking dessert, but not so hard really– the question, the answer AND the artwork had to appeal to a 6 – 10 year old.

How surprised were you in how inventive children can be at a time of crisis?
When those kids were upset about that duck photo, it was a “teachable moment”; I had no idea what would happen after I passed out that paper. I was surprised, relieved, heartened and ultimately inspired to write this book.

To learn more about Suzy Becker, please visit her official website.

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