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There are some things I wish she hadn’t had to learn

For a recent grade 2 project, my daughter was to create a poster. In my era, this poster would have been along the lines of “Don’t be a Litter Bug!” or “Help Smokey the Bear and be sure to put out your campfire!” You know, that kind of thing.

The title of her poster reads: “Oil Spill: Sea Animal Nightmare

And the captions read:

  • The oil blocks the whale’s blowhole
  • Air bubbles in sea otter’s fur damaged by oil
  • Fish gills clogged with oil
  • Oil makes bird cold and sick
  • Oil makes plankton toxic
  • Crab eats things bathed in oil
  • Shellfish suck in toxic water


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  1. Hey Julie – She did a fantastic job!

    It is sad that she has to learn about that stuff, but really, even though our projects “back in the day” were more benign, I think it was simply that we were sheltered. There were probably more environmental disasters in the 70s and 80s than there are in these politically “green” times.

    So the question is, at what age do we begin exposing them to the harsh realities? Was she passionate/disturbed by her project, or was she more matter-of-fact?

  2. I remember in Grade 6 we did this section on global warming and the environment. This was right when CFC’s were the evil villian and the hole was discovered over Australia…

    such huge changes since that time…and not for the better

  3. Liisa – Oh, so true. The “don’t be a litter bug” is the style of poster they were asked to do. Social marketing type thing. But the world wasn’t all rosey and perfect when we were kids either, that’s for sure! I don’t know when/how is the right way to expose our kids to these things, I just feel a little sad having to do it. She is just such a bright, optimistic and earnest little person. Don’t you just love that about children?

    Carrie – Oh yes! The big hole above Australia! I do remember that. And I also remember in about grade 5, there was a movie released that caused a big stir … Remember these two words: Mushroom Cloud?

  4. it is really admirable to her teachers to do something like this with young kids. awareness is the best thing. it is also a really great poster. she did an awesome job.

  5. I think I want to protect myself as well as my kids from this type of news. I haven’t even wrapped my own head around this one yet, let alone explain to to my children. Great job by your daughter – maybe she could explain it to my girls….

  6. When I was a kid I remember Acid Rain was the big thing that was in the news. I found the name of it quite scary.

  7. Sounds like a great project – my daughter, also in grade two, just went for a long walk along the riverside park making not of different types of plants and things like that. Was good for her and the rest of the class. Unfortunately the oil spill is not big news here.

  8. Well done and wow – very powerful. We haven’t talked about this environmental disaster with our children. I’m having bad dreams about news clips and images I can’t forget…have no idea how to explain it to them.

  9. We really long to protect them don’t we, to keep them safe from a scary world. At least I do. But at the same time, I want them to be aware, to learn from our mistakes and be motivated to make changes.

  10. It is amazing how aware children are these days. Your daughter did a great job on her project.

  11. Too sad.

    The kids in Kanata are making signs & videos too in a “last stand” effort to save their beloved Beaver Pond Forest. In July, 182 hectacres of unique “old growth” forest is slated for housing development.

    I just can’t understand how this can be allowed to happen right in our own backyard. Learn more at:

  12. that poster is awesome!! and i think it is wonderful that she understands what’s going on.


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