Little Book for Big Changes: A Review

For February’s Curiosity of the Month, we discuss the big impact that small actions can make by reviewing Little Book for Big Changes.

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Vocabulary to share with students:

(words are bolded throughout the post)

Clean Energy:  Energy such as electricity or nuclear power, that does not pollute the earth.

Climate Change: A long-term change in the earth’s climate, especially a change due to an increase in the average atmospheric temperature.

Community:  A feeling of wanting to be with other people or of caring about the other people in a group; a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood).

Conservation: The protection of animals, plants, and natural resources.

Curiosity: The desire to learn or know more about something or someone

Diversity: Having people of different races, or people classed according to common cultures in a group, organization, or community.

Fair Trade: Fair trade is an institutional arrangement designed to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions. Members of the fair trade movement advocate the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as improved social and environmental standards.

Sustainable: Methods or processes that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources.

At Big Shared World we strive to be a resource and connecting point for those interested in learning more about diverse human cultures, beliefs, opinions, and lifestyles. We aim to direct our curiosity in a way that serves as an entry point for our own constant growth, as well as for the benefit of other curious learners who want to better understand our global community. Which is why we loved diving into this book about how people of all ages can make tangible world-changing contributions every day!

Karen Ng and Kirsten Liepmann’s book Little Book for Big Changes, launched through a Kickstarter campaign, serves as an interactive resource for how kids (and adults) can enhance their efforts to make the world a better place. The authors believe in the power of curiosity and encourage readers to: “Consider this book a first step to stimulate children’s curiosity to learn more and stir their sense of responsibility.”

The book was inspired by the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.These were developed by world leaders in 2015 to serve as the 17 most important goals to achieve a better world by 2030. By having these shared goals, organizations, governments, and people around the world can connect on their common efforts to make the world a better place.

Little Book for Big Changes is broken down into three categories: people, community and planet. A example of the topics covered in the people section include: poverty, education and hunger. Jobs, fair trade, transportation and diversity are explored in the community section. And finally, the planet section offers children opportunities to learn about peace, climate change, clean energy, recycling and conservation.

This video is a fun way to see the goals listed by some of the world leaders and celebrities who have pledged their support of the goals.

Little Book for Big Changes also uses Oxfam’s Global Citizenship Education Framework, asking students to learn, think and act on each topic presented. For example, on the community page about inclusion, the word inclusion is defined and an inclusive community is described. Students are asked to reflect on their personal experiences of being included and/or left out, as well as the feelings they had during those instances. Finally, students are invited to play a game of “Inclusion Tic-Tac-Toe” in which they attempt intentionally inclusive actions.

Scattered throughout the pages are fun and colorful illustrations, widely representative of many cultures and ways of life, which give this book an inviting look and feel. The extensive resources at the end of the book make this an invaluable resource for a personal or classroom library. (Here’s a link to Amazon if that’s of interest!)

But why wait to get started? Think about one thing that you would like to see change in the world. How can you take one small step, today, in making that change? Who could you encourage to join you? As Karen and Kirsten say in the book’s introduction: “We are all a part of this world and we all need to help take care of it.”

We’d love to hear about your plans in the comments below! Or share resources that you have used to learn about ways to make the world a better place!

Discussion or Journal Questions

  1. Think about the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Which one do you think is the most important? What is one step you can take to help make this goal a reality?
  2. What makes you feel connected to other people? Is it an action? A common place you both visit?  Having a shared topic of interest?
  3. What is one way you could be inclusive today?
  4. What is something you have done to be a good citizen of the planet?

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