Today's story is an environmental tale based on a real event in China in 1958 (Not really so long ago). It is an example of a decision about the environment that went horribly wrong. Mao Tse Tung, the leader at the time, made a decision to wipe out all the sparrows in China because he believed that they were eating too much of China's grain crop. The grain crop was needed to feed China's people and he wanted to save the food for the people. Can you imagine what happened? What happened to the food source? What happened to the people?
Watch the video that follows, your teacher may need to read some of the sub-titles. It will help you to understand what happened during that time.
Reading and discussing
Today's story is a modern fable.
Do you know what a fable is?
A fable is a narrative, that has a moral lesson to be learned - the right way to behave or act.
Read the story, pausing where necessary to discuss.
8. What do you notice about the use of colour in the book? What colours are used when the sparrows have been eliminated? How does this make you feel when reading the story?
9. What are the benefits of telling this story to children today?
10. What would you do if you noticed something affecting the environment in a negative way?