The Big Topic brings together Hachette Children’s Group books across a particular topic into a handy set of resources for schools. Look out for lesson plans and activities from Reading Rocks, extracts, posters and more.
Our theme this term is Be The Change, focusing on things that kids can do to help make change and have a bigger impact globally. This includes helping to save the environment, taking action to support communities, and educating themselves and others on important issues. Read on for cross-curricular lesson resources based on a range of fiction and non-fiction books. The resources for each book have been targeted to a particular key stage, but could easily be aged up or down.
Zero Waste Kids
Discover 30 practical ways for kids to get involved with the zero-waste challenge!
Zero Waste Kids is full of achievable challenges for children to reduce, reuse and recycle their way to help save planet Earth. This is the fun, kid-friendly guide to taking action and living more sustainably.
Try out some zero waste challenges extracted from the book:
Find out more about Zero Waste Kids here
17 Ways to Save the World
Everyone can play their part to help the United Nations save the world!
Accessible and practical, 17 Ways to Save the World is packed with engaging graphic illustrations which explain some of the world’s biggest problems to kids and shows them how they can help to solve them. The book is great for discussing the challenges of poverty, inequality and climate change with KS2 and KS3 learners.
Read an extract from the book here
Make a classroom display based around the book using these free resources:
Download Goals + Actions cards here
A Planet Full of Plastic
A Planet Full of Plastic, is a great entry point for children learning about how plastic pollution impacts on the environment around them. We’ve put together a teacher’s pack with suggested activities for KS1 and KS2 pupils drawn from the book, which you can download below.
Find out more about A Planet Full of Plastic here
A Climate in Chaos
A timely guide for kids about how they can help protect our planet. This non-fiction picture book is perfect for sharing with KS1 and KS2, featuring illustrated, easy-to-digest explanations of what climate change is and ideas big and small to inspire kids to get involved and help save planet Earth.
Our comprehensive lesson resources and activity sheets will help get the classroom interacting with the topic of climate change and working together and individually to share ideas on how they, and the world, can help make a difference.
Find out more about A Climate in Chaos here
This Book is Not Rubbish
Covering issues like plastics, pollution, global warming and endangered animals, This Book is Not Rubbish is full of top tips for kids who want to start making a difference. With a focus on practical and achievable things that kids can do to start saving the planet right now, it’s perfect for anyone looking to set up a school eco-club.
Download free cross-curricular lesson ideas for This Book is Not Rubbish for upper KS2 here.
Download a poster with 10 tips for starting your school eco-squad here.
Find out more about This Book is Not Rubbish here.
There’s a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom
Teach children about the plight of the orangutan and the dangers of deforestation in, There’s a Rang-tan in My Bedroom, the timely and beautiful picture book by James Sellick and Frann Preston-Gannon, in collaboration with Greenpeace. We’ve got lots of excellent resources that will help you plan KS1 and KS2 lessons and assemblies as well as encouraging children to think about campaigning and how to help save the environment.
Find out more about There’s a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom here
Further Reading List – Books for Education and Activism
This Book Will Help Cool the Climate
50 ways to empower kids to save our planet from climate change!
Complete with myth-busting boxes and counter arguments to put climate-deniers in their place, this is a one-stop guide to transform eco-worried kids into eco-activists. Funny, engaging, practical and timely, it’s the ideal book to help readers navigate the world in the greenest possible way, and to really make a difference.
Plastic Planet offers young readers the perfect, non-alarmist introduction to Earth’s plastic crisis. The book looks ahead to possible solutions to our plastic crisis, from global changes such as changing people’s mindsets, to innovations such as compostable plastics, to practical solutions such as recycling and bottle return schemes.
Hot Planet aims to raise readers awareness of the challenges of climate change in a friendly, yet realistic, way. The book looks at how we can all help combat climate change crisis, from global changes such as investing in sustainable energy sources to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, to green schemes such as carbon pricing, to practical solutions such as eating less meat and using public transport or cycling, rather than driving.
Young activist’s guides filled with real ways to make a difference. This series provides practical tips on how to take meaningful, peaceful action on poverty, prejudice, pollution and animal cruelty.
And Other Big Questions
What is Right and Wrong? Who are Refugees and Migrants? What is Gender? Why do we need Art? Debate these questions and many more in this ground-breaking series which offers balanced and considered views on the issues we face in the world we live in today. The books teach students how to unpick complex issues layer by layer and tackle the big questions around important topics such as feminism, consent, gender and race.
I’m a Global Citizen
The I’m a Global Citizen series explores the concept of ‘Global Citizenship’: recognising that the world we live in is unfair and unequal, but promoting individual and collective action to challenge and change this. The books promote the idea that we have power as individuals: each of us can change things, and each of us has choices about how we behave.
Children in Our World
Beautifully illustrated picture books that sensitively explain issues that dominate the news in an appropriate manner for children. With relatable comparisons, carefully researched text and striking illustrations, children can begin to understand why people have different cultures, what are customs and traditions and why understanding people from other cultures is important.
The Night Bus Hero
From Onjali Q. Rauf, the award-winning and best-selling author of The Boy at the Back of the Class, comes another incredible story, told with humour and heart. Told from the perspective of a bully, this book explores themes of homelessness, while celebrating kindness, friendship and the potential everyone has to change for the good.
Break the Mould
Sometimes we can feel like we are not good enough. That we don’t belong. Or that we want to be more like our friends. In this empowering guide, Sinéad Burke draws on her own experiences and encourages young readers to believe in themselves, have pride in who they are and use their voice to make the world a fairer, more inclusive place.
You Are Awesome
This positive and empowering guide, by bestselling mindset author Matthew Syed, will help boys and girls build resilience, fulfil their potential and become successful, happy, awesome adults.
Download our free teaching resources here for lots of ideas on discussion questions and how to use You Are Awesome with your class.
Dare to Be You and PiXL Change Makers
Drawing examples from sport, science and even business, Dare to Be You empowers young readers to follow their own path, love what makes them different and question the world around them. With You Are Awesome‘s trademark mix of hilarious text, stylish illustration, personal insights and inspiring real-life examples, including Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai, Matthew Syed introduces children to the power of diverse thinking.
The PiXL Change Makers project explores how students can be the creators of their own change and, as a result, change the world in which they live.
The project explores:
- – How hard change can be
- – That ‘normal’ doesn’t exist
- – How to silence the ‘Kid Doubt’ voice in our head
- – That we can embrace being different
- – That kindness is crucially important
- – How to choose our own path
Download the resources here
Find out more about Dare to Be You here