Drawn to change the world – Tackling climate change through education

Talk of the climate crisis is all around us and the effects of climate change are a concern to many young people today. Teachers have a role in raising awareness of the climate crisis and helping pupils acquire the skills and knowledge for a sustainable future. Tackling the climate crisis through education empowers young people to seek the vital changes needed. In this post we’re going to speak to the author of the wonderful book on climate change: Drawn to Change the World, which is an ideal companion for teachers interested in tackling climate change through education.

Drawn to Change the World – a book that confronts climate change

This brilliant book, Drawn to Change the World by Emma Reynolds featured in our recent upper key stage 2 book subscription box. The book shines a spotlight on sixteen incredible youth activists from around the world who are fighting to protect the planet and all life on Earth. From Autumn Peltier campaigning for clean water to Edgar Edmund Tarimo turning plastic waste into building materials-and many more. These inspiring true stories highlight the importance of taking charge and creating change.

Drawn to Change the World is beautifully illustrated by sixteen different artists and accompanied by facts and pictures that explain the science behind the climate crisis.

Who is Drawn to Change the World for?

This book is for anyone who wants to learn more about the climate and nature crisis and what we can do about it. It’s ideal to use in an educational setting to promote tackling climate change through education.

Interview with the author

I had an opportunity to interview Emma and ask her some questions about this brilliant book, here’s what she had to say:

Image of Emma Reynolds Drawn to change the world author

Why do you think a graphic novel is powerful?

Comics are a unique medium that offer a wonderfully engaging interplay between words and images – they are a powerful storytelling and communication tool, breaking down tough subject matters into a relatable and easily digestible format – and young people LOVE them. Graphic novels offer a gateway to learning in this accessible way, and has the power to reach a wide audience, and contribute to wider social change.

Why graphic novels are powerful - Tackling climate change through education

How did you find the artists for the book?

In early 2019 I started the first global illustrated campaign for the climate crisis, called #KidLit4Climate where thousands of children’s authors and illustrators around the world drew a protestor in solidarity with the youth climate strikers. It introduced me to many amazing artists, some of which ended up working on Drawn to Change the World! Some of the other artists I’d been fans of for years, and some others I sought out comics artists specifically for this project. It’s been such an honour to work with all of the incredible artists on our book! A phenomenal team effort.

What message do you hope readers will take from the book?

I hope that readers know that they have agency, and that they can make a difference no matter their age – That they are not too young, and not too old to start. That they can’t do this alone – we must work in community. I hope they understand more about environmental racism, how true climate justice is intersectional, and that we are part of nature, not separate from it. I hope they’re fired up to find their place in this fight, and know that everything they do matters and is important and valued. And how art and using our voices to tell stories about a new future can help manifest our greener, equitable future.

What advice would you give budding graphic novelists?

Read lots and lots and lots of comics and illustrated books! Look at how the different layout, shape and number of the panels affects the storytelling, pacing and feeling on the page. Have fun drawing and playing and making comics for you, that you care about. And don’t give up, if it’s something you love doing. It’s the creating that matters – that you’re putting a piece of you out there to share with the world, to touch someone else’s heart too, to make them laugh, to make them think, to help them dream.

drawn to change the world tips for students - pic of lots of comics

How would you like to see teachers use Drawn to Change the World in schools?

To inspire, educate on topics that might be new to them and promote real tangible actions everyone can take! That we are all drops in a wave of change. I hope it helps to open up conversations about environmental racism and how disabled and already marginalised people are the most affected, and how protest and activism looks different around the world. And to show everyone that good things are happening, change is happening, and we can all be part of shaping a better future – and that’s exciting! Start with Ayana Elizabeth Johnson’s climate venn diagram and find your specific climate action, and go from there – draw what our future could look like, and what we can do in our communities. We’ve got this!

Not signed up to our UKS2 book subscription box? You can buy the book here.

Check out Emma’s website or follow her on Goodreads.

Looking for more inspiration?

To inspire reading in your classroom and to find out more about our amazing subscription boxes go to wherereadingrocks.com/subscribe

Looking for other books to promote tackling climate change through education

Loved this book then why not try one of our other favourite books on climate change:

  1. Kids Fight Climate Change: Act now to be a #2minutesuperhero by Martin Dorey (Author) Tim Wesson (Illustrator)
  2. Old Enough to Save the Planet: With a foreword from the leaders of the School Strike for Climate Change by Loll Kirby (Author) Adelina Lirius (Illustrator)
  3. Climate Change for Beginners by Andy Prentice (Author) Eddie Reynolds (Author) El Primo Ramon (Illustrator)
  4. Global: a graphic novel adventure about hope in the face of climate change by Eoin Colfer (Author) Andrew Donkin (Author) Giovanni Rigano (Illustrator)
  5. The Story of Climate Change by Catherine Barr (Author) Steve Williams (Author) Amy Husband (Illustrator) Mike Love (Illustrator)



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