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The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, is a story of how greed can destroy an ecosystem. It was written as awareness of the fragile nature of the Earth was becoming more obvious, and not long after the celebration of the first Earth Day in 1970. First, we should define some terms. An ecosystem is everything, living and non-living, in an area and the interactions between all of those factors. Biotic refers to the parts of the ecosystem that are alive: plants, animals, fungus, and microorganisms. Abiotic factors are those that are not alive: water, rocks, mountains, and weather. In The Lorax, a boy asks the Once-ler what has happened to the land, especially the Truffula trees which used to be beautiful and abundant. The Once-ler has used all the trees to make Thneeds, and in the process has not only cut down the trees, which provided food, shade, and a valuable part of the ecosystem, but has built factories and roads. Nothing lives in the area anymore, and the abiotic factors are also affected; polluted water and air, for example. The Lorax was the one who spoke for the trees, and was ignored. There is only one Truffula seed left. Perhaps you could write your story about what happens after the boy is given the seed. Can he restore the ecosystem to what it once was? What else does he have to do, besides plant the seed? Is the water clean enough for the seed to grow? Will the Lorax and the other inhabitants come back? Does the boy need to convince others to help him, or can he fix things himself? Have fun--this sounds like a great assignment!
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