The Lorax and Onceler – On Needs, Environment and Change

In 1971 came ‘The Lorax’ which Dr Seuss said “came out of me being angry. I was out to attack what I think are evil things…”
In The Lorax he created an unforgettable and passionate little ecologist and the equally unforgettable and spooky, ‘Onceler’ – the villain of the piece. The Once-ler was responsible for cutting down every last Truffula tree to make ‘Thneeds’ that everyone bought, but no one needed.
Along with the last of the Trufulla trees, went the Brown Bar-ba-luts, the Swamee-Swans and Humming-Fish. But it’s not all doom and gloom in this brilliant environmental tale – at the end there is hope. This book is a wonderful way to start a conservation about need vs greed and how they impact life on earth.


…What would you do with a Thneed?

CharacterBuilding – Greed vs Need

…The Oncler claims, “A Thneed’s a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need!”
But many of our “needs” are manufactured via advertising. Most of the things we are sold as “needs” are hardly necessary for our survival. Can you think of things that we think we cannot live without now, but were never needed before? – Mobile phones , whatsapp, airconditioners 🙂

Climate crisis and #Pollution

…“I am the Lorax,I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.” – Can you think of other things that have no tongues (cannot speak for themselves?) – poaching, polluting waters and harming fishes etc .

Watch (how bad can I be? – from lorax the movie)
Connect with the Amazon forests on fire . Ask kids “How would you convince the Onceler to stop cutting trees?”

…Watch Al Gor’s Inconvenient truth video (
Awareness is critical to solving our global #climate crisis


When the Lorax disappears from the barren wasteland, he leaves behind a small pile of rocks with one word carved into them: UNLESS. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

Unless you care about it enough and do something about it, how will things change?
But also brings forth the courage to say the much-needed and the hardest thing to do ….to be the first one to say “I care about it”, needed to start the chain of events.


To a pre teen / teen – questions the utter ineffectiveness of The Lorax. The Lorax does nothing to stop deforestation other than tell the Once-ler that he’s destroying habitat. “Why was the Lorax all talk, no action?” Why is action, important and urgent . What can you do? – For that is the need of the hour.

ps – A cloud called Bhura by Bijal Vachharajani is a brilliant book to read with this to see how even children can make a change. A story about four friends, a city in need of help, a bunch of clueless groan-ups and a very angry, very brown and very dangerous cloud.


  • Imagine you are the Lorax . What would you have done to stop the Onceler? Plan a revolt by the animals of the forest.
  • Write an Autobiography of a Traffula Tree
creativewriting #environment #PrayforAmazonia #amazon #rainforest #forestfire #conservation #wildlife #lorax #everydayisearthday #lorax
Archanarecommends #kidsbooks #metacognition #booktalks #kidsthatread #reading #teachingwithbooks #bookclub #kidlit #childrensliterature #bookrecommendations #fiction #classics #lifelessons #steam #values #parenting #imagination #fictionthatteaches #teachers #education #debates #perspective #readingbetweenthelines #seuss #sustainability

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