Stella and Stanley Find the Environment! (Grade 1 Reading Level)
“Hi! My name is Stanley and this is my friend, Stella. It is nice to meet you. I am an expert on the environment.”
Stella laughed. “You are not an expert, Stanley. A few days ago, you couldn’t even find the environment.”
Stanley turned red. “Well,” he said, “I know more about the environment now. Let’s share what happened.
“A little while ago some students asked for our help. They were learning about the environment. They wanted to see it, but they did not know where to look.
“Is it a place that is big or little? Do lions and tigers live there? Llamas? What about turtles and bugs? They had so many questions!
“I didn’t know the answer, so I asked Stella,” said Stanley.
“I said to Stanley that we could go visit a famous place called Yellowstone National Park. I thought we might find the environment there. Here is what happened next,” said Stella.
The students wrote a letter to the Park. They put Stanley and Stella into an envelope and mailed them off to see what they could find.
A Park Ranger named Katy opened the envelope and said, “Welcome to Yellowstone!”
“Thank you. We can’t wait to explore!” said Stella and Stanley.
“Let’s take a hike and I can tell you some park facts,” said Ranger Katy.
“Yellowstone is the oldest National Park in the United States,” she said. “President Ulysses S. Grant made this a park in the year 1872. The trees and animals are protected here.”
“Look!” shouted Stella, “I see a rainbow, but it’s not raining!”
“Yes,” said Ranger Katy. “That is the mist coming out of Castle Geyser. When there is sunlight, the mist will make a rainbow. Like the ones you can see up in the sky after it rains,” said Ranger Katy.
“Where does the mist come from?” asked Stella.
“The mist comes from very hot water that was deep inside the geyser. Sometimes the water down there gets so hot, that it bursts into the air. Yellowstone is special, because there are more geysers here than any place else.
“We have a video camera watching our most famous geyser Old Faithful. Your friends can see what it looks like too,” said Ranger Katy.
“There is a lot to see,” agreed Ranger Katy. “Many animals live here, too. Animals like elk, bears, and wolves.”
“Those are big, hairy cows!” said Stanley.
Ranger Katy laughed, “Those are bison Stanley. Bison are the largest animals that live in the United States. People travel from all over the world to see them.”
“How many bison live here?” asked Stanley.
“Yellowstone has more than 2,000 bison. They live in big families, called herds.
“I wish that the environment was closer to home,” said Stella. “How can our friends see it too?”
“They don’t need to come to Yellowstone to see the environment. The environment is everywhere,” said Ranger Katy.
“It is?” asked Stanley and Stella.
“It sure is. You can explore the environment at home, in a park, and everywhere in between. Our environment is where we live. Our environment is everything we see,” said Ranger Katy.
“Is the sky the environment too?” asked Stanley.
“Yes. Our environment is everything. It is the bears and bugs, and the biggest and the littlest trees. Our environment is everything from the sidewalks to the stars, and you and me. The environment is all around and right nearby!”
“Wow!” said Stella. “So we can see the environment at home too?”
“That’s right!” Ranger Katy said, “But I’m happy I could show our environment here. I hope you had fun exploring. Now I will mail you back to your friends at the school with some postcards from Yellowstone.
“That was a fun trip Stella. I sure do feel like an expert on the environment,” said Stanley.
Stella laughed, “It was a fun trip Stanley, but we are not experts yet! If the environment really is everywhere, we have more exploring to do!
“That sounds like some new adventures Stella. I hope our friends will take us to explore their environment. I can’t wait to see what else we can find.”
It’s your turn!
Flat Stanley and Stella want to see what you can find. List 5 things that you see in your environment.
Now that you know what the environment is …
Take a picture with your Green Stanley or Stella!
Share your picture with other kids and see what the environment looks like around the world.
This story was written by Jeanethe Falvey, U.S. EPA Office of External Affairs, with creative input and support from Dale Hubert, Creator of the Flat Stanley Project, and Beth Taylor, Education Coordinator at Yellowstone National Park. We thank the U.S. Department of Interior for joining EPA on the first adventure with Green Stanley and Stella!
Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.