associate v.
To associate means to connect something with a person or thing.
→Most people associate birthday parties with having fun.

environment  n.
The environment is the place where people work or live.
→Keeping our environment clean is important to our health.

factory n.
A factory is a building where things are made or put together.
→We have only one factory in our town.

feature n.
A feature is an important part of something.
→The cell phone has many features.

instance n.
An instance is an example of something.
→I have never experienced an instance of hate. Have you?
involve  v.
To involve means to be actively taking part in something.
→The whole family was involved in playing the game.

medicine  n.
Medicine is something you take to feel better or treat an illness.
→The doctor gave me medicine for my cold.

mix n.
A mix is different things put together.
→The green mix we made in science class spilled onto the table.

organize  v.
To organize is to plan or get ready for an event.
→Make a list to help you organize the things you need.

period  n.
A period is an amount of time when something happens.
→In one period in Europe, there were many knights.

populate  v.
If people populate an area, they live there.
→Billions of people populate the Earth.

produce  v.
To produce something is to make or grow it.
→This tree produces apples every year.

range n.
A range is a number or a set of similar things.
→I saw a range of cars to choose from.

recognize  v.
To recognize something is to know it because you have seen it before.
→I recognized an old friend from many years ago.

regular adj.
If something is regular, it happens often and in equal amounts of time.
→Our regular lunch time is around noon.

sign n.
A sign is a notice giving information, directions, a warning, etc.
→The sign indicated that today would be a bad day.

tip n.
A tip is a pointed end of something.
→The tip of his pen was very sharp.

tradition n.
A tradition is something people have been doing for a long time.
→Marriage is a tradition all over the world.

trash n.
Trash is waste material or unwanted or worthless things.
→Please take out the trash; it smells bad.

wide adj.
If something is wide, it is large from side to side.
→The door was as wide as my arms.

Joe’s Pond

Joe made the world a better place. He got the idea to do that at school. He watched a video there. It was about a factory. This factory produced a lot of trash and put it in a river. The trash and water were a bad mix. People populated the area by the river and drank its water. This made them sick. Many of them needed medicine and made regular visits to doctors.

But the video wasn’t all bad news. It showed ways to pick up trash and why it’s important to do this. It said people can make a difference to their environment. The video’s important features made Joe associate trash with hurting people.

One day Joe walked through a park. He recognized some of the problems from the video. One instance of these problems was the trash in the pond. It was full of plastic cups. There was too much trash. Joe didn’t want it to hurt anyone.

He told his grandfather about the park. His grandfather said, “You know, it’s a tradition in our family to help people. That’s why we give food to poor people. Maybe you can help people by cleaning the park.”

Cleaning the park would involve hard work. Joe decided to organize a group to help him. He chose a wide area of the park. It had the most trash. He asked his family and friends to come. On Saturday, he gave everyone a sharp stick. They wondered why. He said, “You use the stick’s tip to pick up trash. This makes it easier.” They worked for six weeks. Different people helped each time, but Joe was always there.

In that period of time, Joe saw a range of results. There was no trash in the water. People could swim in it. Joe knew that was a good sign. He was happy because he helped his environment.