Today is Earth Day! So, let’s use Earth Day as a time to get our kids moving and thinking, reading and writing, and making a difference – because they can and we should!
Many perceive Earth Day as a time to celebrate Mother Earth through cleaning parks, planting flowers, and beautifying the environment. And you better believe that’s how it should be! But Earth Day – and the weeks that precede and follow it – can also be a time for sneaking in some meaningful literacy learning for your children.
Here are five ways to get kids reading, writing, and making an Earth Day difference:
1. Design a plan. Sit down with your child to talk about what Earth Day action you can take, either as a family, or as a small group or club. Brainstorm your ideas on a piece of paper and then write down the steps of your plan from beginning to end.
2. Make posters. Posters can be a great way of spreading the word about a park clean-up, street cleaning, or community Earth Day celebration. Help your child design posters that clearly outline the 5 W’s and H of the event: Who? What? Why? Where? When? and How? in an eye-catching way.
3. Create surveys. Before the event, have your child get to the root of what needs to be done in your neighborhood by creating surveys. These can be completed on paper, in a simple questionnaire format or help your child use a free online survey maker, like Google Drive. Creating the survey is one thing, but supporting your child as he or she reads results and plans accordingly is another!
4. Send invitations. Encourage your child to write letters to town council members, neighborhood housing associations, local leaders, friends, and neighbors inviting them to join in the Earth Day cause. Make sure the letter includes clear, specific details and a call to action.
5. Write thank you’s. After the event is over and Earth Day has come and gone, it’s important that your child takes time to write “thank you” notes to those who participated. It’s especially important that personal notes go to everyone, both those who played larger and smaller roles. Everyone deserves a thank you and a short, handwritten note goes a really long way!
Hopefully the success your child will see after the planning, facilitating, and concluding this event will be the start of many future community events and the beginning of an Earth–happy community!