Earth Day Is Just Around the Corner!
- Grades: 3–5
Help your students learn more about the environment with these "green" classroom activities!
Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22 each year. It began in 1970 with the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. You can read more about the history of Earth Day and the Environmental Protection Agency on their website. Here are some ideas that you can use in your classroom to help your students become more aware of this day and its importance.
You can have students read books or watch videos to introduce the topic and clarify vocabulary words that come as a result of the discussion. Some good videos to watch are:
- "This Bulb" Video from National Geographic
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (fabulous lesson plans from former Scholastic Grades 1-2 Teacher Advisor, Jennifer Atkinson, can be found here)
- Or choose your own from a variety of topics at EarthDayTV.net (here is also an assortment of videos for older/mature students).
- Scholastic.com has a great selection of books about the topic of Earth Day and helping the environment.
Choose your vocabulary words from the story or use generic ones like these to have students make an "Earth Day Book." You can also use vocabulary words from www.vocabulary.com about Ecology. Make a vocabulary book by taking about eight half sheets of paper and folding them in half. Staple the left side so that it is a book and give it a name. Students write in their vocabulary word and can do any of a variety of activities to make the word more meaningful, such as: draw a picture of it, use it in a sentence, write a synonym, write an antonym – use any strategy that makes sense for your students.
Host an Event
Schools are great places to have your student's families come together to learn about ways in which they changing a few things can make our precious resources go a long way. Try contacting your city or town offices to see what kinds of recycling and ecology programs they sponsor or if they are planning any Earth Day activities.
It's important to remember that before 1970 there were no regulations for pollutants released into the air or the environment. There was and still is political controversy over the importance of the agency, but at its core: "The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, the EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people."
Do you have any ideas? Please share them here!
Thanks for reading!