Earth Day Activities to Help You Plant the Seed
- Grades: 1–2
Every year on April 22, people around the world participate in different events to celebrate the planet. This is a perfect time of year for kids to learn about how to save the environment. Here are some of our classroom-tested ideas that you can use to plan for Earth Day 2012.
What Is Earth Day?
Earth Day began in the United States on April 22, 1970, as a way to inspire awareness and appreciation for our planet. Since then, the holiday has become a worldwide event: every year people all over the world join together on this day to celebrate.
This week our students participated in activities that helped them learn how to protect and care for our Mother Earth.
Plant the Seed
To bring nature into the classroom, we turned to these books about Earth Day, the Earth, and the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle):
- Earth Day by Trudi Strain Trueit
- Earth Day — Hooray! by Stuart J. Murphy
- Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel
- Recycle Every Day! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
- Why Should I Recycle? by Jen Green
We also listened to "The 3 Rs" by Jack Johnson. It’s a fun song that the kids like to dance and sing along to.
We made three circle maps, one each for reduce, reuse, and recycle. We used the circle maps to list ideas on how to do each of these things. Throughout the week we added to the circle maps as students learned new ways to help the Earth. Toward the end of the week, after many of our ideas had been listed, students completed the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" worksheet to show how they would do each of the three Rs.
Dear Mother Earth . . .
We asked students to write a friendly letter to Mother Earth. In the letter, they could ask questions or they could tell Mother Earth what they were going to do to help protect her. Mother Earth surprised the class with a response to their letters. She listed ways that the students could help her out. With her letter, she also left behind materials students could use to make their very own leaf crowns. Students were instructed to copy down one of Mother Earth’s requests on each leaf.
We explained to our students that our school district has formed a partnership with our local disposal company in order to recycle paper items. We encouraged students to form partnerships with friends during their lunch and recess to help each other pick up trash from the playground or recycle items that could be recycled.
Students were asked to decorate Think Green posters that we could distribute to other classrooms. These posters were used to remind others how they could help protect the earth.
We hope that these ideas help you get your kiddos on the path to greener thinking. Please share some of the ways that you celebrate Earth Day.