Celebrate Earth Day
Promote environmental awareness with these teaching ideas, lesson plans, and student activities.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
Earth Day is observed around the world on April 22. The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, and is considered the birth of the modern environmental movement.
Before 1970, the health of the environment was not a common concern, even as industry poured chemicals and smoke into the air. In 1962, Rachel Carson, an ecologist from Pennsylvania, published a book called Silent Spring. The book became a best seller and raised public awareness of environmental concerns.
After the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif., Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. senator for Wisconsin, organized a nationwide demonstration against the pollution and the deterioration of the environment. The protest was held on April 22, 1970. Approximately twenty million Americans joined the demonstration in support of a healthier and more sustainable treatment of the environment.
Use these lessons, articles, book lists, and other activities to continue the tradition of promoting environmental awareness on April 22 or any time throughout the school year.
Classroom and Community Projects
Teachers share their favorite tips and recommendations for celebrating Earth Day in the classroom.
Prepare for Earth Day or any day with 16 student-selected projects to help our environment.
Celebrate Earth Day by creating colorful and engaging tunnel books complete with lesson plan and template.
A solar cookout is not only a great way to celebrate Earth Day as a community, it also provides the context for a rigorous STEM design challenge. Can your students design a better solar oven?
Earth Day is April 22, 2012. Our planet is a beautiful one, and it is all we have. This Earth Day take a look at some books, songs, activities, crafts, and recipes that will get your students interested in helping our earth.
Make DIY mini-gardens to celebrate the end of the year with a gift that will keep on growing from Instructor Magazine.
Celebrate Earth Day by enlisting your students in engaging and meaningful project-based learning.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Learn how to reduce, reuse and recycle with this video from Scholastic News Interactive.
Students use rhyming sentences to learn about ways to help the environment in this issue of Let’s Find Out.
Projects and ideas to help your school go green, from recycling clubs to solar cookouts and more!
Clifford the Big Red Dog teaches us the importance of working together to care for our environment!
Promote environmental awareness with this lesson plan about recycling and the origins of Earth Day.
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.
Inspire conservation and creativity by incorporating recycled materials into art projects.
Your students can help create a more sustainable environment with these collaborative projects, including shoe drives, can collections, making homemade paper, and other ideas.
Find inspiring ideas for a greener classroom including bottle cap art, scissor practice with scrap paper, and a "sludge city" unit.
As we approach Earth Day, join me in educating students on the impact we have on our environment with a Promethean flip chart and some powerful photographs of animals in trouble.
Help your students learn more about the environment with these "green" classroom activities.
Try these awesomely messy, super engaging, and highly educational real-world science experiments.
Read the Dr. Seuss classic, then discuss the dangers of pollution to planet Earth and to human's personal health. Several activities are included.
Endangered Animals and Ecosystems
Through project-based learning, students gain a sense of responsibility. Implement this unit on endangered species in your classroom.
Raise awareness of the environment and endangered species by having your students raise funds and adopt an animal.
Students will learn about the causes of animal extinction and more about the animals that are, and have been, affected by them.
By studying animals that live in three different endangered environments, students learn how ecosystems sustain wildlife.
Introduce 11 ecosystem-related topics, including food webs, symbiosis, and the water cycle, with these interactive activities.
Students will write persuasive speeches from the perspective of different animals in this extension activity for The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry.
Students can learn about rainforests, river habitats, and endangered species with the titles on this book list.
These poetry selections and related activities correlate with Earth Day topics.
You may not have time for an Earth Day extravaganza, but you can still bring environmental awareness into your classroom with these fabulous middle grade books.
Instill the love of reading and the environment by sharing these books and ideas about Earth Day with your students. They will surely take away the concept that Earth should be celebrated and honored every day!