Another Take on Earth Day
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
A celebration that began in the 1970’s is bigger and better than ever. While raising awareness as to the importance of protecting our environment, Earth Day also provides our schools the opportunity to enlist our student in engaging and meaningful project-based learning.
In addition to the wonderful ideas and resources that Eric suggested in his post, I would like to add to that the idea of utilizing that day to get students out in the community to conduct and participate in project-based learning. Students from all grade levels can participate. Environmental awareness is important at all ages and the earlier we make our children aware, the more environmentally responsible they will be.
Last year another school in my county had every single classroom in the school leave campus and participate in some sort of environmental activity. From cleaning parks and polluted biking paths to volunteering for tree planting, every single classroom was volunteering time to help do something good for the environment. I thought this was such an innovative approach to the regular Earth Day activities.
Project-based learning puts the student directly in contact with the subject matter or concept being taught. It gives them an authentic, real-world approach to learning that encourages interests and (hopefully) entices them to delve deeper into the subject matter or content. Here are a few web sites that can give you some background information on the benefits of using project-based learning in your classroom:
Scholastic has too many awesome books about the earth and protecting the environment to list; however, I would like to mention the link to Earth Day ideas specifically for students in grades 6-8:
Quick Earth Day Ideas: Grade 6-8