Earth Day is April 22. 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 even a recipe to get your students interested in helping our earth.
These read-alouds about the earth and the environment will get students excited about taking care of the planet.
Dear Children of the Earth by Schim Schimmel
This is my favorite Earth Day story. It is out of print, but you can still get a hold of a copy. The illustrations and the message inspire children to care about the earth and its living things.
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Another favorite of mine — and it's now out in the theaters in 3-D! What a wonderful message it sends to kids about taking care of our earth. It also communicates that each child, no matter how small, can make a difference.
Our Big Home: An Earth Poem by Linda Glaser
This is a sweet poem about places and things on our earth that we share and that are special. It has wonderful word choice to model in writers’ workshop.
Science Vocabulary Readers: The Earth by Megan Duhamel
A simple science reader with great photos, The Earth provides a wonderful introduction to the topic.
Our Earth by Anne Rockwell
This book is a kid-friendly way to begin a discussion about the earth and to introduce basic earth science concepts.
Big Earth, Little Me by Thom Wiley
I do not have this book, but it looks like a cute one. It’s a lift-the-flap book with simple sentences to get young kids wanting to help the earth. I especially need this one for my two sons!
My mom, who is a kindergarten teacher as well, shared her favorite Earth Day songs with me. Thanks, Mom!
Join the nonprofit conservation organization Nature Conservancy and help raise awareness and money to protect important land and water sources. Take on a Nature Conservancy volunteer project in your area, or plan your own event, like a picnic for the planet at your school or for your class!
Environmentally friendly crafts and activities are a fun way to reinforce your Earth Day learning. Any of the suggestions below would make a great culminating activity.
Earth Day Wreaths: For this activity from DLTK's Crafts for Kids, students color and cut out little earths and recycle signs to glue onto a paper plate to make a cute wreath decoration.
Defender of the Earth Hats: Most primary teachers love making hats with their students. Use sentence strip paper to staple a headband. Then have students color a picture of the earth and glue it on. On the rest of the headband, have students draw pictures of and write about what they will do to defend the earth.
Recycled Treasures: Be creative! Collect a bunch of scrap papers and items such as egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, and cardboard boxes. Have students work together in teams to reuse these trash items to make something new.
Recycle and Reuse Paper Project: This can be a messy science craft, but the kids always love it. You need newspaper, containers, hot water, cornstarch, a rolling pin, and an old screen.
Have students rip the newspaper into small pieces and soak these in hot water. After a few hours, add cornstarch and mix well so it becomes a pulp. Then put the screen on more newspaper, scoop some pulp out, and place it evenly on the screen. Put a piece of newspaper on top of it, and use a rolling pin to squish out the extra water. Take the paper off the screen, and let it dry. Then have students draw on their recycled paper.
Earth Day Posters: Have your students create posters with messages about helping our earth. These can be placed in lunch areas and around the school to remind students to help our earth and reduce their carbon footprint.
Earth Day Cake or Cupcakes: Make a white cake mix and separate into two bowls. Add green food coloring to one and blue to the other. Pour the blue cake mix into the pan and then add in the green, trying to make it look like land masses. For an extra fun shape, bake it in a ball-shaped cake pan. It will turn out looking like the earth!
There are so many ways to connect Earth Day with science. Here are just a few suggestions:
Planets: Teach your students about our solar system and the planets in it.
Water Cycle: Study the water cycle and how it is important for our earth.
Plants: Many people plant a tree on Earth Day. Have your students plant seeds and turn this into a plant unit in which you learn about and observe the plants growing.
Recycling: Earth Day is a perfect time to talk about reducing, reusing, and recycling.
Happy Earth Day! What types of activities do you do for Earth Day?