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April 12, 2019

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day for Grades 3–12

By Elena Constantinou

Celebrate, Protect and Preserve the Earth With These FREE Resources

Grades 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    Since 1970, people have celebrated Earth Day on April 22. Teach students about how people are impacting the planet and how they can make a difference with these resources from Scholastic Classroom Magazines.   

    1.  Focus on Text Features

    One of my favorite things about Scholastic Classroom Magazines is all of the rich text features they offer. The engaging informational texts are full of graphs, maps, photos and sidebars that help explain stories and bring them to life. For example, the graph above shows that volunteers removed 290,000 plastic bottle caps from U.S. beaches and oceans in 2017. Seeing the data for yourself can make environmental challenges feel more real.

    I can talk about why the planet needs our help, but it’s way better to show why the planet needs our help. Like we always say to students, “Show, don’t tell!” These stories from Scholastic News, Junior Scholastic and The New York Times Upfront about plastic waste include shocking statistics and real-life stories that will be sure to leave a lasting impression on students.

    Scholastic News: Grade 4

    Scholastic News: Grades 5/6

    Junior Scholastic: Grades 6–8

    The New York Times Upfront: Grades 9–12

    2.  Highlight Student Role Models

    Kids across the country are stepping up to save the planet. Introduce your students to a 9-year-old who runs his own recycling company, or a group of students trying to force the government to take action on global warming. These stories will show your students that they’re never too young to make a difference. Then inspire students to plan their own projects. Visit earthday.org for ideas and resources.

    Upper Elementary Earth Day Article

    Secondary Earth Day Article

    3. Speak Up and Take Action

    Show your students the power of their voices. Encourage them to write to local officials or businesses about an environmental issue that matters to them. Students might develop a plan to reduce plastic waste in your school, organize a local cleanup or try to ban a single-use plastic item.

    Download our free templates:

    Scholastic News: Grades 3–6

    Junior Scholastic: Grades 6–8

    Another way to inspire change is by helping students become more aware of their own actions. Use this Scholastic News skills sheet to have students track their trash for one day. I was stunned when I tried it myself! Then have students analyze their data, reflect on their behaviors and set goals for the future.

    4. Build Background Knowledge With a Video

    Use this Scholastic News video to activate prior knowledge and teach media-literacy skills. Before playing the video, give students an active-listening task. For example, you might have students take notes about the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). After watching the video once, play it again and pause to discuss key ideas and check for understanding. Then ask students to come up with one way they can use each of the 3 Rs.

    5. Explore a Text Set

    Text sets are collections of articles curated by the editors of Scholastic Classroom Magazines. Many teachers use texts sets for independent reading, while others use them for whole-class or small-group instruction. For elementary students, the Scholastic News Protecting the Environment text set includes a variety of articles about the environment, as well as skills sheets under Teaching Resources.

    • Words to Know: Have students define and practice using domain-specific vocabulary.
    • Close-Reading Questions: After reading, have students answer text-dependent questions and cite text evidence.
    • Write About It!: Explore essential questions and prepare students for standardized tests by guiding them to write an informative paragraph.

    I hope these resources encourage your students to make a difference this Earth Day. If you’re looking for more ways to inspire student action, make sure to check out Scholastic Classroom Magazines. These unique teaching solutions offer hundreds of empowering stories, videos and activities that connect your curriculum to the world. So give Scholastic Classroom Magazines a try and subscribe today.

    —Elena Constantinou is an education editor for Scholastic News. She previously taught middle school English Language Arts in Marlboro, New Jersey.

     

     

    Since 1970, people have celebrated Earth Day on April 22. Teach students about how people are impacting the planet and how they can make a difference with these resources from Scholastic Classroom Magazines.   

    1.  Focus on Text Features

    One of my favorite things about Scholastic Classroom Magazines is all of the rich text features they offer. The engaging informational texts are full of graphs, maps, photos and sidebars that help explain stories and bring them to life. For example, the graph above shows that volunteers removed 290,000 plastic bottle caps from U.S. beaches and oceans in 2017. Seeing the data for yourself can make environmental challenges feel more real.

    I can talk about why the planet needs our help, but it’s way better to show why the planet needs our help. Like we always say to students, “Show, don’t tell!” These stories from Scholastic News, Junior Scholastic and The New York Times Upfront about plastic waste include shocking statistics and real-life stories that will be sure to leave a lasting impression on students.

    Scholastic News: Grade 4

    Scholastic News: Grades 5/6

    Junior Scholastic: Grades 6–8

    The New York Times Upfront: Grades 9–12

    2.  Highlight Student Role Models

    Kids across the country are stepping up to save the planet. Introduce your students to a 9-year-old who runs his own recycling company, or a group of students trying to force the government to take action on global warming. These stories will show your students that they’re never too young to make a difference. Then inspire students to plan their own projects. Visit earthday.org for ideas and resources.

    Upper Elementary Earth Day Article

    Secondary Earth Day Article

    3. Speak Up and Take Action

    Show your students the power of their voices. Encourage them to write to local officials or businesses about an environmental issue that matters to them. Students might develop a plan to reduce plastic waste in your school, organize a local cleanup or try to ban a single-use plastic item.

    Download our free templates:

    Scholastic News: Grades 3–6

    Junior Scholastic: Grades 6–8

    Another way to inspire change is by helping students become more aware of their own actions. Use this Scholastic News skills sheet to have students track their trash for one day. I was stunned when I tried it myself! Then have students analyze their data, reflect on their behaviors and set goals for the future.

    4. Build Background Knowledge With a Video

    Use this Scholastic News video to activate prior knowledge and teach media-literacy skills. Before playing the video, give students an active-listening task. For example, you might have students take notes about the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). After watching the video once, play it again and pause to discuss key ideas and check for understanding. Then ask students to come up with one way they can use each of the 3 Rs.

    5. Explore a Text Set

    Text sets are collections of articles curated by the editors of Scholastic Classroom Magazines. Many teachers use texts sets for independent reading, while others use them for whole-class or small-group instruction. For elementary students, the Scholastic News Protecting the Environment text set includes a variety of articles about the environment, as well as skills sheets under Teaching Resources.

    • Words to Know: Have students define and practice using domain-specific vocabulary.
    • Close-Reading Questions: After reading, have students answer text-dependent questions and cite text evidence.
    • Write About It!: Explore essential questions and prepare students for standardized tests by guiding them to write an informative paragraph.

    I hope these resources encourage your students to make a difference this Earth Day. If you’re looking for more ways to inspire student action, make sure to check out Scholastic Classroom Magazines. These unique teaching solutions offer hundreds of empowering stories, videos and activities that connect your curriculum to the world. So give Scholastic Classroom Magazines a try and subscribe today.

    —Elena Constantinou is an education editor for Scholastic News. She previously taught middle school English Language Arts in Marlboro, New Jersey.

     

     

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