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April 8, 2010

Project-Based Learning: Another Take on Earth Day

By Stacey Burt
Grades 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    A celebration that began in the 1970’s is bigger and better than ever. While raising awareness about 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.

    Project-Based Learning in the Community

    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.

    Teaching Resources

    Here are a few websites 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 here, but check out this Book Wizard book list of Earth Day titles!

    I'd also like to mention this list of Earth Day ideas specifically for students in grades 6-8: Quick Earth Day Ideas for Middle Schoolers.

     

    Best,

    Stacey

    A celebration that began in the 1970’s is bigger and better than ever. While raising awareness about 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.

    Project-Based Learning in the Community

    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.

    Teaching Resources

    Here are a few websites 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 here, but check out this Book Wizard book list of Earth Day titles!

    I'd also like to mention this list of Earth Day ideas specifically for students in grades 6-8: Quick Earth Day Ideas for Middle Schoolers.

     

    Best,

    Stacey

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Susan Cheyney

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