In my classroom, I spend the 2 weeks prior to Earth Day (April 22nd) teaching my students about the ways they can care for the earth and completing Earth Day classroom activities. We discuss the things they can do in their classroom, at home, and on the playground. We brainstorm ideas and have great discussions on ways we can keep the classroom and playground clean, save energy and, do our part to keep the Earth green and beautiful.We practice reusing items instead of throwing them away and we recycle our containers and paper when we finish with it every day. We reduce how much energy we spend by turning off our classroom lights and we go outside to pick up trash left out on the playground.
We read tons of great books that remind us and teach us about these things.
A few of my favourite books are…
The Earth & I by Asch.
We read a poem of the week called “Earth Day Everyday!”, and we complete our follow-up poetry activities. This poem and activities plus many more are available here.
For the student “Holding the Earth” art activity, I start by taking a photo of each student pretending to hold a ball over their heads.
I print them out in black and white off the computer.
We each colour a coffee filter with green and blue markers to look like the earth.
We spray the filters with water and let them dry.
Lastly, we assemble and glue our writing, photos and earth onto green tag.
This is my favourite bulletin board of the year.
We have the parents in to show off our writing and how cute their children look holding up the earth!
We also make “Recycle Kids” self portraits on newspaper. We start by drawing a self-portrait with pencil. We then use sharpies to trace the lines. Next, we color our clothes and hair (not skin). We glue onto white tag for durability and cut out.It was an interesting activity because my students had never reused newspaper this way before. They said it seemed strange to have newspaper print as their skin color.
This creates a meaningful result and a special bulletin board with an important message.
I also add a large earth my class made in a previous year by tearing out pieces of blue and green paper from old National Geographic magazines and gluing them down to look like the earth. What a great project of team work that was. I enjoy REUSING the Earth again each year!
Earth day is a great day to remind yourself and your students about the importance of keeping our earth clean and healthy.
I had a parent come and tell me today that her daughter no longer wants to have baths, but “quick showers that save water!” It makes everything we do to teach our students worth it when it changes an attitude or behavior for the better.