I’ve curated four resources that we love in our family and paired them with great, meaningful activities for use in your classroom on Earth Day. There are many activities out there, but many of them are, quite frankly, very relevant. I believe the following encourage your students to observe, engage, and learn in a way that honors the true spirit and intent of Earth Day as laid by the Earth Day Network.
(book synopsis) “Poetic but simple text and lovely collage pictures dramatize the life cycle of all plants, as one tiny seed grows into an enormous sunflower, which then produces more seeds in its turn.”
(activity synopsis) “There are so many seeds and items to grow in the classroom! This Planting Seeds Theme page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom. Let the Theme planning begin.”
(activity synopsis) “Over the next five years, as Earth Day moves closer to its 50th anniversary, we’re calling on you to help us achieve one of our most ambitious goals yet — we’re planting 7.8 billion trees and we’re starting now. Our planet is currently losing over 15 Billion trees each year (equivalent to 48 football fields every minute). In honor of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in 2020, Earth Day Network announced Trees for the Earth, a plan to plant 7.8 Billion trees by Earth Day 2020: one tree for every person on the planet. We invite you to join us! – See more at: http://www.earthday.org/earth-day/earth-day-toolkit/#3”
(show synopsis) “HBO and The American Museum of Natural History present SAVING MY TOMORROW, a six part family series on the environment. From the children who will inherit the planet, comes a collection of songs, activism, and heartfelt tips for protecting the earth. Kids share their thoughts on subjects ranging from endangered animals and pollution to climate change. Behind the scenes at the American Museum of Natural History, scientists talk with kids about how organisms are affected by a changing earth. A mix of science, animation, and stories of plants and animals in danger, the series celebrates the natural world and is a call from kids to kids to help take care of the planet.
(activity synopsis) “11.1 million tons of recyclable fabric and textiles end up in landfills every year. This causes major problems for the environment.
Join a global fashion movement for the planet by supporting H&M’s World Recycle Week. Instead of trashing old clothes, give them a second life by recycling them. You’ll save water, energy, and reduce waste.
Run a clothes and home textiles drive at your school or in your community to celebrate World Recycle week (April 18-24) and drop them off at your local H&M.”
**or donate to your local Goodwill!
(book synopsis) “Follow the tracks of ten woodland animals but . . . uh-oh . . . watch out for the skunk! Children learn the ways of forest animals to the rhythm of “Over in the Meadow” as they leap like a squirrel, dunk like a raccoon, and pounce like a fox. They will also count the babies and search for ten hidden forest animals. Cut paper illustrations add to the fun in this delightful introduction to a woodland habitat.”
(activity synopsis) “You can learn a lot about forest animals by simply looking and listening. With a grownup, sit quietly beside a trail to see what wildlife will come out of hiding. Listen for sounds and try to find out who is making them—a woodpecker tapping, a bird chirping, squirrels chattering, an animal rustling leaves or digging.”
*Disclosure: Dawn Publications is the publisher of the new edition of my book, A Moon of My Own. Coming fall 2016.
(book synopsis) “Members of Maple Street Save-the-Planet Club are cleaning up Gilroy Park when Ryan has a brainstorm: Instead of throwing aluminum cans in the garbage, why not bring them to the Recycling Center and use the money to buy flowers to decorate the park for Earth Day? Mrs. Watson, the club’s advisor, figures out that they’re going to need 5,000 cans, so the kids start a big collection campaign at school. Cans are grouped in bags of 10, 100 and 1,000. Recycling facts are sprinkled throughout the illustrations. Understanding place value is key to working easily with large numbers.”
(activity synopsis) One activity was having kids take up a collection of recyclable cans, just like the kids in the story. Could they predict how long it would take for their collection to grow to 100 cans to 1,000? From a 1,000 to 10,000? –Mary Wheeler, literacy coach, Bunker Hill Elementary School, Houston, TX”
Comments? Suggestions? Please share!
Jennifer Rustgi developed a love of children’s literature during her years teaching reading as an elementary school teacher and became inspired to write her own stories through her experiences with her young daughter. She lives in Austin, Tx. with her family. A Moon of My Own is her second children’s book.