Preparing children for Earth Day by reading quality books helps them build their background knowledge and increases student engagement in Earth Day activities. Whether your students participate in school-wide Earth Day projects or celebrate the day with classroom activities, setting the stage is important. Consider these delightful educational books for Earth Day designed with early childhood students in mind.
Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals
This is a delightful book about composting. The A to Z format describes ingredients, from apple cores to zinnia heads, that go into a compost bin. Bright, friendly graphics, including a curious dog, make the book both fun and appealing. This book is a great introduction to starting a class or school compost project.
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
A classic picture book that brings concerns about the earth alive for young readers. Traditional Dr. Seuss rhymes and wacky illustrations teach children what happens to the earth and its creatures when trees are cut down. This book reminds young students that the earth’s beauty can be lost if we do not show respect for it.
The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole
The eccentric Ms. Frizzle takes the class on a magical field trip to explore the effects of carbon dioxide emissions into the air. Similar to other books in the Magic School Bus series, this climate change book is filled with scientific facts. While the basic text is suitable for young children, the accompanying facts promote further learning for older readers.
The Earth and I by Frank Asch
This charming little book is ideal for very young children. Brightly-colored graphics reveal the beauty of the earth and the ways a child interacts with nature daily, from playing outside to eating plants the earth produces. Its simple story illustrates actions children can take to prevent pollution and improve the health of the earth.
Recycle!: A Handbook for Kids by Gail Gibbons
An informative book that provides children with background information about landfills and the need to reduce our dependence on them. But it doesn’t stop there. It teaches children how to recycle properly and provides realistic activities in which children can participate to improve community recycling efforts. This book is appropriate for early childhood elementary classrooms.
All of these books are great for teaching children an awareness of the issues facing the earth. Be sure to integrate books for Earth Day into current topics you’re teaching or that enhance the Earth Day projects you have planned! For more Earth Day inspiration, you’ll find fun activities at the link below!