Since 1970 when our human race began celebrating the modern environmental movement each April 22nd, everyone has tried to find new ways to take a special look at our beautiful planet on Earth Day. As administrators and educators, we continually strive to inspire our students to look at the planet with awe and respect. The best way to do that usually involves simply asking students to do a little digging into the Earth and come up with some ways to express what it means to live, grow and thrive on our home sphere.
As an educator, you can offer your students some classic examples of Earth Day activities to give them an idea of what others have done to get them started. Share the basic ideas of planting trees, recycling, fighting air pollution, conserving resources, such as water and power, protecting and supporting endangered animal species and choosing paper over plastic at the grocery store to spur their creative juices.
Your projects can include thematic readings, scientific experiments and creative arts projects, according to Edutopia. By presenting some basic information and ideas to your class — particularly based on the variety of types of projects available to them — the chances are strong that your students will soon start coming up with some unique activities all their own. Until your students feel ready to take the lead on their own ideas and projects, get started by considering some of the following examples of Earth Day activities that you can use in your own classroom:
You have a whole lunchroom full of Earth Day possibilities. One project you can recommend to your students, per Education World, includes putting on plastic gloves each day before hitting the cafeteria after the last lunch period. Students can monitor how many students are not adhering to your school’s recycling program. The project does not intend to single out any students. Instead, you and your students are trying to understand the effectiveness of your school’s message to inform recycling program officials of any issues and trends that your students discover. Once students have gone through their findings, they can make a video or slide presentation to your school’s recycling team to open up a dialog and further engage students in your school’s environmental efforts.
Sometimes reading a beloved book inspired by — or that serves as an inspiration for — Earth Day can work wonders to bring your class together. Ask students to choose a favorite book to read together. You might also encourage them to listen to other Earth Day favorites, such as The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and The EARTH Book by Todd Parr during their free time, using audio equipment and class headphones.
Spring Cleaning in the Great Outdoors
Set out on a field trip to a local park, or you can even find plenty of litter area on your own school grounds, most likely. Carry bags for recycling and bags for trash, and ask students to identify the correct receptacle. Document your excursion to show students the before and after effects of their cleaning efforts, reminding them that, even with an action as seemingly small as stopping to put a discarded soda bottle in the recycling bin, they can make a difference simply by caring.
At School Specialty, we believe in making the most of Earth Day. Everyone can use a reminder about preserving the beauty and delicate balance of our planet. We hope you might contact us if you need anything to help your students with their projects to help instill in them a lifelong passion for protecting Earth each day.