On April 22, 1970, we began celebrating a new event called Earth Day. Many consider this the start of the modern environmental movement, and it has inspired countless new ways to take a special look at our beautiful planet. One of those ways starts with the celebration of Earth Day with classroom activities.
As educators and school administrators, we continually strive to inspire students to look at the planet with awe and respect. The best way to do that involves asking students to do a little digging and come up with some ways to express what it means to live, grow, and thrive in our home sphere.
Earth Day Activities
There are plenty of classic examples of Earth Day activities to get students started. Share basic ideas like planting trees, recycling, fighting air pollution, conserving resources such as water and power, protecting and supporting endangered animal species, and using reusable bags at the grocery store. You could even stir their creative juices by having them make their own eco-friendly reusable tote bag!
Your projects can include thematic readings, scientific experiments, and creative arts projects. 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 Earth Day activities on their own. But until they’re ready to take the lead, get started with these examples of Earth Day activities for the 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 and hitting the cafeteria after the last lunch period. Students can monitor how much cafeteria trash gets thrown away and where it goes. This can open up conversations about the school’s recycling program and the clarity of the message. Once students have gone through their findings, they can make a video or slide presentation to your school’s recycling team to further engage students in your school’s environmental efforts.
Sometimes reading a beloved book with an Earth-friendly focus can work wonders to bring your class together. Ask students to choose a favorite book for the class to read. You might also encourage them to listen to other Earth Day favorites during their free time. Grab some audio equipment or headphones and settle in for The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and The EARTH Book by Todd Parr.
Spring Cleaning in the Great Outdoors
Set out on a field trip to a local park! If traveling isn’t possible, you can likely find plenty of litter and trash on your own school grounds. Carry separate bags for recycling and trash, based on your city’s recycling program, and have students identify the correct receptacle. Document your excursion on video to show students the before and after effects of their cleaning efforts. This can serve as a reminder that even an action as seemingly small as stopping to put a discarded soda bottle in the recycling bin can make a difference.
At School Specialty, we believe in making the most of Earth Day with fun and engaging activities! Everyone can use a reminder about preserving the beauty and delicate balance of our planet. Check out our online store for eco-friendly products and classroom supplies to help your students with their projects.
It’s never too early to instill in your students a lifelong passion for protecting our Earth each day!