Earth Day is coming up! I have to be honest – growing up I never cared about Earth Day. I want my students to feel differently about this important holiday. The activity ideas in this post come from my Earth Day product on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Why Teach about Earth Day?
It is more important than ever to teach about Earth Day. Global warming is a real concern for our world and our next generation will have to really care about the earth in order to make a difference. Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to talk about why and how we take care of the earth. That being said, I hope it is not the first or last time you talk about taking care of the earth. This is a conversation that can happen throughout the year with read alouds, recess observations, opinion writing, science units, and so much more!
Earth Day Activity Ideas
There are so many awesome activities for Earth Day. My favorite activities involve going outside and actually taking care of the earth! Take your students outside for a walk to observe nature. Then have them look for any litter to clean up (I suggest bringing a trash bag with you and giving them gloves. Also, talk to them ahead of time about calling you over if any of the trash looks unsafe, like glass).
Students can also plant a flower or tree outside as a way to celebrate Earth Day! Another idea is to have students go outside and draw what they see. Then they can turn those drawings into posters to hang around the school or town suggesting ways they can take care of the earth.
I also love to have my students decorate a crown with ways that they want to take care of the earth. They can wear it all day and take it home to share their ideas with their families.
Todd Parr’s The Earth Book
The best book for Earth Day by far, in my opinion, is The Earth Book by Todd Parr (For your convenience this is linked to my Amazon affiliate store). I love how it lists so many ways to take care of the earth. Todd’s books always have such a lovely pattern to them and give lots of concrete examples to difficult topics. My favorite activity to do after reading a Todd Parr book is to have students make their own example. Then we put these pages together in a class book. My students love reading these books over and over again.
There are lots of other books that are great for Earth Day. For your convenience I have them linked to my Amazon affiliate store.
- Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers – it’s a little long but beautifully written.
- Earth Day Every Day by Lisa Bullard has some nice ideas for taking care of the earth.
- Jen Green series: – Why Should I Recycle? – Why Should I Protect Nature? – Why Should I Save Water? – Why Should I Save Energy?
- What Does It Mean to Be Green? By Rana DiOrio
- 10 Things I Can Do To Help My World by Melanie Walsh
There are also some great videos and songs your students will love!
- Harry Kindergarten – “We’re Going Green”
- Jack Hartmann “Recycle”
- GoNoodle (you need a free educator account to access this) has a Think About It mindfulness video on taking care of the earth.
- BrainPop Jr. (a paid resource) has a video called Reduce, Reuse, Recycle that would be perfect for Earth Day.
Earth Day is a really important opportunity to teach the next generation about why we need to take care of the world. It is also a great time to not only teach how we can take care of the world, but actually act on some of those ideas.
What is your favorite way to celebrate Earth Day?