Did you know that Earth Day is on Monday, April 22nd? Celebrated each year by millions of people, this day has been recognized since 1970. Third to fifth-grade teachers might like to celebrate it or convince the principal to have a school-wide event. Read on to learn ten ways you can celebrate!
1. Introduce Students to New Places.
Before Earth Day, assign students to look up any country or U.S. state, to write three fun facts about the place, and to bring their favorite picture of the location. On Earth Day, have students read their fun facts and turn their pictures into a collage on a large piece of recycled cardboard. Explain that one day they could visit these places, if they take care of the earth and encourage others to do the same.
2. Watch a Video in Class.
Some nature documentaries have fascinating videography illustrating the world’s beauty and complexity. Watch an episode with the class and give a brief lecture about responsible environmentalism. For example, if you watch an episode about polar bears, explain how global warming is threatening their habitat and list common ways students can help decrease global warming.
3. Go on an Environmental Field Trip.
Arrange a field trip to a recycling center. It will give students a chance to get out of the classroom. You can explain why recycling is important to reduce waste and to help the environment. Alternatively, go to a solar farm, if one is nearby, to learn about sustainable energy.
4. Have Students Participate in a School Earth Day Fair.
If you can convince your school to celebrate earth day, have students participate in a class project. Displays could illustrate things like solar power, the importance of forests, or the dangers of plastic in the ocean.
5. Find a Craft (or Crafts!) to Do with your Class.
Pick one or two easy crafts that use common household disposable items. For example, use milk or water jugs to make bird feeders or planters. Old magazines and newspapers can go to art projects, collages, or vision boards. Glass jars can be painted and used for storage containers. Google and Pinterest have endless ideas! If you’re not set up for crafts, see if you can collaborate with your school’s art teacher.
6. Celebrate Diversity.
Have students prepare a brief report on their genealogy and nationalities. Give each student a printout of a world map and have them mark every country discussed. Afterwards, look at which countries have the most lineages, and discuss with students why it’s lucky to have many places to move to and from.
7. Go to an Aquarium or Museum.
Another great idea is to go to a local museum with geological exhibits or visit an aquarium. Pair the trip with information on protecting the earth and keeping it clean.
8. Pick Up Trash.
To make an impact at school, work with students to collect trash outside the school building. Talk about why littering harms the earth and harms animals, then give statistics about how much trash the average person/family creates. Consider sharing the class’s work with the entire school to spread awareness.
9. Host a Class Recycling Drive.
If the principal agrees, use your class as a base for a day or week-long recyclable drive. Come up with a reward that you can give your students for participating in the project, and have the results of the campaign announced to the school’s entire student body.
10. Hang Earth Day Quotes in Your Class and Around the School.
Have students find quotes about Earth day, protecting the earth, and stopping things like littering or global warming. Have them create a sign and then hang them in the school in other classrooms, on school bulletin boards, and in your classroom.
The above ideas are just ten of the many ways you could celebrate Earth Day with your students. Not only will you help the planet, but you’ll be encouraging the next generation to be good stewards of the earth!