Probably the best thing to do for classes on Earth Day is to get out of the classroom and enjoy the beauty of the earth, or perhaps clean up a bit.
You may not have that option. It’s not too late to plan a classroom lesson.
Here’s a nice list of online resources:
- The Sierra Club has ideas.
- The North American Association for Environmental Education link list
- Larry Ferlazzo’s list
- the Science Spot has a list, too.
- Lessons from the Earth Day Network
- Instructables has ambitious ideas.
- Care2 has free ecards for Earth Day. Have students send them home or to each other for a basic tech lesson using mouse and keyboard.
- Taming the Paper Tiger is a free download with reproducibles about reducing paper waste.
- Water Cycle Lesson Plans examines environmental issues.
- Plan a rain garden.
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss is a classic with a simple but sincere message.
- An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming in picture book form for kids.
- The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynn Cherry, a beautifully illustrated look at the rain forest.
- Everything Kids’ Environment Book: Learn how you can help the environment-by getting involved at school, at home, or at play by Sheri Amsel — an excessively long title, but the book is filled with ideas.
- Ecoart!: Earth-Friendly Art and Craft Experiences for 3-To 9-Year-Olds by Laurie Carlson gives you fun, environment-oriented art projects for Earth Day and every day.
One last thought, to share with older students… Stephen Jay Gould, one of our favorite science writers, said that the whole concept of “Saving the Planet” was just good PR work. The planet, he said, would be fine no matter what we did. Changes in the environment really are harmful to us, and our environmental activism has the power to save humans, not the planet. How’s that for a thought-provoking writing prompt?