On April, 22 people all over the globe will celebrate the 45th annual Earth Day to demonstrate support for environmental protection. To make this event even easier to take part in, we’ve prepared a list of inspiring (and free) lesson plans and activities, suitable for students aged 4 – 15.
This year’s Earth Day motto is ‘Trees for the Earth. Let’s get planting!’, so there is no better time to organize a tree planting session with your students! Contact your local government or forestry organization for more information on choosing the right spot or seedlings, and be sure to teach your students about taking care of the growing tree.
2. Go on a nature appreciation hike
Trees, flowers and insects – they all deserve to be observed and appreciated! Take your students (or children) for a nature appreciation walk and see how many different species you can spot. Make sure that you collect lots small objects like rocks and leaves that can be used when you are back at home or in the classroom (see points 6, 10 and 11).
Remember the saying: ‘Good habits start young’? Use this year’s Earth Day as an opportunity to teach your students how to recycle and make some DIY recycling bins (who can resist recycling when there are monsters waiting for ‘trash’ food?!). If you teach older students, you could even set up your very own recycling station in the classroom (see how to prepare it here).
You can make these with your students in no time and then spread some flowery love during the hike or at a local park. Make sure that you choose local plant seeds to add to the bombs, and that not all of them are thrown in the same place.
Have your students ever wondered what is inside the Earth? Teach them about its layers by creating this play dough (see this easy recipe here) globe and let them cut it through and explore it. You can also combine this activity with reading “The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth” by Joanna Cole with your students.
Get your students creating with the leaves and rocks they found at the nature appreciation hike and show them how create portraits of their family and friends. Cut some oval and round shapes from recycled cardboard boxes and decorate them to create funny faces!
Is there any better way to celebrate the Earth Day and teach your students about sustainability than by starting your very own vegetable garden? This free lesson plan has all the resources, further reading and practical instructions in one place. Before you begin cultivating carrots and leeks with your students, check this ‘Top or Bottom’ game which helps children get familiar with vegetables and the ways they can grow.
If you are not sure how to convince your students to save more water, try this arts integration lesson plan. Students learn about the Earth’s natural resources, ways to conserve water, and using recycled materials, then create colorful reminders to turn off the tap more often.
Here’s a well-known fact: toddlers and kindergarteners love worms! They are fascinated by how they move up and down through the soil. You can help them observe the worms better by creating this easy-to-make ‘worm hotel’ and observing its wiggly tenants for a few days (just make sure to set them all free afterwards).
Remember when you collected small rocks during your nature appreciation hike? You can use them to create a rocks and minerals sorting station with your students. Check what type of stones you can find in your local area, sort through your finds and place them in a sorting box (you can also try making it yourself if you teach older students).
These sun & wind catchers are not also pretty, but they will also help your students appreciate nature in all its glory. Once again, you can use things you found around your school… and get creative! All forms, colors, and materials allowed!
What are your plans for this year’s Earth Day? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.
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