Here are some ideas posted @ the A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums over the years…
- Go on a nature hike, even if it’s around the playground. Have teams find an item they can share with the class, or take clipboards and make a nature scene on paper.
- Plant seeds that they can later take home.
- Plant a classroom garden. Our class has actually planted seeds in cups (to take home later), and will work together with another class to start a pumpkin patch. We were able to get permission to do this. We’re really excited. The students won’t get to see much of the results this year, but they can visit next year.
- Study about plants or trees this time of year. I like to check out lots of books from the school and public libraries so the students can get their hands on them.
- Study about weather. How does weather effect our planet.
- Study about recycling. What can we do to help our planet.
- Make recycling creations – gather up a ton of recyclables and let the kids at it. Or you can direct it – recycling robots or whatever you want. One year we had a fashion show with apparel made from recycled materials.
- Have a pet show – invite a local wildlife place to speak and bring animals. Even a parent could do that if they were knowledgeable.
- We are planting a gumbo limbo tree purchased by our Student Council and will also have an American Indian storyteller visit.
A couple of years ago I had my second graders write acrostic poems for Earth Day, then they were typed and printed out and later affixed to our coffee filter earths *you take a coffee filter, scribble with blue and green markers and then spray with a water bottle and the colors bleed to look like an earth….after it is dry they glued on their poem to one side and their pledge to save the earth(our whole school was reciting the earth pledge every day after the pledge of allegiance) Then I laminated them and hung them with yarn from the ceiling in the hallway.
- making bird feeders
- making creations out of reycled materials – boxes, cans, meat trays, caps, bottles etc…
- making grass heads: plant grass in a cup, let it grow, draw a face
- on the cup – grass head
- we are taking a field trip to an environmental place
- Monday we are reading our weekly reader about Earth Day. For Art…”Our Sparkling Earth.”We will be sponge painting “circles” that represent the earth…blue for water and green for land…then adding a bit of glitter.
- Tuesday we are learning about “water.” We’re walking to a stream and discussing “water.” All living things need water.
- Wednesday we’re learning about “fire/sun”… benefits, etc. and making a large handprint sun…singing “Mr. Sun,” You Are My Sunshine,” and the Beatles “Here Comes the Sun.”
- Thursday we are learning about air/wind. We’ll be blowing bubbles outside, frisbees, maybe a kite. We’ll learn about how the wind helps us and how all living things need air.
- Friday we are learning about “The Spirit of Life/Nature.” This day we’ll lay in the grass and watch the clouds, listen to the wind, smell the earth and feel nature all around us. For Art, we’ll be painting “The Spirit of Life” while listening to inspirational music…music that will carry us all away!
We made dirty river water today, each child brought in a piece of clean trash, to put in the “river”…as we talked about what we do with trash, and why we don’t put it in the river, or pond. After we made the dirty water, I asked the kids if they thought our fish would like to swim in it. Tomorrow we are making crayon shaving earths to hang as we reuse our old crayons. We are celebrating Earth Day all week.
- We talk about things we can do to help Earth… ie. recycle, turn off lights/water when brushing teeth, etc. Then I have the children write about ways to save Earth. I mount it on black paper with a coffee filter we color with blue and green markers and then spray with water. It looks like the Earth! It is so cute when it’s finished!
- We also recycle our broken crayons. I have a crayola crayon maker and all the children make a crayon from broken ones.
- I also have kids trace their hand and write, “TURN IT OFF”. They are supposed to put it near the light switch in their room. We also make the Earth book by Dr. Jean. It’s so cool! They kids love it!!!
There’s a recent book 10 Things We Can Do to Help My World – very kid-friendly suggestions. I like to have the kids write from the earth’s perspective-If I was the Earth I would,…. and then they make self-portraits using things they find outside-sticks, leaves, etc. Sometimes they can get so creative!
For earth day you could talk about reduce, reuse and recycle. Then you could ask them how this would protect our earth and keep it safe. Then have them trace their hands and cut them out. On their hands have them write a way they think they can keep the earth safe. (They will probably use the ideas you talk about) as they finish give them a small earth to color and take their picture. You can turn this into a bb. You will put their picture on their earth and you will use a bigger earth in the center with their hands around it. The title will be Earth It’s in Our Hands.