Earth Day Activities for the Classroom

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ever have one of those impromptu teaching days that ends up being one of the best? That was today for me. After being woken up by the little one at 4:50 a.m., the last thing I expected today would bring was memorable teaching and learning. But I put my sleepiness aside and, last minute, threw together activities for Earth Day. And, it turned out amazing (if I do say so myself!). 

This book by Alison Inches is super cute! It tells the story of a plastic bottle from its beginnings as crude oil. I love how it mixes a fictional format with nonfiction features. It has a happy ending BUT I think it is still important to talk about what would happen if bottles are not recycled considering Americans used over 50 BILLION plastic bottles last year. We also discussed what we could do to use less!

I found a YouTube video that checked all the boxes. 
Engaging ✓ 
Informative ✓ 
Long enough to allow me to set up our art project ✓ 

It ended up being the perfect segue into our next activity when students...

My students showed what they had learned from our book, discussions and the video by writing a letter to the Earth making a promise to keep it clean! Find the freebie by K is for Kinderrific here.

SO what was I setting up during the video? Take a look!

This part was my absolute favorite. It brought me back to my elementary school days when there was much less pressure to fit everything in (or, at least, that's what I have heard) and you could spend a whole afternoon incorporating art without feeling guilty. It was total BLISS! 
The idea for this Earth Day art came from my great friend, Lauren, at Teaching in Stripes.

I feel passionate that if you are going to do an art project for Earth Day, it needs to follow the Earth Day guidelines of reuse, reduce, recycle. SO this was PERFECT and SIMPLE! 

We traced and cut out shapes from old newspaper and painted them. I even made the tracers from old folders! Yep, that easy! But SO pretty!! And the kids loved it. I strung them together to make a garland to hang up with our letters we wrote. 

How are you celebrating Earth Day? If you would like more FREE ideas, click here!

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