Earth Day is a global event celebrated in many countries around the world. As teachers, we have the opportunity to educate our students about respecting and saving our environment. Here are five ways to celebrate Earth Day with your students on Monday.
- Organize a school event
Work together with other teachers and your principal to plan a school beautification event. Assign grade levels different sections of the school to pick up trash, paint walls, and tidy up classrooms. Have an assembly and invite a local scientist or environmentalist to come speak to students about the importance of taking care of our planet. Consider starting a composting program, planting a garden or even trees. In addition to making the school, beautiful, trees reduce CO2 and ozone levels.
- Read books about the earth
Help students understand why they should care for their planet by reading to your class.There are so many books about Earth Day topics. Some titles include One Tree by Green Start, Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals, One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul and Mark Kurlansky’s The World Without Fish: How Kids Can Help Save the Oceans. This is a paperless activity, so not only are you teaching your students about the planet, you are doing your part to save it.
- Seek student input
Ask your students what environmental issues they want to solve. Help them look into how they can start at the local level. Read to Lead has free lesson plans and activities tied to community engagement. One example is a community service project. After selecting a focus issue, students will create a visual display to inform an audience, learn presentation skills and prepare a brief speech on the topic. At the end of this project, students will be encouraged to make a difference with concrete examples of how they can affect positive change in their community.
- Have clothes/supply drive
Instead of throwing away clothes that are now too small, ask students to bring in those items and sponsor a clothes drive. Uniforms would be an excellent item to collect. They can be donated to other students. Other items can also be donated to students in need or taken to Goodwill, the Red Cross or the Salvation Army.
Also, as the school year is coming to an end, you may find that you have a lot of used supplies. Instead of throwing away the pencils or crayons, consider collecting them and giving them to a local organization that could use them.
- Sponsor an Earth Day poster or essay contest
Have students submit environmentally themed works of art or writing pieces. Topics could include conserving water, don’t pollute, going green, or reuse, reduce, recycle to name a few. Prizes could include such environmentally friendly items such as metal water bottles, or a reusable lunch box.
There are so many other different ways you and your students can raise awareness about protecting our planet. Choose one, share photos on social media using #EarthDay and join the billion other people across the world who will be doing their part.
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