Earth Day has grown into a global celebration that focuses on educating people about environmental issues and raising awareness of what can be done to conserve the earth. Senator Gaylord Nelson originally came up with the idea of Earth Day to help push environmental issues into the national spotlight, and thanks to a fantastic grassroots effort, the first Earth Day in 1970 was a major success.
Here are a few ways you can celebrate Earth Day with your students:
1. Brainstorm ways to go green.
Ask students to brainstorm how they can help protect the environment at home, at school, and in the community. Recycling, reusing materials, composting, picking up after themselves/not littering, and turning the water off when they brush their teeth are just a few examples of ideas children may come up with as they brainstorm.
2. Plant a tree or work in your school garden.
Trees produce oxygen, which makes them vital to the environment and to the health of living organisms. We wouldn't be able to breathe or live without trees, so planting a tree in honor of Earth Day is the perfect way to celebrate with your students. If you can't plant a tree, have children plant flowers or work in your school garden instead.
3. Learn about the earth through music.
Young children love to learn through songs and play. To celebrate Earth Day, play songs that encourage children to enjoy nature and protect the earth. The Go Green! Caring for Our Earth CD includes fun songs, inspiring lyrics, and some extension activities that will help you take your Earth Day lesson plans one step further.
4. Read books about the earth.
Whether you read aloud to children or have them read independently, reading books about the earth, such as The Earth and I, Our Earth, and Learn Every Day About Our Green Earth – Paperback can help children learn how to protect and preserve the planet we live on.