Thursday, April 19, 2012

5 Fresh Activities for Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day this Sunday, April 22, we have found some interesting ideas that will help you to understand the meaning of Earth Day. Thanks to We Are Teachers for this article. Students across the country are learning about recycling, the environment, and creative ways to protect our planet for future generations of teachers and kids. We love Earth Day because its many subtopics lend themselves to lessons in math, science, language arts, social studies, and more. Here are some of our favorite cross-curricular ideas.

1. Compare vehicle exhaust. Students can get an up-close view of the varying levels of pollution produced by different vehicles by placing used socks over the tail pipes of two or more running cars. You should only leave the socks on for a minute or two and conduct this experiment in an open area, such as a parking lot. Cars with cleaner burning engines will turn the socks less dirty than those with older, less-fuel efficient engines.

2. Study human impact. Invite small groups to go on a walk around your school grounds and take pictures documenting human impact on the environment. For example, children might take a photo of a plastic bag in a tree or litter on the sidewalk. Use the photos to jumpstart a campaign on cleaning up your community.

3. Try composting. Composting is not only a great way to recycle decomposable waste from your classroom or cafeteria, it can also teach kids about gardening and plant life cycles. You don’t need a large outdoor space to begin composting or planting, either—we know a school that does both in classroom window boxes!

4. Write a song for the environment. After learning about some of the problems our environment faces, challenge students to change the lyrics of a favorite song so that they send an Earth Day message about the steps we can take to protect our planet. Film the songs and share them with other classes and families.

5. Track your paper use. A recycling lesson makes an even bigger impact when students can see firsthand how much paper they use over the course of a few days or a week. Save all paper that would normally be collected in your trash or recycling bin. Then weigh it, measure it, and use your data to create graphs showing where and how your school can cut back.

Another idea to save paper - try using our Scrummylicious Meal Planner available at -  a dry erase board that can be reused week after week to help get you organized in the kitchen.

Need more Earth Day inspiration? Check out our  Pinterest board for other ideas.

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