Celebrate Earth Day Every Day!

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Wake up Little Cow! It's time to start the school day.

If animals could speak, what would they say? They would urge us to take good care of “Mother Earth!”

In sunshine or rain, creative teachers find engaging ways to celebrate Earth Day outdoors or inside.

April 22 is designated as Earth Day in the United States and over 190 other countries around the world. Related events are scheduled for days before and after.

Since Earth Day falls on a Saturday this year, plan time ahead to involve your class in activities that promote the good stewardship of natural resources.

Teach that Every Day is Earth Day! –  Many teachers work to help children master the concept that April 22 marks an “official event,” but “every day can be Earth Day.”

If the Animals Could Speak – Personification is a sure way to catch and keep K – 5 kids’ attention. Place a large stuffed animal near a globe on a table or shelf in your classroom and “bring the animal to life”…personification for teaching.

During one of your Earth Day activities, stand by the stuffed animal and globe and ask a challenging question that leads to a group discussion…

The Q – If the animals could speak, what would they say about taking care of “Mother Earth?”

After students offer answers, which you may note on a chalkboard, whiteboard or Smartboard, share my short poem (below) with the class.

NOTE: Depending on students’ grade level, you may need to explain the meanings of conservation and conservationists before reading aloud.

If the Animals Could Speak

If the animals could speak and the trees could somehow

shake us to action, to conserving more now,

then the world would be more certain to see

a future of promise for you and for me,

for the children, for the children;

we must teach them to be, not once in a while,

but daily conservationists…daily conservationists.

Ideas for Earth Day celebrations continue…

Lead a Flower Parade on a Stroll Down Earth Day Lane – Take your class on a real or imaginary walk down Earth Day Lane.

Plan ahead for a flower parade on your stroll by sending notes home asking that students bring at least one live or silk flower to class for your Earth Day Flower Parade.

Distribute the flowers to students and instruct them to gently wave them during your parade. Optional: play music as students stroll.

Silk hyacinth stems stand tall inside a butterfly bag.

Silk hyacinth stems stand tall inside a butterfly bag with a butterfly book in front to draw kids into reading about science.

Outdoors? Carry a basket to fill with attention-getting natural “treasures,” like rocks and leaves that you and students “discover down Earth Day Lane.”

Foster scientific thinking with a focus on natural resources after the flower parade by asking for students’ observations about the flowers and other natural “treasures” you use or find.

Take Imaginary Flight Above Earth Day Lane – Employ imagination to add impact to science lessons. How? Introduce eye-catching resources and imaginative activities that connect with reading and creative writing.

Set out a book about butterflies, for example, next to a gift bag with a butterfly design to draw kids into reading about science.

Invite students to write a story in which they imagine themselves as butterflies or birds finding their way above Earth Day Lane.

Teach that imagination is a critical tool, not just in writing but also in science.

As Albert Einstein wrote, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world and all there will ever be to know and understand.”

Not a shadow of a doubt...Pop-up Puppets delight children!

Not a shadow of a doubt…Pop-up Puppets delight children. Re-use tissue boxes to celebrate Earth Day.

Make Pop-Up Shadow Puppets and Stages with Re-used Tissue Boxes – Who knew that something as common as an empty tissue box could be re-used and turned into such a fun and effective teaching tool!

Kids love pop-up puppets.

Pop-up puppets “live” inside their stages and are easy to present. Follow these steps to make one:

1. Cut out most of the bottom of a tissue box, leaving a rim so that the box doesn’t slip down your arm.

2. Draw, color and cut out a flat paper puppet figure.

3. Tape the puppet to a straw or stick.

4. Hold the stick inside the tissue box and make the puppet move up and down.

Spin Some Wind Power – I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love to make a pin wheel spin with the force of his or her own wind!

Harness your class’ enthusiasm for science by inviting kids to take turns blowing on a pin wheel to make it spin as you begin a science unit that includes wind studies.

Set the pin wheel outside your classroom window for students to observe on windy days.

Explain to students, in age-appropriate ways, that wind power is growing in popularity as an alternative energy source.

A colorful pinwheel spins in the wind.

Celebrate Earth Day by inviting kids to take turns making a colorful pin wheel spin to learn about alternative energy sources.

Every day truly can be Earth Day.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Young students are getting noisy while you’re trying to teach.

Solution: Hold up "Listen Star," a toy magic wand that you’ve designated to be a cue for quiet. Tell the class, "When you see our friend, 'Listen Star' dance across the classroom sky, that’s your signal to HUSH for a moment."

Related Posts: Let "Listen Star" Work Magic for You