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