With Earth Day coming up (April 22!), you and your students can honor Earth by focusing on how we as a species can better appreciate and care for our planet. Take a walk through nature and listen to one (or all) of The Walking Classroom’s environmentally-based podcasts.
- Rachel Carson (Complete-#157, 5-#8, STEM-#37)
- John Muir (Complete-#166, 5-#12, STEM-#23)
- Conservation (Complete-#129, 5-#7, STEM-#36)
Protecting the planet may seem like some Superman-level task, but it doesn’t have to be! Much like Rachel Carson, spreading awareness is a great way to help the planet! There are loads of ways for kids to learn and get involved. Whether students are pitching in or simply appreciating the Earth, The Walking Classroom has you covered!
Inspired by conservation? Students can start by calculating their household carbon footprint! However, awareness is only half of the battle! Students can try a multitude of conservation activities through Environment America. Then, in honor of Rachel Carson, take a look at some ocean protection activities!
Looking to get a bit greener at school or at home? Consider setting up a sustainable garden! The National Wildlife Foundation has tons of tips for gardening, no matter where you are! While you’re at it, take a look at some fun lesson plans. Then, take a look at some ways to stop food waste! Kids can even help their gardens by setting up a compost bin!
Just like the environment, no Earth Day lesson would be complete without animals! Take a look at this biodiversity lesson from the World Wildlife Fund. Then, take a look at these activities from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service! Round it all off with a review: some fun games and quizzes from the EPA!
Bring in Some Books!
Interested in animals? Song of the Wild: A First Book of Animals, written by Nicola Davies and brightly illustrated by Petr Horacek, is a celebration of the animal kingdom! For kids who favor gardening, Anywhere Garden, a picture book written by Phyllis Root and illustrated by G. Brian Karas, is a great book to start with.
The recently published This Class Can Save the Planet, by Stacy Tornio, is a great reminder that everyone can save the world! For even more ideas, take a look at some Earth Day-themed kids books and explore more great books, as well as full summaries!
. . . or Take a Walk!
The power of nature was enough to convince President Theodore Roosevelt to protect Yosemite park! Kids can appreciate nature themselves any time they go outside! Invite them to explore the world around them, whether through a kid-friendly hike or local nature walk.
Taking a walk is one of the best Earth Day (or any day!) activities! There’s no better way to appreciate nature than to bask in it. If you can’t get out to any trails, encourage students to look into virtual visits through the National Parks Service! Or, try a virtual outing with the Sierra Club, which you may remember from the John Muir podcast!
Looking for additional ideas? There are loads of resources from the National Environmental Education Foundation to support your students’ study of the environment. From educator toolkits to activities and infographics, you’re sure to fins something you can use!