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Five Fun Earth Day Activities for Students

Earth Day is one of the most exciting holidays to celebrate in the classroom.  Not only is it an excellent opportunity to educate your students on environmental stewardship, but it also allows for some of the most creative classroom activities.  Here are a few fun and easy ways to really make Earth Day a memorable occasion in your classroom:

Scavenger Hunt

Hold a nature scavenger hunt at a nearby playground or park where your students will collect or record in their journals various items on a provided list (examples include a fallen leaf, a bird in a tree, a bird on the ground, a puddle of water, a rock, etc.).  Have the students work in pairs or small groups to make it more fun.  Then, once you’re back in the classroom, discuss ways to help protect everything that was spotted in the scavenger hunt.

Give Earth a Hand

Have students pair up with a buddy and have them help trace each other’s right or left hand so that each pair has one set of hands.  On each finger, the buddies will write (using colorful pens) one way in which they can help the Earth.  Display the colorful hands in pairs around a map of the world or a poster of Earth.

I am the Earth

 Display and recite the following poem at the beginning of the day on (or around) April 22:

I am the Earth

And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass,
Each honey tree,
Each bit of mud,
And stick and stone
Is blood and muscle,
Skin and bone.
And just as I
Need every bit
Of me to make
My body fit,
So Earth needs
Grass and stone and tree
And things that grow here
That’s why we
Celebrate this day.
That’s why across
The world we say:
As long as life,
Is dear, is free,
I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.
– by Jane Yolen

I Can Help the Earth 

During Meet Up, prompt students to think and talk about ideas to help the Earth.  The categories are: Recycle, Re-Use, Reduce.  Throughout the school year, as students generate and share new ideas for each of these categories, add them to your growing chart.

Our Classroom is a Community

During Meet Up, have the class choose a service project to carry out based on community needs, as well as students’ interests and abilities. Some community projects may include fixing up a park, helping at the local library, helping others in need, building birdhouses for the park/playground, and making banners or posters to teach others about a need. Students can also brainstorm a list of philanthropic activities that they can do in the community without needing permission, such as picking up trash. Then, choose one act to carry out as a group.

This is just a simple blueprint of some engaging Earth Day activities that you can easily implement in your classroom. You’re encouraged to be inventive and add your own creative touch to make them more personalized for your classroom and teaching style.