Earth day is just around the corner, but why not start a little early with your celebrations. After all, ecology is important all day every day. With the challenges of climate change, it’s more important now than ever that we work to take care of our planet. In this post, you’ll find many resource options to make your celebrations meaningful and fun.
Book Suggestions for Earth Day:
At the core of every great unit is literature. There are many great book choices that work well for ecology. The image to the right includes my favorites, but I’ll highlight a few from the collection that I’ve used and created resources for. Because picture books work so well for lessons, I’ll stick to these for my recommendations. In addition to them, you could also use chapter books for literature circles.
One very important component of a great unit is great literature. If you have access to text sets, you might use them in your content area instruction. Most schools have multiple copies of at least a few related titles. If not, interactive read alouds are the way to go. Of course, you also must see how they tie to your standards.
A River Ran Wild
The first of the collection is great piece of literature. A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry is one I always use. This one shows how the industrial revolution and pollution impacted the land and rivers in New York as more and more people settled there. The resource I created for this book includes materials for author’s message, making comparisons and predictions, and a writing extension for close reading. Best thing about it? It’s FREE!
Just a Dream
Another terrific book for Earth Day is Just a Dream by Chris VanAllsburg. It has themes of ecology including reducing, reusing, and recycling. Additionally, it helps students become good stewards of the Earth. The unit I designed for Just a Dream includes before, during, after activities as well as an Earth Day lapbook. [THIS POST] explains in detail how the lessons go.
Someday a Tree
Finally, I love the book, Someday a Tree by Eve Bunting. It is about a beloved tree in the meadow of a family’s farm. The mom and children spend lots of time reading and playing under the big tree until one day it is sprayed with chemicals which kills it. In the story, the author tells how the family works to save it and how they recover. This story is touching and works well as an Earth Day read. My resource for this book includes before/during/after materials and the same Earth Day lapbook in my Just a Dream unit.
There are other title I absolutely love and have used. The Great Kapok Tree, The Lorax, The Curious Garden, and The Giving Tree are all wonderful choices. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Because of the themes included in each, your students will benefit from hearing them.
Earth Day Classroom Projects:
Kids love hands on projects, and this board of mine on Pinterest includes many different project ideas you might try. It’s a great board to follow with most pins leading to free resources.
First of all, I love the crafting ideas in this first blog post from I Heart Crafty Things. You could use any of them with an informational article about Earth Day and add a writing extension prompt for a very meaningful lesson.
Another great idea from Pinterest comes from Hilary at Rockin Teacher Resources. If you zoom in on each letter of EARTH, you’ll see what students value on our earth.
Finally, I’d like to share this door mural. I think it’s worth it’s $5.00 fee. It would be a fun project to include in the morning with light music in the background. You can also find amazing class murals from Art with Jenny K. I love all of her work.
Fun Earth Day Resources from TPT
Of course, I have scanned through TPT too, and I’ve picked out a few free resources to highlight here. The first resource at the top for A River Ran Wild is one I have in my store. To download, click the image. Additionally, [this resource] by Lisa Frase would also be a great addition to your folders.
But wait, there are more! These wonderful resources are all FREE! Be sure to add them to your collections for Earth Day or any day.
Technology and Video Links:
Earth Day can and should be a fun celebration and something we practice all the time. With quality literature, meaningful projects, opportunities to research and write about Earth Day themed concepts, and time to put conservation plans into practice, your students will remember how important it is to take care of this wonderful planet.