Earth Day has occurred every year on April 22 since the year 1970.
Earth Day is a perfect time to teach your students about the importance of protecting our planet from harmful human activity.
While it is important to educate students about the serious environmental issues facing our planet, it is equally important to make learning fun and engaging!
For this reason, I have rounded up some of the best Earth Day activities for your students that are both educational and enjoyable. These engaging activities will inspire your students to take action and make a positive impact on our planet.
Let’s dive in!
1 – Learn about Earth Day with my FREE Doodle Notes
One of my favorite ways to celebrate Earth Day is teaching about its importance with Doodle Notes. Check out my blog post on how to use Doodle Notes in your classroom.
I have created a set of Doodle Notes specifically for an Earth Day celebration.
The best part? They’re FREE!
While completing these Doodle Notes, students will review key facts about this world-wide holiday. In addition, students can think about and discuss what problems the Earth is facing and what some possible solutions are.
After discussing and researching the problems and solutions, students will be asked to self-reflect on their own actions. Students will need to decide on some things they can change to help save our planet.
Once students are completed with their Doodle Notes, you can have students share their work with the class. By doing so, you can encourage thoughtful discussions about the health of our planet.
The possibilities are endless!
Sign up to my mailing list to get a free set of Earth Day Doodle Notes to use with your students!
2 – Watch a video or documentary about helping our planet
Another way to celebrate Earth Day is by watching a movie or documentary that highlights the importance of protecting and preserving our planet.
Watching a movie or documentary can be an engaging and visual way to learn about past, current, and future environmental issues.
Learning about environmental issues can definitely be overwhelming, but watching a movie or documentary about important issues can be inspiring to students. By seeing real-life examples, students will be motivated to take action and make the planet a better place.
While most Earth Day movies or documentaries may be serious, there are some that are light-hearted and entertaining. For instance, The Lorax is a movie geared towards younger students, but sends home a good message about protecting the Earth.
Now… where can you find movies and documentaries for Earth Day?
You can always check your school library or local library for Earth Day movies and documentaries. You can also find entertaining and informative videos on YouTube such as this video about climate change and this one about saving our planet.
Want to know the best part about the options listed above?
3 – Trash to Treasure
Trash to Treasure is a great “out of the box” activity that will get students excited about Earth Day and out of their comfort zone.
This activity is a fun and educational way to teach students about the importance of recycling and repurposing items that would otherwise be thrown away. Furthermore, Trash to Treasure is easy for you to implement and can be done with a wide variety of materials. It is perfect for any classroom!
Ask your students to bring in items such as cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, newspaper, old clothing, or anything else they may think of as trash. Students will use these items to create something new and useful.
Once students bring in their items, provide students with art supplies, such as:
- and whatever else you have on hand or would be useful
Encourage students to get creative with their projects! Some ideas of projects include making a birdhouse from an old milk carton and creating a picture frame out of used cardboard. The only limit students have is their own imagination.
As students are working, you can engage students in discussions about the importance of recycling and reusing materials.
Once students are completed, set up a display and have students showcase their creations. This can be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone and is a great opportunity to celebrate the students’ accomplishments.
Trash to Treasure will be sure to encourage creativity, practice critical thinking, and teach the importance of sustainability.
4 – Organize a clean-up day
Another way to celebrate Earth Day is to organize a clean-up day for your students to participate in.
What better way to teach your students about Earth Day than having them physically participate in an activity to help the planet?!
Organizing a clean-up day can be time-consuming, but the results will be worth it.
Tip: if you don’t have the time/resources to organize your own clean-up day, you can find one nearby you and encourage students to attend! Visit the EarthDay.org website to find a clean up near you!
On the clean-up day, your classes can work on cleaning up a portion of the school grounds, which means travel isn’t necessary.
When you head outside, be sure to bring all of the supplies with you. For a clean-up day, you should supply students with rakes, brooms, gloves, and trash bags. You may need additional supplies, but that will depend on the area you are cleaning up.
Once outside, have students start cleaning the designated area. Make sure that all trash is disposed of properly. As students are working, be sure to encourage them to take pride in the positive work they are doing for the environment.
After the clean-up day, take some time to reflect with your students. Discuss with your students about the reasons why it is important to keep the Earth clean and how they can make a difference.
5 – Plant a class tree
Lastly, planting trees is a great way to celebrate Earth Day with your students that will be around for years to come. This activity will help students learn about environmental conservation.
It is very easy to plan a tree planting activity for your class.
Before implementing this activity, be sure to obtain the proper permissions for planting a tree, including getting a permit, if needed.
Then, decide where you are going to plant your tree on the school grounds. This would be a great learning opportunity for your class. You can have students research the best conditions for tree growth and let them have a say where the tree is planted on campus that would allow it to thrive.
You can also have students research the best type of tree to plant based on your location and climate.
Once you and your students are ready to plant the tree, grab your supplies and head outside. Have students take turns in the planting process so all are involved.
After the tree is planted, celebrate your students’ accomplishments and take a class picture to distribute to all students. Encourage students to visit the tree and watch its growth over time.
By getting your students involved in the tree planting process, you can help them learn about the importance of Earth Day, as well as helping them develop a sense of responsibility and pride in the environment around them.
Happy Earth Day!
There are many more Earth Day activities that can help you and your students celebrate this special day, but these are my top five that are educational, but also fun, engaging, and rewarding.
What other Earth Day activities have you done with your students? I would love to know!
Remember to join my email list so you can get my FREE Earth Day Doodle Notes!
I hope you have a wonderful Earth Day,