Earth Day Ideas!

Earth Day is officially tomorrow, April 22nd, and we’ve been celebrating all week. J Read alouds, experiments, craftivities…!
Here’s what we’ve been up to! 

(free ideas, favorite books and resources)

Favorite Freebies

This is one of my all-time favorite activities to do! It’s fun, pretty simple, and the kids LOVE it!

Take pictures of students pretending to hold up the world (they always love picking a pose!). Then I print them at school, you could of course get them developed instead for more color.

To create the world, grab some coffee filters from the Dollar Store. Have students use blue and green washable markers to color in their world. Then use a spray bottle (Dollar Store) and dampen each coffee filter. The colors will blead and blend. Let them dry while students write about how they’re going to make the world a better place. I use the free paper provided by Mrs. Thompson’s Treasures, and you can grab that here. Combine them all onto a piece of construction paper and voila! You’re done!

This idea was first posted by Proud to Primary. You can check out her amazing blog post here.

Earth Day Science Experiment  - Can You Undo Water Pollution?

This fantastic hands-on experiment (best done outside) teaches kids how difficult it is to clean polluted water.

Start with clean buckets of fresh water. Have students take turns adding in trash (we do this in the afternoon after snack so there’s plenty to pick from). Add in some vegetable oil to represent toxic oil spills. Have a number of “clean up tools” available as well. Forks, tongs, etc.

Outside I set up 5 stations so each student has a chance to add garbage and a chance to clean up. 

Read more about this experiment from Cindy at Along the Way here. 

Are you a big fan of treats? I am! These adorable Earth Day dirt cups are the perfect way to end a fun day of learning! We had parent volunteers make and bring these in. The kids loved them. Check out Mothering with Creativity's recipe here. 

Favorite Books

No great unit is complete with read alouds! 

The Lorax and the Giving Tree are traditional go-to books this time of year, but by the time my kiddos get to 4th grade they know the books backwards and forwards. These are some other great finds that I love to read. (Click the title to go to a YouTube read aloud.) 


3. Miss Rumphius                                    4. Mama Miti

I couldn't find a read aloud video of Mama Miti but check your school or local libraries, it's a wonderful read with beautiful illustrations. I got my copy from B&N with the teacher discount. 

Favorite Activities

After using the mentor texts above I give students a non-fiction reading passage on Earth Day. In pairs they'll create these hands-on Earth Day Flap Books to show off their learning. We hang them in the hallway and invite younger grades up to share what we've learned. You can grab it here.

Lastly, students choose which Earth Day project they want to decorate our room with - Earth Day Cubes or Earth Day Writing Craftivities! You can find the cubes here and the globe writing here

Join the Classroom Kindness Movement to cultivate a culture of kindness in your classroom. Social and emotional learning skills set your students up for success. I can help you get started today. Your totally FREE teacher guide is right here, click below.

Happy teaching! -Shannon Maree


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