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Earth Day Activities

Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, and Earth Day 2022 will occur on Friday, April 22. The holiday is now a worldwide celebration that’s sometimes extended into Earth Week. Senator Gaylord Nelson was inspired by the protests of the 1960 and he started Earth Day to teach people about the importance of conservation. By raising public awareness of pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight.

Earth Day History

By the early 1960s, Americans were becoming aware of the effects of pollution on the environment. Brown pelicans and other seabirds were dropping in numbers. Their eggs were cracking under their own weight due to thin shells caused by a pesticide called DDT. Smog filled the air and caused breathing problems. Litter could be seen lining the roads and floating in waterways. Until that time, protecting the planet’s natural resources was not part of the national political agenda, and the number of activists devoted to large-scale issues such as industrial pollution was minimal. Factories pumped pollutants into the air, lakes, and rivers with few legal consequences. Only a small portion of the American population recycled.

Earth Day is held each year on April 22, is a day for everyone to appreciate our planet and take better care of it. It’s also a great day to get outside and appreciate the spectacular natural resources Earth provides us, like beaches, forests, waterfalls, deserts, and everything in between.

This Earth Day, take the opportunity to teach those around us about the importance of taking care of our planet — even in little ways like recycling, buying reusable items, and using less energy.

Now Earth Day is celebrated around the world and it is a great opportunity to provide environmental instruction to elementary and middle school students.

Here are some great environmental resources that can be used for Earth Day!

Environmental Research Project

Students will research an ecological issue and form a solution. They will communicate their ideas for protecting an ecosystem to their peers. They will evaluate solutions for environmental and biodiversity issues. Great for environmental science! Great for environmental science or Earth Day!

Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy

This is unit includes reading passages and comprehension questions on fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. Students will learn about renewable and nonrenewable resources and how the burning of fossil fuels affects our environment.  Great for environmental science and Earth Day. Great for background information on natural resources, the carbon cycle, and the Greenhouse Effect. 

Human Impact on the Environment & Protecting Earth’s Resources

Communities are using scientific ideas to address environmental issues and to protect resources! Students will learn about the way three different communities are using science ideas to address their environmental issues. Students will obtain and evaluate information through the three articles that they will read. This unit begins and ends with the use of phenomena. Great for Earth Day!

Honey Bee Reading Unit

Students will learn all about honey bees with these reading comprehension passages and questions. Honey bees are so important and have interesting life cycles! Students will learn about why honeybees are important, how the hive works, the life cycle of bees, the importance of bees as pollinators, why bees are at risk, and what we can do to help bees. Great for Earth Day!

Earth Day Reading Passages

Help your upper elementary and middle school students understand why Earth Day became a day of learning, and why we must continue learning, even 50 years later. Marion has more great Earth Day activities at Mentoring in the Middle

Check out this great blog post from my friend Ginny at Polkadots and Protons on making an infographic about endangered animals.

I also have several resources for the little kids.

Taking Care of the Earth

All About The Earth

Thank you for reading about Earth Day Activities! Be sure to check out my blog post on Human Impact and the Environment

Start Here

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!

 
Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit

Tina S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:05:39-06:00

Tina S

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!   Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit
The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!

 
Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2

Richard S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:07:52-06:00

Richard S

The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!   Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2
As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.

 
Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4

Sharon M

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:24:44-06:00

Sharon M

As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.   Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4
Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.

 
Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning

Expedition Fourth

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:44:55-07:00

Expedition Fourth

Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.   Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning
My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.

 
Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer

Heidi J

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:45:49-07:00

Heidi J

My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.   Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer
5
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Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams