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