“There are 369,000 flowering plant species, and 90% of them are dependent on insect pollination.” – earthday.org
Earth Day is right around the corner! 🌍 As teachers, I believe we have a critical advantage to teach environmental literacy. It is so important because at the risk of sounding like a walking cliché – they are the future. And you know what makes a cliché a cliché? Truth.
Helping our students understand our human impact on the environment can help them make informed decisions about their action today and as they get older. At the very least, maybe they’ll choose not to litter. (Why is this still a problem? 🤯😳) Even though I think it’s important to consistently read, write, and discuss topics around environmental literacy any chance we get (you’ll notice these topics are embedded throughout many of my resources), Earth Day is a great time to really put a spotlight on taking care of our planet. 💛💚💙 So, I’ve gathered all of my favorite resources to teach about Earth Day in one gigantic blog post. Let’s jump right in!
History of Earth Day Reading Bingo
Bring environmental literacy and the history of Earth Day into your classroom with this History of Earth Day Reading Bingo.
This engaging and informational newspaper-style text is great to use around Earth Day and can be used over the course of a few days. Bingo sheets are included and have questions from the entire newspaper. Students read the informational text and then answer questions from the “newspaper” in the bingo grid. The bingo grid comes in 22 different versions, meaning the questions are arranged in a different order. Having each student use a different version of the answer grid will allow you to reinforce the content of the informational text by playing a game of bingo. The questions range from vocabulary, finding key details, and digging for text evidence.
Content of the Newspaper
The content of the “newspaper” has information about the History of Earth Day. The following topics are included:
- 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill
- What Caused the Oil Spill
- Earth Day’s Birthday (The first Earth Day )
- Environmental Policy Changes caused by Earth Day (Clean Air Act & Amendments,The Clean Water Act, The Endangered Species Act)
- Earth Day Goes Global (How it spread around the world.)
- 10 Ways to Take Action
How to Play:
The first page is an answer key, which can be used to play the game of bingo. Cut up each square, place in a Ziploc bag or container of your choice and call out questions. Students must answer the question correctly and have 5 in a row. Up, down, or diagonally. Students can use counters, erasers, Starbursts (our personal favorite), or any type of treats to keep track of the questions called.
This resource also comes with Google Slides and a Google Form.
Earth Day Recycling + Writing Project
This Repurposing/Recycling Project is a wonderful way to celebrate Earth Day. However, I have included more than one version of the documents so that you could have your students create this project at any time of the year. This assignment could be completed in school, but I sent it home and gave students two weeks to work on it. You may choose to do this any way that suits you and your students.
Students will take an item that they would normally throw away and repurpose it to be a new, useful item. In my classroom, we used a gallon water jug. Throughout this explanation, I will use the water jug as my example. Please know that this project is adaptable for any recyclable item you choose to have your students use. You could even have students choose their own item. This resource is created in a way that leaves room for choice and creativity. And of course, some writing!
I don’t know about you, but I go through gallons of water jugs! I began to collect these because we did not have a plastic recycling system. For this project, I gave each of my students a jug. As a class, we created this assignment. I displayed the large quantity of gallon jugs for my students and explained how horribly I felt just throwing them away or even just recycling them! It seemed as though they could have another purpose in their life!
As a class we brainstormed a list. I included some of the ideas on the assignment sheet to help students choose a project. Prepare to be amazed at what your students will produce!
Students begin the project by sketching a picture and listing all of the materials they will need to complete the project. Once they have made their project, students will list out the directions, and complete a written procedural text explaining How-To make their new and improved product. There are three ways you might have your students complete the writing project.
- How-To Book
- How-To Article/Report
- Newspaper Ad for the Product
This writing project is also available in Google Slides:
Here are some of the creative products my 4th graders came up with:
a piggy bank 🐷
a bird feeder 🦜
dog bowl and food scoop 🐕
The Benefits of Bees Text Set
Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to talk about how important bees 🐝 are to our environment. This Bees Informational Text Set is differentiated for Grades 3-5 and includes:
- 3 Informational articles about bees
- Reading Comprehension Questions
- Writing prompt: Explain the impact of bees on the environment.
- Writing Plan Example
- Teacher Example Essay
This resource also includes a Google Slides & Forms version.
You can grab the Bees Text Set individually here:
Or this bundle includes 12 text sets for both informational and opinion writing.
Earth Day Math (free download)
This fun Earth Day Math printable includes 15 word problems centered around water conservation, recycling, waste, and other related Earth topics.
Problem Types include:
- Place Value
- Multiplying 2, 3, and 4-digit problems
- Multiplying by tens
- Multistep problems
Earth Day Bookmarks (free download)
These fun Earth Day bookmarks are the perfect little gift for your students on Earth Day! And free!
Whew! Well, that wraps it up. I know it was a lot, so I’ve got all your quick links right below. 🙂
- History of Earth Day
- Earth Day Recycling Project
- Bees Informational Text Set
- Earth Day Math and Bookmarks (free downloads)
- These are also available inside the TLL Membership (your all-access pass to every resource I’ve ever created 🙌)