“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.”- Lady Bird Johnson
Earth Day is April 22nd and serves as an important reminder of how each of us needs to do our part to care for the planet we call home. Teachers can help their students begin to care about their impact on the environment and take action to minimize their impact on the Earth by making them aware of environmental issues. Technology is a fantastic way to get students to travel around the world and view the devastation of the Rainforest or get students to research the changing climate over time. With apps and web tools, students can take virtual field trips or immerse themselves in nature using virtual reality. Students can use web tools and apps to conduct research on environmental issues then come up with solutions on how to protect the environment. They can share their ideas on social media to make people worldwide more aware and encourage people to make small and big changes to preserve resources and reduce waste. Below discover activities, resources, websites, mobile apps, and more to get your students to play an active role in caring for the Earth.
- Play Games!Planet Pals has coloring pages, interactive games, online puzzles, articles, journals, crafts, stories, virtual cards and more!Primary Games has several online games for students to learn about Earth DayThe BBC’s Barnaby Bear teaches kids how to recyle with this online gameStarfall has a listening activity and interactive games for very young learners
- Lessons, Projects & Classroom ResourcesThe National Education Association has a K-5 Earth Day curriculumThe EPA has activities, lesson plans, community projects, videos, and moreFind Google Earth Lesson Plans and Projects hereReadwritethink.org has Earth Day interactives for childrenPBS Nature has videos for students with discussion questions and teaching tipsThe Science Museum has an interactive mind map about climate changeThe BBC introduces learners to Earth’s most pressing issuesThe American Museum of Natural History’s Ecology Disrupted section has lesson plans and resources, including a database of teacher createdcase studies. Also, check out their Antartica curriculum resources.
- Get them to reflect on their impact!Students can calculate their ecological footprint with the online form from EarthDay.orgEEK has various activities to help students reflect, including an online home recycling survey
- Visit a guest expert physically or virtually!Microsoft has 81 ecological experts to Skype for free. Just do a search for Earth day.
- Learn about the environment through virtual field trips!Discovery has several virtual field trips for studentsThe UPM Forest Life lets learners explore a forest virtually
- Take a virtual reality field trip with Google Cardboard!The Google Cardboard app for iOS and Android has different virtual reality adventures to explore nature and the worldThe NY Times has two virtual reality nature and environment experiencesTeachers can sign up for Google Expeditions and take their students on virtual reality field trips around the world
- Create posters to save the earth with Smore, Canva, EduBuncee, Tackk, Biteslides, and Glogster.
- Create an Earth Day PSA (Public Service Announcement)! Find video resources here!
- Host a student film viewing party!
- Share environmental issues for a specific region with the Tellagami app
Challenge: Try one of these activities to encourage students to improve their carbon footprint and take better care of the Earth.
If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.
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cross posted at teacherrebootcamp.com
Shelly Terrell is an education consultant, technology trainer, and author. Read more at teacherrebootcamp.com.