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[Free Resources] 6 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Your Students while Learning Virtually or In-Person

[Free Resources] 6 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Your Students while Learning Virtually or In-Person

Earth Day is April 22nd and this year marks over 50 years of celebrating the holiday recognized to support environmental protection and education. Whether you are in-person, virtual, or hybrid, you can celebrate Earth Day with your students with ease! Check out these free Earth Day Classroom Resources from Edmentum, along with our list of ideas, experiments, and activities that you can use to incorporate some Earth Day lessons for your students to learn more.

1. Look into #trashtag

Taking a walk and getting some brief exercise is a must in times of social distancing. In 2019, the idea of #trashtag went viral across the internet, and Earth Week is a great time to bring that back. In the days leading up to Earth Day, have your students and their families grab a plastic bag and some gloves to pick up trash as they walk around the neighborhood. With snow melting and spring coming in full force, parks and sidewalks will need some extra TLC. Have your students submit the “after” photos of all of the trash they were able to collect.

2. Create a Plant-Based Cooking Show

There are hundreds of studies and reports that state eating a plant-based is friendlier for the environment. We know a full lifestyle change is not everyone, so why not take the lead? A fun a creative way to honor earth day so to create a recorded lesson of yourself making one plant-based meal in honor of Earth day. While you cook, explain to your students the impacts of eating plant-based vs. meat-based, and encourage them to do the same for one meal that week if they can. Whether that’s switching regular hamburgers for veggie patties, or just having pancakes without bacon for breakfast, there are tons options out there.

3. Create a Windowsill or Pocket Garden

My grandma was a preschool teacher and administrator for 40+ years, and one of my favorite early-childhood memories was when created pocket gardens. For those who aren’t familiar, we’d take leftover seeds from the garden, wrap them in a damp paper towel, put that in a resealable baggie, tape them to the window and watch them grow. According to her, beans work the best because they grow fast. Students may not have unused seeds lying around, but if you do, you can start your own pocket garden and update the changes with pictures throughout the week. You can use this as a fun activity to explain the lifecycle of plants, why the seeds are growing (or why not), and more.

4. Make Earth Day Art

These are unprecedented times, and getting outside can be difficult, so let your students use an Earth Day activity as a creative outlet. Have them add to chalk challenges, write, dance on TikTok, create something in Minecraft or Animal Crossing, whatever their preference may be, around what Earth Day means to them. The world is their oyster in this Earth Day activity! Have them take a picture or screen shot and share it with you. Create an Earth Day Art Museum for your class. Don’t forget to add yours too.

5. Do Some Research

There have been tons of articles out stating that social distancing has made an impact on the environment. There has been a temporary decrease in air pollution across major cities due to decreased transportation, as humans stay in their houses, animals have been coming out to play in places they’re not typically spotted. This may be an activity for older students, but have them do some research through reliable sources about the impact of social distancing on the environment. Have them share their thoughts. Are they surprised? Does it make them think more about the impact humans have on the environment? How do they see things changing in the future?

6. The Classic: Movie Day

Everyone enjoys spending some occasional downtime streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, etc. Did you know all these platforms have some sort of nature documentary they can watch? Disney+ has a whole collection of National Geographic and Disney Nature documentaries. As a member of the David Attenborough fan club, I was VERY excited to learn this. Encourage your students to take an hour away from watching reruns of Friends or The Office to watch a nature documentary of their choice. Have them let you know what they learned or even just share their favorite part. If your students don’t have access to streaming services, don’t worry, there are tons of mini clips on YouTube.


Interested in exploring more content to celebrate important events and holidays? Check out our other FREE April classroom resources from Edmentum for fun, interactive toolkits celebrating International Children’s Literacy Day and Earth Day!