Earth Day: TeachersFirst Editors' Choices
Earth Day presents a special opportunity to connect classroom curriculum with real-world experience, not only in science but also for lessons in math, language arts, social studies, art, and more. With so many outstanding resources available on the web related to environmental concerns, TeachersFirst's editorial team has hand-selected this group of "Editors' Choices" for their potential to engage and involve your students in both the understanding of scientific concepts surrounding Earth Day and in environmental activism for any time of the year.
TeachersFirst has many more reviewed Earth Day resources if you wish to browse a longer listing. You can also narrow your search to a specific topic for earth day or a certain grade range using our keyword search tool in the left column of this page. Be sure to read the tips to optimize your search of our reviewed collection.
Whether you seek ideas for a community service project for Earth Day or ways to use innovative technologies to bring the environment into your classroom, our editors have found "the best of the best" to meet your needs.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site with your class as an idea for Earth Day or being "green." Encourage your school service club or student council to consider launching a Freecycle project. Be sure to list the link on your class website, so parents can freecycle too.
GradesK to 1
In the ClassroomRemember to turn on speakers or attach headphones for this activity. This website is a perfect "ready to go" learning center, especially around Earth Day. This challenge is a wonderful companion to teaching students about the importance of recycling.
Grades4 to 9
Be aware that this site was created in the UK, so you may notice some minor spelling differences. Some of the interactive games and quizzes require Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomThis website would work as a group activity (on an interactive whiteboard or projector) or as a cooperative learning activity for small groups to complete together. This is also a good choice for Earth Day activities. Have cooperative learning groups explore one of the sections of this site and create a blog entry demonstrating what they learned.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomIf energy is a subject you teach in your classroom, there are several pages at this site that would work well on a projector or interactive whiteboard. You will want to explore on your own to find all the teaching materials and activities, since there is SO much information. Share this site on your teacher web page during your energy unit, since many activities can include parents, as well. The alternative fuels, renewable energy, and conservation sections are also ideal for Earth Day activities. Have students use this site to research energy. Why not have students create blog entries demonstrating their knowledge?
Grades5 to 12
This site is powerful and therefore may take some extra time to load - so prepare ahead! This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomYounger students would benefit from a teacher-centered introduction on the simulator (using your interactive whiteboard or projector), followed by directed explorations to find specific answers to teacher questions. Older students can determine the most important factors in air pollution and explore means to solve the problem as part of a health, social studies, science, or government class. Have your students present their finding on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
Grades4 to 10
In the ClassroomShare this one on an interactive whiteboard or projector to help your students to understand the effects of global warming. Include the link on your teacher web page as you study weather, climate, and environmental concerns. This site would also make a great "scavenger hunt" for students to learn the basics about global warming. Ask each to write some questions for the hunt, then have the whole class try it! Have cooperative learning groups explore various facets of this site and create a multi-media presentation.
Grades2 to 6
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. As they independently explore, challenge students to make up their own "scavenger hunt" (complete with questions and answers) of places they feel are worthwhile to visit in Recycle City, then swap with a classmate. Have students write fictitious blog entries from the perspective of the city manager (updating residents on changes and improvements in the city).
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomThere are many ways to incorporate this site into your Earth Day plans (or a unit on conservation or wild life). Save this site in your favorites, so students can visit often. Take advantage of the ready-to-go units of study. Share the interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for student research projects.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomUse this interdisciplinary activity to integrate art, creativity, community service, science, and Earth Day events. Share the PowerPoint presentation with your class on a projector or interactive whiteboard to get students motivated about the project.
Display pictures of some of the bags on your class website. Provide this link in your class newsletter or on your class website; challenge parents to make this a family activity.
GradesK to 5
Be aware: this site does include advertisements. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomAs you prepare for Earth Day, check out the many resources at this site. Share the interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Set up a learning center for students to explore the interactives on their own. Have small groups investigate a specific topic on this site and report back to the class (a multi-media presentation would be great). Be sure to list this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom.
GradesK to 12
If you are looking for other "green" fundraising opportunities, check out the Greenraising: Eco-Friendly Fundraising site (reviewed here). This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomClick on the left link, "Lesson Plans and Activities" for more ideas on teaching students about recycling. Check the site frequently, as they offer 'specials' which translates to more money. If you submit a lesson plan on recycling, you earn a $10 credit. How about holding a 'green' competition to see which classroom submits the most items.
Get parents involved. Make sure they are aware via your website and newsletter about submitting these items to the school. Many parents will be able to contribute items from their workplace that was otherwise destined for the landfill.