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.

 

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A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change - US EPA

Grades
5 to 8
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Created by the Environmental Protection Agency, this visually appealing site is filled with interactive story books, climate animations, and cleverly designed animations for students....more
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Created by the Environmental Protection Agency, this visually appealing site is filled with interactive story books, climate animations, and cleverly designed animations for students. Links include Climate Change (What is It), Climate & Weather, Greenhouse Effect, What is the Climate System, Climate's Come a Long Way, The Climate Detectives, Games, Climate Animations, Climate Change Calculator, Stuff for Teachers, So What's the Big Deal, We CAN Make a Difference, and Can We Change the Climate. Use this site to supplement a unit on the Greenhouse Effect or as a springboard for Internet Earth Day activities. Though a few parts of this site requires Flash, there is plenty of information to learn that doesn't require Flash.

tag(s): ecology (96), fossil fuels (9)

In the Classroom

Have cooperative learning groups research the many links and activities at this site. Challenge groups to create a multi-media presentation: blog entry, wiki, PowerPoint, web page, or video.

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Freecycle - The Freecycle Network

Grades
K to 12
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Need a bookcase or rug for your classroom or home office area? Perhaps you have extra, personally-purchased classroom supplies that you no longer use. There is a solution to both ...more
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Need a bookcase or rug for your classroom or home office area? Perhaps you have extra, personally-purchased classroom supplies that you no longer use. There is a solution to both dilemmas--Freecycle! Check this site to see if there is a local Freecycle group in your area. With 4,336 groups and growing, there's a good chance one is in your neighborhood. Twenty five states currently have participants. This grassroots, non-profit network's aim is to get unused 'stuff' into the hands of someone who can use it, and most importantly, they want to keep it out of our clogged landfills. Teachers are the most resourceful people on earth, and Freecycle is here to help fuel that creditable reputation. Membership is free -check it out!

tag(s): earth (173), earth day (62), environment (218)

In the Classroom

Share 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.

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Earth Day Groceries Project - The Earth Day Groceries Project

Grades
K to 8
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Have your students decorate paper grocery bags for Earth Day! The "Earth Day Groceries Project" is cost-free and one of the largest and oldest projects on the Internet. The project,...more
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Have your students decorate paper grocery bags for Earth Day! The "Earth Day Groceries Project" is cost-free and one of the largest and oldest projects on the Internet. The project, managed by Mark Ahlness (a third grade teacher in Seattle, Washington), challenges students to decorate paper grocery bags for Earth Day featuring environmentally friendly messages. There are four steps to the project, all well-explained on the site. Be sure to visit the Project Starter Kit link. This link includes a PowerPoint presentation about the project, screensavers, project details, and more.

tag(s): creativity (93), earth (173), earth day (62)

In the Classroom

Use 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.

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The Ozone Resource page - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Grades
8 to 12
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Use this site to understand the ozone and how it affects our air quality and life here on Earth. Satellite imagery of ozone holes includes an updated daily picture and ...more
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Use this site to understand the ozone and how it affects our air quality and life here on Earth. Satellite imagery of ozone holes includes an updated daily picture and comparison over the last decades. NASA facts listed on the side include an opportunity to learn more about the information presented, watch satellite images from the last 7 days, view animations, compare year-to-date, and look at the annual records since 1979 using "Ozone Hole Watch." Information about the ozone and how it is measured is explained in detail here. "Explore the ozone with NASA" by viewing a short video that outlines the ozone and discusses new research and climate change. Use the "Resources for News Media" to view the Multimedia gallery for pictures of the largest ozone hole on record, the Arctic vortex, and Earth's Atmospheric Layers. Information about ozone depleting chemicals and ozone chemistry is also found here. View video of the ozone missions from NASA. "Ozone Hole 101" provides basic content about the ozone that is easy to understand for students. Read interesting information such as "Ozone levels drop when hurricanes are strengthening" and "Ozone hole is a double record breaker."

tag(s): earth (173), earth day (62), environment (218), ozone (6)

In the Classroom

Students can use the resources in "Ozone Hole Watch" to determine the trends in the ozone either daily or over the years. Further research involving political, consumer, and environmental trends can bring insights into effects on the ozone layer. Using the wealth of material on the site, students can use the information to create a "Handbook of the Earth" (as an example) to understand how the ozone affects us in our current and future lives. Students can also work in groups and be assigned portions of the content to study. They can then present their findings to the rest of the class (using a multi-media presentation). Students can use this information in conjunction with environmental or Earth Day activities in or out of class.

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