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 8
In the ClassroomTeachers should begin their planning at the "For Teachers" link. The link provides standards, detailed activities, enrichment activities, and more! Be sure to try an interactive whiteboard or projector for this unique educational activity. This activity would be great for Earth Day lessons! Have older students complete a multi-media project about the toxins they learn about (blog, wiki, or video).
Grades4 to 7
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Read the history of Earth Day together. Have cooperative learning groups explore different ways to "take action" and then challege them to transform their learning and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Try using Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, or Sway, reviewed here. Why not ask students to redefine their learning using one of these video tools (click tool name to see review): Vizia, Animatron, Powtoon, or Kizoa. Then, have students share it with the class using a site such as TeacherTube, explained here.
Grades5 to 8
In the ClassroomHave 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.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site has countless uses in the classroom of various grade levels. Share this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. With younger classes, use this map to teach about map legends. Use this when studying ecosystems, environmental issues, economics, current events, world birth and death rates, pollution problems, and conservation. Leave the site open for a few hours for students to see the changes. This site is an excellent resource for research projects on countries throughout the world.
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.
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.
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).
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.