Classroom Resources

Monthly Themes

Earth Day

Writing Prompt

Opinion Essay:

Ask students: What can you do to help save Earth or make it a better place to live? Have students write a few paragraphs explaining what they would do.


Grades K–1: Science
A Tree Is a Community

A tree can be a virtual neighborhood, full of inhabitants and activities. Invite your students to look at trees in a new way and then to create one of their own.

Grades K–2: Science
Another Look at the Landscape

You never know what you'll see when you're a nature spy! Have your students try looking at the world around them in a new way, focusing on specific aspects of nature.

  • Nature Spies
Grades K–2: Science
Make Friends with a Tree

Have students choose one tree to observe and learn about.

Grades K–1: Science
Make a Tree

Turn your classroom into a forest to celebrate Earth Day.

Grades K–1: Science
Truffula Trees

Be a friend to the trees and to each living thing. See how many Truffula seeds students can catch to replant trees, in this game based on the Dr. Seuss book The Lorax.

Grades K–1: Science
Earth Day Bulletin Board

Create an Earth Day bulletin board titled “Arctic Animals” to honor the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Have children color the pictures of a caribou, a grizzly bear, a wolf, and other Arctic animals and then write a descriptive caption for each picture.

Grades K–2: Science
Who Pollutes the Most?

Do your students know the number-one cause of air pollution? Have them find out by connecting the dots.

Grades K–3: Science/Art
A Work of Art

Don't throw that trash away! Have your students recycle it into a work of art.

  • Whatsit?
Grades K–3: Science
Don't Be a Water Waster!

Do your students waste water when they brush their teeth? Not sure? Then have them try an experiment to find out.

Grades K–3: Science
What We Did for the Environment

Get children involved in caring for the environment. Have each child choose an activity to do and color. Display the finished pages on a bulletin board titled “What We Did for the Environment.”

Grades K–4: Science
Remember to Recycle

Students will love these print-and-cut recycling kits. Use them in the classroom, or have students color and cut them out for use at home.

Grades K–5: Science
Bags for the Environment

Get local grocers to donate paper bags. Students decorate the bags with pictures of Earth and environmental messages. Then students return the decorated bags to the grocery store so that the bags can be distributed, full of groceries, to customers on Earth Day.

Grades 1–2: Science
Classroom Seedlings

Have your students create their own nursery in the classroom and watch plants grow.

Grades 1–3: Science
Hidden Pictures

Have your students create their own hidden wildlife pictures.

Grades 1–5: Science/Art
Nature Mobile

Have students take a new look at nature and bring it into their homes and classrooms.

Grades 1–8: Science

Test students' knowledge about Earth Day.

  • Changing the Land (grades 1–2) (PDF file)
  • Changing the Land Answer Key (grades 1–2) (PDF file)
  • Resources (grades 3–5) (PDF file)
  • Resources Answer Key (grades 3–5) (PDF file)
  • Global Warming (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
  • Global Warming Answer Key (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
Grades 1–8: Science/Language Arts
Word Scrambles

Can your students unscramble these Earth Day words?

Grades 1–8: Science/Language Arts
Word Finds

Have students find Earth Day–related words hidden in a puzzle.

  • Earth Day (grades 1–2) (PDF file)
  • Earth Day Answer Key (grades 1–2) (PDF file)
  • Earth Day (grades 3–5) (PDF file)
  • Earth Day Answer Key (grades 3–5) (PDF file)
  • Earth Day (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
  • Earth Day Answer Key (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
Grades 2–4: Science/Language Arts
Composting Slide Show

Students can find out how to make compost and how to use it to grow beautiful gardens. Using a scripted slide set, students can click through composting steps illustrated by young children.

  • Composting for Kids
Grades 2–5: Science/Art

Have children make a “recyclamobile.” Ask them to bring from home some kind of box or container that could be recycled, such as a cereal box or a plastic margarine container. Then ask them to come up with as many other different uses for the container as they can. The uses can be serious or silly. Next, have children write ideas on small squares of construction paper and attach the squares with yarn to the containers. Hang the recyclamobiles around the room for all to enjoy.

Grades 2–6: Science
Four Frog Quizzes

Frogs are disappearing at an alarming rate. How much do your students know about frogs and their current situation? To find out, have them take any of these six fun frog quizzes.

Grades 2–6: Science
All About Soil

It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. S. K. Worm, the official worm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, answers students' questions about soil.

Grades 2–8: Science
What Are YOU Doing for Earth Day?

Have students read about what people are doing year-round to celebrate Earth Day. They can also write about what they've been doing for Earth Day and submit their writing for posting.

Grades 3–6: Science/Art
Make a Globe

Students can make a globe of Earth on a balloon covered with newspaper, flour-water glue, and paint. Although this is a messy project, the results are very nice and teach a tremendous amount about geography.

Grades 3–6: Science
Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste is not just an industrial problem. Many sources of hazardous waste can be found in the home. Can your students identify items that are hazardous, and ones that can be recycled?

Grades 3–8: Science
Environmental Slogans

In 1950, Smokey the Bear was created to help make children aware of the destruction of forests by fire. Smokey's slogan was “Only you can prevent forest fires.” In 1970, Woodsy Owl was created by the Forest Service, and his slogan was “Give a hoot. Don't pollute.” Woodsy Owl now has a new slogan, “Lend a Hand—Care for the Land.” Have students come up with their own environmental character and slogan to use on an Earth Day poster.

Grades 3–8: Science
A Changing Environment

In this lesson, students will use observation skills to analyze changes that people have made to the natural environment.

Grades 3–8: Science
Worm World

Have your students learn about earthworms, those busy recyclers who break down organic matter. Older students might also be interested in creating a worm bin.

Grades 4–6: Science
Bird Feeders

Birds are good to the earth, so be good to birds by making milk-carton bird feeders. Have each student bring an empty, clean, half-gallon milk carton to school. Then follow these easy instructions:

  1. Cut a 4" x 3" rectangle out of one side of the milk carton.
  2. Below the rectangle, cut a round hole. Then cut a similar hole on the side directly opposite.
  3. Slide a straight stick or dowel through the holes. This will be the perch.
  4. Cut two small holes in the top of the carton, and thread strong string or thin wire through them to form a hanger.
Grades 4–8: Science
New Games from Old

If you have students who like to invent as well as recycle, have them use parts from old games to create a new game.

  • Pass It On!
Grades 5–8: Science

The weather report says that it is going to be sunny and hot and that an orange ozone alert has been issued. What is ozone? What does an orange alert mean? Why should you be concerned about it? Have students learn the answers to these and other questions about ozone.

Grades 5–8: Science
Shrink It

Can your students reduce waste by ten percent with a budget of $50,000? Have them give it a try.

Grades 5–8: Science
How Cool Is This School?

This virtual school is full of environmental hazards. Challenge your students to find them all.

Grades 5–8: Science/Language Arts
Mission: Save Our Planet

There are tons of things students can do to save the environment. Have them work in teams to create a booklet of strategies.

Grades 6–8: Science/Math
The Math of Global Warming

Have students develop a better understanding of global warming through math problems.

Grades 6–8: Science
Cause and Effect

The solution to one problem can lead to new problems. Have students learn about unintended consequences by symbolically acting out the effects of pesticides.

Grades 6–8: Science
Crossword Puzzle

Have students test their knowledge of Earth Day.

  • Earth Day (PDF file)
  • Earth Day Answer Key (PDF file)
Grades 6–8: Science/Social Studies
City Manager of Dumptown

Have students play a cool online recycling game in which they become the city manager of Dumptown. They can start programs that encourage Dumptown's citizens and businesses to recycle and reduce waste.

Houghton Mifflin