Get Ready for Earth Day: Free Activities on Consumption and Sustainability

Earth Day 2014 is just short of a month away – April 22nd. Are you planning to facilitate a special project, activity, or event with your students? Will you even mention the day? As the largest “commemorative” environmental day on the planet, we hope the answer is yes. And we’re here to help.

Humans have arguably the biggest negative impact on the environment, through the resources we consume, the waste we create, the ecosystems we alter, and so forth. And considering we add almost 10,000 people EVERY HOUR to this finite planet, it’s no wonder the environment is starting to show signs of wear. So this Earth Day, energize your students as stewards of the planet by focusing on our human impacts on the earth and how this might affect the planet’s, and our, future.

We’ve create three grade-band-specific Earth Day Resource Packets that include readings and classroom lesson plans. The packets are free to download and available now. Perhaps you’ll use the activity Green Spaces where your students first calculate the amount of vegetation needed to supply their class with oxygen before designing an imaginary city that meets both the oxygen, and living, needs of its residents. For the Common Good is reminiscent of the tragedy of the commons, imploring your students to devise a plan to share common resources without depleting them. If you teach high school, you might share Generating Heat so your students can explore carbon emission data over time and compare that to population data from the same time period.

So start thinking today about how you’ll bring Earth Day alive for your students.