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Think Green for Spring

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think_green_for_earth_day_200x132.jpgEnergize students about preserving the environment with eco-friendly classroom materials from Thinkfinity.org during April. Find Earth Day lesson plans, activities, projects, videos, and interactive tools that support energy conservation, recycling, and innovative solutions to challenging environmental issues.

 

Review this special collection of eco-friendly and STEM-related resources:

  • Earth Hour collection of resources from Science NetLinks helps students explore the ideas of light pollution, energy conservation, and global climate change in your classroom and beyond. (K-12)
  • A great first read is National Geographic Education's history of Earth Day.
  • Smithsonian's History Explorer has a wonderful themed page of Earth Day resources.
  • Celebrate Earth Day! with these resources for April 22.
  • Don't miss this collection of Science NetLinks' Earth Day resources. (K-12)
  • The National Geographic Education collection, Think Green, supports teaching environmental education concepts around Earth Day or any time of year. (K-12+)
  • Help students recycle, reuse, and re-imagine with True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet. (3-5)
  • Calculate the amount of fresh water students consume with a water footprint calculator and show them how reducing their water consumption can help solve the fresh water environmental issue. (6-12)
  • Explore engineering and architectural solutions for a Green Roof Design. (9-12)

 

Join the Thinkfinity Community and share your thoughts in these discussions:

For more information about "going green," check out these blogs:

 

 

 

  • Lessons/Activities
  • Interactives/Tools
  • Multimedia/Activities

Lessons/Activities

Graphing Trash Material

Illuminations | Lesson | PreK-2
In this lesson, students participate in activities in which they investigate the data in connection with recyclable materials and develop plans to help the environment.

How People Affect Ocean Animals and Plants

National Geographic Education | Activity | K-2
Students brainstorm how people living along coasts harm ocean animals and plants. Then they analyze specific examples.

Investigating Local Ecosystems

Science NetLinks | Lesson | K-2
This lesson lets students investigate the habitats of local plants and animals and explore some of the ways animals depend on plants and each other.

Just Turn It Off

Science NetLinks | Lesson | K-2
Energy is often expended when it doesn't need to be. Students investigate the importance of turning off lights, toys, machines, and appliances in this lesson.

Protecting Our Precious Planet: Sharing the Message of Earth Day

ReadWriteThink | Lesson | K-2
Students discover that they can make a world of difference when they participate in the Earth Day Groceries Project.

Get Dramatic: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

ARTSEDGE | Lesson | K-4
Explore the concepts behind the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle slogan and use this information to write and perform a commercial and create a stage backdrop of recycled materials.

Classroom Paper

Illuminations | Lesson | 3-5
In this lesson, students participate in an activity in which they investigate data in connection with recyclable materials and develop plans to help the environment. This activity requires students to keep track of their own paper use for a week then interpret their results with partners. After studying information on paper use, students will be ready to discuss ideas and implement plans for saving paper in the classroom.

Related Resources:

Aluminum Cans

Illuminations | Lesson | 3-5
In this lesson, students participate in an activity in which they investigate data in connection with recyclable materials and develop plans to help the environment. Students collect data about aluminum can usage and graph that data in a line plot.

How to Bag It?

Illuminations | Lesson | 3-5
In this lesson, students participate in an activity in which they investigate the data in connection with recyclable materials and develop plans to help the environment. Students discuss the pros and cons of using various types of bags at the grocery store. Classmates are surveyed to determine which type of bag is the "best."

Plastic Packaging

Illuminations | Lesson | 3-5
In this lesson, students participate in an activity in which they investigate the data in connection with recyclable materials and develop plans to help the environment. Specifically, students explore recycling plastic containers.

Earth Verse: Using Science in Poetry

ReadWriteThink | Lesson | 3-5
In this lesson, students listen to poems in the book Science Verse by Jon Scieszka. Students then create diamante, acrostic, or shape poems with illustrations. To help increase fluency, students read their poems to the class. Finally, students create original poems using facts they have learned in the current science curriculum.

Folktales and Ecology: Animals and Humans in Cooperation and Conflict

EDSITEment | Lesson | 3-5
Study of humans and animals in cooperation and conflict within folktales lends itself to a simple lesson on ecology and endangered species, where students can explore how humans' cooperative relationship with nature has been compromised.

Introduction to Earth Day

National Geographic Education | Activity | 3-5
Students learn all about Earth Day and the environmental issues it addresses.

Oil Oil Everywhere

Illuminations | Lesson | 3-5
Oil spills are in the news. To make real-world connections, this lesson provides hands-on experiences with mixing oil and water, provides surface area information about the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and gives students opportunities to estimate small oil spills of their own making.

Power Up!

Science NetLinks | Lesson | 3-5
In this lesson, students compare and contrast different energy sources and the trade-offs of using them. Includes a student interactive.

Save the Plankton, Breathe Freely

National Geographic Education | Lesson | 3-5
Students calculate how many of the breaths they take each day come from the phytoplankton, Prochloroccus. Students use data collection and calculations to understand how the health of the ocean affects their lives.

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge

Science NetLinks | Lesson | 3-5
This lesson helps students understand both the physical forces behind climate change and the social responses to it as a means to preserve the health of people and our planet.

True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet

Science NetLinks | Lesson | 3-5
This lesson helps students understand that products and objects that humans make have lifespans, too, and that they need to be recycled, reused, and re-imagined so there will be less pollution and waste on the planet.

Endangered Species 1: Why Are Species Endangered?

Science NetLinks | Lesson | 6-8
The purpose of this lesson is for students to examine the plight of endangered species and to help them understand and gain perspective on human issues that continue to endanger species and threaten our global environment.

Endangered Species 2: Working to Save Endangered Species

Science NetLinks | Lesson | 6-8
In this lesson, students explore the Endangered Species Act and the work of scientists who strive to protect species.

How We Know What We Know about Our Changing Climate

Science NetLinks | Lesson | 6-8
This lesson helps students understand the scientific research into climate change and the role of citizen scientists in helping professional scientists generate data to track the problem and devise solutions.

Marine Sanctuaries

Science NetLinks | Lesson | 6-8
Through this lesson, students develop an understanding of diverse marine ecosystems and the problems they face.

Persuasive Essay: Environmental Issues

ReadWriteThink | Lesson | 6-8
Students explore environmental issues that are relevant to their own lives, self-select topics, and gather information to write persuasive essays.

The Riviera Maya has a Secret

National Geographic Education | Lesson | 6-8
Students locate the Mayan Riviera on a map, watch a demonstration to understand the concept of groundwater held in underground rivers and aquifers, and discuss pollution in the area.

Combined Impacts

National Geographic Education | Activity | 9-12
Students make predictions about marine ecosystems based on combined impacts of anthropogenic and natural disturbances. They evaluate others' predictions and create concept maps to identify cause-and-effect relationships.

Energy Sources and Energy Use

National Geographic Education | Activity | 9-12
Students discuss relationships between energy use and pollution, sort energy sources into renewable and non-renewable, and create a pie chart of the estimated energy use of the class.

Green Roof Design

Science NetLinks | Lesson | 9-12
In this student-centered learning model, students work collaboratively in small teams to design a heat- and water-conserving "green roof" of plant material for an urban apartment building.

Marine Debris: A Legacy of Litter

National Geographic Education | Activity | 9-12
Students learn about the sources and impacts of marine debris. They participate in a school site cleanup and then compare their findings to international coastal cleanup data.

Marine Ecology Video Scavenger Hunt

National Geographic Education | Lesson | 9-12
Students geolocate marine ecosystems. They watch videos, make observations about species, populations, and communities of organisms, and discuss how they interact with and depend upon one another for survival.

Modeling Orbital Debris Problems

Illuminations | Lesson | 9-12
In this lesson, students examine the problem of space pollution caused by human-made debris in orbit to develop an understanding of functions and modeling. It allows the students an opportunity to use spreadsheets, graphing calculators, and computer graphing utilities.

Rainforest Deforestation - Problem or Myth?

Illuminations | Lesson | 9-12
This lesson allows students to explore the idea that rainforest deforestation is occurring at an exponential rate. Students will use provided research about Amazon deforestation and conduct their own research to determine whether deforestation is occurring exponentially.

The Economics of Recycling

EconEdLink | Lesson | 9-12
Students will review the legislation in Japan that requires all consumers to pay a fee for recycling large appliances.

Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations

Science NetLinks | Lesson | 9-12
Through this lesson, students gain an introduction to conservation biology via the memoirs of a scientist who has traveled throughout the world to study and defend endangered species.

Interactives/Tools

Nowhere to Hide

Science NetLinks | Tool | 3-8
With this tool, students can manipulate the level of pollution emitted by the factory (i.e., the background color of the screen) and observe the effects on the different colored bugs, moving them toward a better understanding of evolution by natural selection.

Power Up!

Science NetLinks | Interactive | 3-8
In this interactive, students compare and contrast different energy sources and the trade-offs of using them.

Your Carbon Diet

Science NetLinks | Interactive | 6-8
This interactive allows students to learn about how we use different energy sources and how it affects not only our environment but also our budget.

The Greenhouse Effect

National Geographic | Interactive | 6-12
Explore the greenhouse effect process to discover how the Earth stays warm and comfortable in the coldness of space.

Multimedia/Activities

Episode 1 - Celebrating the Earth

ReadWriteThink | Podcast | K-5
Everyday is Earth Day! Emily shares her story of children inspired by The Lorax and explores science and nature activities with guest Sharon Betty and The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming.

A Conversation with Kim McKay

AAAS | Activity | K-12
In this episode of SB&F Booktalks, children's science author Kim McKay talks about her SB&F Prize winning science book True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet.

Global Warming: A Way Forward: Facing Climate Change

National Geographic | Video | K-12
Explore the global impact of climate change and its devastating effects--and learn what scientists suggest in response--in this short documentary film from National Geographic and the UN Foundation.

Global Warming: Antarctica Ice

National Geographic | Video | K-12
See how glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula are melting away at an alarming rate.

Global Warming: Global Warming 101

National Geographic | Video | K-12
See how global warming could do more than just melt polar ice. It could change our maps and displace people from cities and tropical islands.

Threats to Animals: State of Polar Bears

National Geographic | Video | K-12
See how melting Arctic ice is stranding--and starving--polar bears. According to some researchers, the health of polar bears is an indicator of the health of the environment.

What Is a Polar Ice Cap?

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Hope you brought your jacket! Today's wonder is served over ice--at the North and South Poles!

Where Do Recycled Items Go?

Wonderopolis | Video/Activity | K-12
Learn where your recyclables go after they leave your curb.

Ascending Plants

Science NetLinks | Podcast | 6-12
In this podcast, students learn that plants are gradually moving to higher altitudes to escape global warming.

Carbon Emissions

Science NetLinks | Podcast | 6-12
This podcast discusses why carbon emission rates may be higher than scientists thought.

Fossil Fuel Switch

Science NetLinks | Podcast | 6-12
This podcast asks, "How much would it cost to quit fossil fuels cold turkey?"

Mountain Rain

Science NetLinks | Podcast | 6-12
This podcast focuses on why pollution from cities could dry out nearby mountains.

Nitrogen Pollution

Science NetLinks | Podcast | 6-12
In this Science Update podcast, students learn why human sources of nitrogen may be just as environmentally costly as carbon emissions.

Solar Power from Moon

Science NetLinks | Podcast | 6-12
Solar power is clean, abundant, and becoming cheaper and more efficient all the time. Unfortunately, however, the sun isn't always there when you need it--like when it's cloudy, or it's raining, or it's nighttime. In this Science Update, you'll hear about an ambitious plan to get around that problem.

Thoreau's Plants

Science NetLinks | Podcast | 6-12
In this Science Update podcast, students learn how global warming has altered the composition of plants on the shores of Walden since the time of Henry David Thoreau.

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