Thinkfinity.org has some wonderful resources to help you celebrate Earth Day and make your students more environmentally conscious. Some of these include--
Just Turn It Off -- a lesson for grades K-2 from Science Netlinks
Celebrating the Earth --resources for grades K-5 from ReadWriteThink
Be an Energy Saver -- a lesson for grades 6-12 from EconEdLink
Let's hear about some additional great resources you have found.
As a starting point I would recommend this lesson by Science NetLinks:
It is based on a prize winning book by the same name written by Kim McCay and Jenny Bonnin.
The easy-to-read, colorfully illustrated book contains 100 ideas of activities or actions kids can take to make a positive difference in the environment. Most of them are based on things that real kids have actually done.
Wonderopolis features a couple of great Wonders of the Day that can spark discussion about "green" topics, such as recycling and climate change, in the home as well as the classroom:
Turf Mutt: Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time from Discovery Education "is a comprehensive environmental program led by Lucky the Dog that provides free classroom resources to engage your students in your environment as you explore the attributes that make your local ecosystem unique."
"In addition, TurfMutt's Landscapes Across America Contest is giving you the chance to win a $5,000 grant to implement an eco-friendly classroom program, a $500 teacher award and trees planted in honor of each member of your class! Four second-place classroom winners will receive a $500 grant, as well as trees planted in honor of your class. To enter, your class must submit a slideshow that demonstrates the unique ecosystem and landscapes of your local region by March 31."
"Each of TurfMutt's lesson plans provides tips on incorporating this contest into your classroom activities. Contest submissions must be made by a teacher of grades 3-5, and the top five winning presentations will be incorporated into the U.S. Ecosystems Map."
This may be the opportunity for you and your students to make a difference and also win a monetary reward.
Anyone interested in this topic might also be interested in four sessions on "Change and the Land" that took place online on March 26, 2011, and ran for about one hour each. A recording is posted for each of the four sessions produced by expert scientists and educators from across the Smithsonian Institution.
My favorite go-to resource is a classic. Read (or show the video of) Dr. Seuss's The Lorax. It is a great way to start conversations with students of any age. I've used it with everyone from kindergarten to college.
Emily Manning's Chatting About Books podcast (on ReadWriteThink) has some other children's books that focus on "Celebrating the Earth."
For schools interested in reducing waste, improving recycling and addressing challenges with consumption, visit http://schools.stopwaste.org The site features lesson plans and other materials developed by teachers to engage students in service-learning projects that help teach key content and skill standards through waste reduction projects.
The site also hosts recycling, composting, and waste reduction videos to help teach 4Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot) concepts to students.
Thanks for sharing the information from the website Stop Waste At School. There are some wonderful ideas, videos, and lessons on recycling available there as you stated.
You might be interested in reading another discussion in the Community Hub that explains a recyling project that involved my high school journalism students - The specified item was not found.. I explained a great, free method of fundraising for a school organization that teaches students the benefits of recycling.
Here's a list of wonderful resources for going green in the classroom. These "favorite green resources" were compiled by cdodd.
For a PDF document with this information see attachment.
Has anyone used LiveBinders--a free 3-ring binder on the web to collect, organize, and present resources? At a time when companies are encouraging individuals to go "paperless," LiveBinders helps teachers reduce paper consumption in the classroom.
LiveBinders is a great, free, online site to use for ePorfolios. Check out 10 Great Ways That Educators are Using Livebinders.
What are some ways you can use LiveBinders in your teaching and help students "go green"?
The 2012 NEH Jefferson Lecturer is the poet-farmer Wendell Berry from Kentucky. The Chairman has refered to him as "a 21st-century Thoreau." Berry will relate his self-sustaining philosophy at the Jefferson Lecture in April which will be streamed live for the first time this year. http://www.neh.gov/news/archive/20120206.html
The Jefferson lecture take place Monday, April 23, 2012 at 7:30 PM at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. In the lecture, “It All Turns on Affection,” Berry will discuss man’s interaction with nature, as depicted in history, philosophy, and literature.
EDSITEment's selected resource, The Poetry Foundation http://edsitement.neh.gov/websites/poetry-foundation has more information on this poet. Teachers and students may enjoy exploring these resources and gaining inspiration from him as we approach earth day this month.
including this one, "The Peace of Wild Things", reproduced below,
Audio & Podcast from Poetry Radio Project
Repossessing Virtue: Living Differently, Beyond Economic Crisis
For many Americans, economic instability is not new. Speaking of Faith listeners talk about cultivating virtues of patience, self-examination, service, and good humor that might help us all. The program features Wendell Berry's poem “The Peace of Wild Things.”
By Wendell Berry b. 1934 Wendell Berry
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things" from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1998. Published and reprinted by arrangement with Counterpoint Press.
Source: Collected Poems 1957-1982 (Counterpoint Press, 1985)
Children's book author Seymour Simon is conducting an Earth Day contest. The prize is a skype author visit with him for your class. You enter by leaving your "Earth Day Promise" in the comment section of his blog. The blog, by the way, is running kid friendly earth day features all month.
EDSITEment would like to share a couple of additional resources for the topic under discussion:
Literary resources to help teach ecology and appreciation of the natural world!
For elementary school: Folktales and Ecology: Animals and Humans in Cooperation and Conflict
For middle school: Animating Poetry: Reading Poems about the Natural World
I just found out about this poster contest. The deadline is April 30th so there's not much time left but I thought it was worth sharing.
"Start off by choosing one, two, or all three of the following systems in your community to focus on: the water system, the food system, and the energy system. Then create a Glog with text, images, audio, and video demonstrating how the system(s) work in your community and ways the system(s) could be greener or more sustainable. The most informative and creative Glogs by individual students, classrooms, and schools will win."
I grew up on a farm and am absolutely positive that it is the best place in the world to raise children, give them a work ethic, and teach them sustainability and stewardship for our environment.
There is something very special about working with the soil, growing your own food, and building community in a rural setting that binds everyone together with nature..
Some schools are lucky enough to have a plot of ground nearby where students may grow food and then enjoy it during harvest time.
Even First Lady Michelle Obama dug up a portion of the White House lawn and invited local school children in 2009 to help her plant a garden, the first White House garden since Eleanor Roosevelt's Victory Garden during World War II. The food grown in this White House garden continues to provide produce for the First Family and various White House events. Excess is given to a homeless shelter.
Who will be our young farmers today and in the future? Farms have grown so big and require so much land and heavy equipment to be profitable. Some of our youth are looking to live on small, diverse farms, and grow organic produce for themselves and those within a 40 mile radius. An interesting approach is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Young farmers sell their future organic crop to folks in their surrounding community and use the money to buy their seed. Then the "investors" can pick up produce for free during harvest. Not a bad idea, the community members get fresh food and the young farmer knows his crop is sold.
I regularly watch the Farm Report but today on Public Television I watched a show with a website that offers all of us tips on Growing a Greener World. I plan to take a closer look at this site. Maybe you and your students will find some tips on starting a garden near your school.
If you have a garden started at your school, take a digital picture and share the bounty with us. Do your cook the produce at school for the students to eat? What do you do with surplus food?
Tip: If you click on Use Advanced Editor in the upper right of your discussion reply, you may attach files to your reply.
I just found a list of resources for teaching about Earth Day. Check out this list by clicking on the link below. It is found on the TeachersFirst.com website.
Some other ideas for "going green" are as follows:
Jane Brown has always had a paper recycling box in her classroom and an aluminum can recycling container in the hallway.
Christine McGuinness habitually uses Print Preview to glance over what she is printing to make sure that she is not unintentionally printing out pages that she does not need (for example, a signature at the end of an email that only uses a line of a whole second page). It saves a lot of waste.
I volunteer in a middle school library that makes good use of recycled paper. The librarian collects recycled paper (20 lb. paper used in printers) from various classrooms and offices. Then she uses this paper in the copy machine when students need printouts of information in reference books which cannot be checked out of the library. She also puts recycled paper in the library printers when students need to print rough drafts of assignments.
I teach a waste management unit. I have students do a 1 week family waste audit. They organize the types of waste and the volume. They really get into it. I have had parents call me and ask if they should bring their waste from work?
Also, we look at the economics of reclycling. They watch "the story of stuff"
We look at product packaging and overpackaging. Students send a px. to me of the worst packaging and why. The best packaging and why, and lastly, the clever product of reusable materials. I put together a powerpoint of their px. Then, I had each student explain their slides. Very funny and creative.
I am not a big fan of the idea that we are saving the earth...the earth did just fine before we showed up. The human impact is something we can save.