As you may already know, I love celebrating all of the holidays in my classroom. As a 4th and 5th grade teacher, it hasn’t always been easy. A lot of what’s out there for holidays is geared towards the younger grades. Earth day is a fun holiday that is perfect for older students! There are so many great reading, writing, science, and social studies activities for Earth Day!
Reading & Writing Activities
I love mentor text. I use it to teach the reading standards, grammar, and writing skills. The week of Earth Day, our theme is environmental science! We read about how compost works and put together a how-to essay on how to start your own compost pile. We look at how-to videos on how to make your own compost bin. We even use some space near our school garden to start our own compost bin so that we can see how it works over the next weeks.
Affiliate links ahead.
Compost Stew is a great book for introducing compost!
Recycling is another great topic for Earth Day. The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle and The Adventures of an Aluminum Can are great books for starting a conversation about recycling (and can connect to the writing topic below).
We also write opinion essays about environmental science topics. Here are some topic ideas:
- Should we make grocery bags illegal? (Looking at Washington State’s ban on plastic bags)
- Should the government put a limit on water usage?
- Grass in the desert: Are we wasting water putting grass where it doesn’t belong?
- Diverting water: Is it ok to move water to different places where it’s needed, or should we keep it where it is? (Focus on dams, levees, and our water system)
- Should there be a fine for not recycling?
Earth day is a fantastic day for an environmental science lesson. There are also fun, quick science activities you can do. A student-favorite activity is planting these cute seed pods! The seeds inside grow into a plant and the material around it decomposes.
Social Studies Activities
The History Channel has an excellent website on the history of Earth Day. Students can read about it and share what they learned and how Earth Day affects our country.
Click the image to go to the History Channel’s page on Earth Day
Half Price Deal ($2)
This lapbook includes grade-appropriate activities for reading, writing, math, and science. It includes a technology component as well! You can purchase this high-interest Earth Day activity for half off here.
Fact-based Opinion Writing from The Thinker Builder
Earth Day Case File from Create Teach Share
Other Great Activities
Earth Day Literacy Set by The Teacher Next Door
Earth Day Author’s Purpose Creativity by Deb Hanson