Earth Day Ideas and Activities
It's Fun! - Earth Day is a great time to plan fun, educational, and action-oriented activities. Celebrating Earth Day on or around April 22 can be a great way for schools to showcase classroom environmental education, highlight efforts to "green" the school facility, or engage the whole school community in making a difference.
It's Flexible - An Earth Day activity can be done in one class period, can take place over the course of a few class periods or a week, or can be a school-wide activity or fair. The best activities offer opportunities to both teach about an issue and make a tangible environmental impact. Even just taking your class outside is a great way to honor the Earth: do math or spelling with chalk out on the blacktop.
Get Started! We've compiled a list of fun and meaningful ideas and links to get you started. But use your and your students' creativity and dream up your own. Create an Earth Day Committee at your school with students, parents, and teachers to help plan the event. Ideas from our list include actions from each of the Four Pillars of a Green School:
- Strive to be Toxics Free: Make your own green cleaners
- Use Resources Sustainably: Organize a school-wide Swap Meet to reuse items, or a Walk & Bike to School Day
- Create Green & Healthy Schoolyards, Serve Healthy Food: Create a container garden, conduct an organic food taste test
- Teach, Learn, Engage: Create and distribute a petition to eliminate the use of plastic bags in your community
Download Earth Day Ideas & Links (PDF)
Download Earth Day Ideas & Links (Links are live in Word Doc)
Celebrate and Spread the Word - Be sure to share the results of your activity and celebrate your actions with the larger school community. Communicating results is an important part of having a lasting positive impact. Write an article for your school newsletter (or better yet, have the students write it), your local paper, or the school bulletin board.
"5 Minute Film Festival" - Use Edutopia's list of 12 short videos related to Earth Day. Or here are some others to try:
- iMatter (1:30 minutes) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1ffgR1BxaE
- We are all one (9:53 minutes) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWtVTu6S51M
- Landfill Harmonic (3:26 minutes) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXynrsrTKbI story of community of trash pickers in Paraguay that builds instruments from trash that empowers youth (Spanish with subtitles)
Together, we can make every day Earth Day, and every person in every school can make a difference. We look forward to hearing from you about your Earth Day events!
Send stories and photos of your celebrations to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll feature them in a future newsletter.